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I'm reposting this here - DS (7) has 3 lots of times tables to leanrn this weekend -does anyone else think this is madness?!

(31 Posts)
UnrequitedSkink Sun 19-Sep-10 21:22:07

DS had a note home on Wednesday in his homework folder, the maths homework for this week was a printed sheet to complete (unrelated to times tables incidentally) and the request that children learn their 3, 4 & 6 times tables for a test on Monday. So we've had two evenings and the weekend to learn all these. Before I could even start teaching them I had to explain to DS what times tables actually were - he said they'd looked at them briefly that day in class but he didn't really understand. I know that in Y2 the kids touched briefly on counting up in twos and fives and tens. AGES ago.

We've gone over and over and over the tables but they're just not sticking and I'm pretty sure it's due to mental overload - surely one set would have been perfectly sufficient? As soon as I think we've got one lot down pretty well, I introduce another lot and the ones he did know go straight out of his head! DS is only 7, I wouldn't really have expected him to know his tables until the end of the year. And certainly not by cramming them in like this.

So what do I do? DS is getting more and more upset and bored and frustrated, I feel like an evil dragon mother chasing him down constantly to leanrn and remember them, and I'm worried he's going to be totally turned off maths (as I was as a child). I'm so cross with his teacher for putting our weekend under so much strain.

activate Sun 19-Sep-10 21:23:27

leave it

it doesn't matter

e has plenty time

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-Sep-10 21:25:37

I wouldn't have bothered him with them.

This is silly.

Write a note to the teacher saying he was getting stressed and you think it is too much.

Tell your son not to worry about it.

I can see that when my ds goes to school I will be an irritating parent. And I AM a teacher, but one who thinks homework is useless for little ones.

UnrequitedSkink Sun 19-Sep-10 21:28:32

Oh - thank you! I was just about in tears myself this evening when I just felt like I was bullying him to learn them and he was hating it. Writing a note is a good idea...

TheCrackFox Sun 19-Sep-10 21:29:54

IMO if he hasn't actually been properly taught the concept of timetables then he is actually wasting his time learning them.

My eldest seemed to need, roughly, a week to learn each time table. I wouldn't have bothered with it and written a note to the teacher why.

Is the teacher very inexperienced?

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-Sep-10 21:30:15

sorry your weekend was ruined

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-Sep-10 21:30:42

yes I wondered if it was a first teaching post

IndigoBell Sun 19-Sep-10 21:42:52

Spend 5 minutes on Sat and 5 minutes on Sun and then leave it. They are going to be asked to learn their timetables every week all year. So 10 minutes in the weekend will be enough over the whole year.

My DD hasn't got a hope of doing well in her times tables test (she was asked to learn 3 and 5 ) - I just tell her not to stress or worry about the test. It's OK to get some wrong and we'll keep on learning them.

She did do very badly in her test on Fri - I don't know how badly because they didn't say - they just gave hear a practice test to do over the weekend.

UnrequitedSkink Sun 19-Sep-10 21:43:00

No, she's been at the school about 4 years I think - pretty sure she was in her first year (as an NQT) when DS started. I'm wondering whether she's maybe trying to establish which children are more mathematically able. But then you'd think she'd know that from his previous teacher.

I'm pretty sure if it had just been the 3 times table we'd have cracked it no bother by now - it's introducing the others that sends him into a tailspin!

RoadArt Mon 20-Sep-10 06:31:01

if you do want to do something with him,then play games, and use objects to demonstrate what the numbers mean.

Focus on key ones - 5 x 3, 6 x 5, 4 x 5, the 10s, and the 2s. (the ones he already knows).
That way he will get some right.

If he does know his 3s, then show him as doubles, using counters, blocks, whatever, but demonstrate as physical to ensure he understands what they mean.
So a row of 6x3, 6x5, x5 etc and do the same next to it and add them up!

I wish our school made the kids learn them this earlier. We have loads of Y5,6,7 and 8 who dont

Algebra18MinusPiEquals16 Mon 20-Sep-10 09:14:17

I'm quite shocked they've been given that much. Especially as they'd barely been taught them at school

it's not on IMO - my DSDs schools have often done this sort of thing, it seemed like they were setting homework instead of teaching key concepts (in various subjects) - I thought homework should usually be about consolidation?

learning one times table would be fine but only when they were all clear about what multiplication means, knowing that 3x5=15 is no good unless you understand that it means in real terms (i.e. 3 lots of 5 sweets!)

tell him not to worry about it - no point cramming anyway, as it would presumably give the teacher a false view of the level he's at.

admylin Mon 20-Sep-10 09:19:24

Three is alot. I remember dd shedding tears with one load and most of her class reported back that there had been tears too. Sad to start off with such frustration in maths.

