Times tables are the cornerstone of mathematics and are a lifetime investment. We used to learn them since the early years in primary school. Still it is always a surprise to see so many children (and adults…) not mastering this very basic knowledge.
There is a common misunderstanding in considering the times tables as a long list of multiplications difficult to memorise. Actually, there are only 36 unique combinations to learn, and most of them can be deduced from the easiest ones. For example, if you know \(2×5=10\), you definitely know \(8×5\) which is simply \(4×2×5=4×10=40\). And if you know \(8×5\), you know \(5×8\) as well by symmetry. Because of this multiplication fact, only half of the times tables need to be learned. Additionally, most people know already the times tables up to \(5×5\), which represent 25% of all times tables, without even noticing!
Are 36 combinations to much to memorise? You must believe in the extraordinary capacity of the brain. Do you know that children from grade 3 onward learn 2000-3000 new words a year (ref. Biemiller; Nagy & Anderson)? That is 6-8 new words a day in average. By comparison, if you learn 36 combinations in 9 days, it is like learning 4 new words a day. By practising 10 min a day for 9 days, you can master all the times tables in 90 min. How easy it is!
You can get the full lesson plan with exercises or a free version and start the journey. Times tables are arranged by difficulty level to optimise their memorisation. They are incremental, i.e. only a few new combinations are introduced in each step. No more wasting time with the symmetric forms that will be assimilated naturally by practising the included daily worksheets.