Children must memorise times tables up to 12×12 by age 11, says UK education minister Nicky Morgan. WRONG, better to learn how to calculate times tables so you are never stuck.

The problem with memorising times tables is to answer a question all you can do is to wait until the answer pops into your head. What do you do if the answer doesn’t pop?

Worse if the wrong answer pops into your head then you’re wrong without knowing it.

The only defence there is against being wrong in maths and science is to check.

In order to check, you have to know a method to calculate the result.

This is why I say it is better to learn how to calculate a result this way you’re never stuck. In practising using the methods to find the answers to times tables questions people will naturally begin to memorise the answers.

But by learning the methods they learn how to check their answers or to calculate the answer if they fail to remember.

After all what is needed is not to learn the times tables but to be able to recall or calculate the results when you need to.

It has been known for over 100 years the best way to learn is to use short sessions which are repeated regularly.

Why not explore the posts on this blog, for example

one way improve maths sats results better teaching

tips for helping your children learn times tables

Even better register your email and receive a free pdf guide explaining how you can help your children or grandchildren learn arithmetic in just a few minutes a day.

After all something must be going wrong at primary schools for some children for Nicky Morgan to make this announcement.