Parents of children who need extra help with learning math often want to know why their child can’t just rely on a calculator. After all, calculators are readily available and can do the work for them. However, there are several reasons why it’s important for children to learn their math facts. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at three of those reasons.
1. Understanding concepts is more important than getting the right answer.
If your child is only focused on getting the right answer, they’re likely to miss out on understanding the concepts behind the problem. Without that understanding, they’ll have a hard time applying what they’ve learned to new situations. On the other hand, if they take the time to understand the concept behind the problem, even if it takes them longer to reach the answer, they’ll be better prepared to handle similar problems in the future.
2. Calculators can’t always be used.
There are plenty of situations in which calculators can’t be used. For example, when taking standardized tests like the SAT or ACT, use of a calculator is often not allowed (or is limited). In real-world situations, such as shopping or baking, a calculator might not be available when it’s needed. In these situations, it’s important to be able to do mental math quickly and accurately.
3. Mental math improves problem-solving skills.
Aside from being faster, doing mental math also sharpen problem-solving skills. When children are forced to do mental math, they have to slow down and think through each step of the problem. This careful thinking leads to improved problem-solving skills that will benefit them both in and out of school.
Learning math facts may seem like a tedious task, but it’s actually important for several reasons. It helps children understand concepts better, broadens their problem-solving skills, and prepares them for situations in which a calculator isn’t available. So next time your child complains about having to memorize multiplication tables or subtraction facts, remind them of all the benefits they’ll reap from putting in the extra effort!
Math doesn’t have to be difficult or boring either. In just a few minutes a day, your child can use a worksheet program or a fun online game to master the skill of learning math facts!