Times tables or multiplication tables or times table facts, can often prove problematic for young children to learn.
Children need to learn their times tables in primary school. They are essential when learning many new maths skills and concepts e.g. fractions, decimals, factors etc.
If children don’t know their times tables, this puts an additional strain on their working memory when tackling new concepts in maths. This will hinder the long-term transition of the new facts to the long term memory. The simple truth is that if children don’t know their times tables by secondary school, then they are starting at a severe disadvantage.
The goal, at primary school, is instant recall, and to encourage children to achieve this by the end of Year 4. There is now a Year 4 times table test (Multiplication Tables Check or MTC) that schools administer to keep track of how children are getting on.