Memorizing helps in the moment, understanding helps for a lifetime

Nov 21, 2020 | Red Deer

Parents mean well to teach their kids to memorize multiplication tables. Well, does it work? Yes, it works well if you want your kids to quickly answer what is 9x5. But does it give them a deeper understanding? Or to understand number sense and creativity/problem solving?

It’s not uncommon to see kids who are very good in multiplication, because they learned that from memorizing multiplication tables, but then have difficulties to answer a simple question like “A farmer plants 5 seeds of flowers in a row. How many seeds will he need if he plants 12 rows? 9 rows?”

Nowadays, there is a push to move away from rote learning, but we as parents likely grew up in this system. The result? Many parents fail to understand the connection of math concepts. Fortunately, most parents who come to us understand the importance why we at Mathnasium help their kids strengthen their math foundation and number sense. Others think that it means that it will not help their kids catch up to their grade level at school.

We teach kids to really understand how math concept works; so strengthening their understanding in Numerical Fluency will improve their skill in Addition, and furthermore will help them in Multiplication, and subsequently will help them in doing Fractions.  Teaching them Fractions right away would be like painting your stained ceiling back to white without fixing the leak on the roof! Math concepts/skills are not to be seen as separate units without any connections.

To unlock a child’s potential needs patience and commitment. A quick fix will just lead to a superficial result. Memorizing helps in the moment, understanding helps for a lifetime.