Mathematics is often considered a subject that is to be understood rather than to be memorized. Compared to subjects like history where one needs to know the facts and cannot just deduce historical facts, mathematics has often had the reputation of something that can be concluded. Although the multiplication table is an exception and is a part of mathematics that needs to be learned.
While multiplication tables can go all the way to infinity, it is the multiplication tables from 1 to 20 that need to be learned by children. Memorizing the tables from 1 to 20 will help children to have more comfort with numbers and a better understanding of how they are interrelated. Mathematics is a subject that deals with pattern solving. It helps greatly if one has in memory the fundamental relations of numbers as this will allow the children to consciously and even unconsciously connect the dots between the numbers. For example, to notice the standard numbers that appear in the multiplication tables of different numbers and how every even number appears in the multiplication table for number 2. The memory of multiplication tables will let children think and play with the numbers on the go, and they don’t need to sit down and have a pen and paper to do mathematics. Such skill with arithmetic is indeed required as a part of the daily life itself. For example, when buying 7 bottles of drink each worth 15 bucks, one needs to multiply 15 and 7 to know the price as adding 15 seven times while standing in the shop may not be practical.
As seen above, to have a memory of multiplication tables from 1 to 20 is not only useful to pave the way for better understanding of mathematics and develop a strong foundation to learn higher mathematics but also the memory of multiplication tables at least from 1 to 20 is important in our day to day life. Indeed, having the multiplication table in memory improves the speed of calculation, so for time-bound situations like a mathematics exam, it’s beneficial to do basic multiplications very quickly.
When children learn the multiplication table of 2 and 4, they will notice that all the numbers appearing in the multiplication table of four appear in the multiplication table of two, but the vice versa is not true. By memorizing the tables from 1 to 20, children will understand multiplication itself and how it is equivalent to multiple times. To multiply the smaller number, tables will help children play with the patterns of numbers themselves as all multiplication tables are essentially patterns in themselves. For example, a multiplication table of seven reveals how it is different from other numbers and how multiplication tables of certain numbers are very similar. What is the reason for number seven to have a different pattern from the rest or how in the multiplication table often we always have zero in the end are among many other questions that will naturally come to children’s mind when they know the multiplication table of 1 to 20.
Children should be encouraged to start with skip counting like 2, 4, 6, 8 and then graduating to skip counting with three gaps like 3, 6, 9 etc. Such skip counting essentially will lay the groundwork for times tables. Once the kid can say out loud the skip level counting of 2 and 3, they could then be shown how it is the same as the multiplication table of 2 and 3 and then lead them to learn the multiplication tables of number 4 and ahead. Many math games help memorize multiplication tables, which are a very good way to introduce the child to a fun and interesting subject.