CecilyP Mon 20-Sep-10 12:41:05

It is absolutely ridiculous what you have been asked to do! 5 days to learn 3 times tables for a test. And not practice and consolidation of what has been learned in class, but starting from scratch. And because you are a conscientious mum, you have unnecessarily spent the whole weekend stressing about it. They have the whole year to learn their tables. I can't understand the rush.

aristocat Mon 20-Sep-10 21:44:35

Unrequited my DS was interested in Darts from about age 5. he quickly learned his 2 and 3 times tables from this because of the doubles and trebles.
would this be something your DS might be interested in?
my DS is now 8yo and his mental arithmetic is excellent [i do believe it was due to the Darts] and he is faster than me blush

hope your DS was ok today

Quattrocento Mon 20-Sep-10 21:54:02

See this all sounds a bit odd to me

Neither of the DCs ever bothered me to teach them their times tables. This is because they were taught them in class. Which is, may I say, where they are supposed to be taught.

They brought the odd set home to learn, whereupon I wafted them away and told them to learn them. Which of course was very easy for them because they UNDERSTOOD them (because they had been taught them).

Dunno what's going on here. Incidentally I think they knew them all by the end of Year 2. And my DCs are fairly average, nothing special.

mumtoabeautifulbabyboy Mon 20-Sep-10 22:05:19

I have only ever sent home more than one set when they have already had them for homework previously, so they know them and it is just over learning really - to ensure they don't forget one set when they learn a new set (always happens!).

I teach the concept in class so the children understand how to multiply, however we do rely on parental support regarding the practising. In the same way that we teach the children how to read but rely on parental support with practising the actual reading.

In your case, I would do as already suggested and send in a note explaining that your child found it extremely difficult and so you (quite rightly) didn't push him.

CecilyP Mon 20-Sep-10 23:37:22

I think practising reading is different because listening to children read is so time consuming and labour intensive because it is basically one to one. Whereas children can chant tables all at the same time in class.

mumtoabeautifulbabyboy Tue 21-Sep-10 19:06:31

Hmmm, and if have the class already know the 2,3,4,5 and 10x table? Are they just expected chant multiplications they know already?
Chanting is a waste of valuable teaching time. It is time consuming to learn tables for many children and so it is much better to practise them at home/in the car/ through games etc once the concept has been taught properly in school.
luckily we do have extremely supportive parents and most children know all their tables with related division facts by the end of year three.

Lancelottie Tue 21-Sep-10 19:10:41

Really? By year 3?

My brightish 8-yr-old is struggling hugely with them, and she's the well-behaved and motivated sort who does try.

Both boys were even worse.

BlueHair Tue 21-Sep-10 19:17:00

The teacher's request is unreasonable, but your ds still has to learn the tables eventually - but taking a few more weeks will make no difference.
Have a chat with the teacher and explain that he doesn't understand multiplication - either that or if you feel able to teach him the concept yourself do so. Then teach/learn one at a time while continually going over the ones he knows already. There are sing along CDs available as well as online times tables games - to make it a little more interesting.

mumtoabeautifulbabyboy Tue 21-Sep-10 19:46:13

eek - half obviously,not have!

Yes, most (not all) do by the end of year three. It is necessary really so we can move on to more challenging concepts. They need to have the 'building bricks' in place or they get lost.
The children do have a fair amount of input on the concept itself in year two and as I said earlier, practice at home. Year three is for revision/over learning and division facts.

We only set reading, spellings and tables homework though - far less than neighbouring schools. We focus on getting the basics right.

However, 3 tables are far too many to learn in such a short space of time if they have not been taught before and it is all new to your child. No wonder your LO is upset. Definitely write a note to explain so your DS doesn't worry about it.

Anenome Tue 21-Sep-10 19:52:41

It's THEIR job to teach him what times tables are..not yours! YABU! At his age he should already have been taught them! I would be seriously angered by this....to dump the responsibilty on you with that much time is stupid and I wuld complain...esp abou the fact you had to expalain it!

In the meantime have a look at "Harry Kindergarten" on Youtube with him...my DD is in year 2 and they've learned their tables already...at least the 2s, 5s and 10s...the Harry Kindergartn thig is a rap video...my DD loves it.

BlueHair Tue 21-Sep-10 20:06:11

I thought they were supoosed to cover the 2's, 5's & 10's in Year 2 - so a child wouldn't be expected to know 3's,4's & 6's.

mumtoabeautifulbabyboy Tue 21-Sep-10 20:08:03

I think the OP's DS is in yr3. That's how I read it.

BlueHair Tue 21-Sep-10 20:09:48

Yes me too, I meant that the 3,4 &6 times tables would be on the curriculum for this year and given that they've only been back for 2-3 weeks there's no panic needed.

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