Often moms who have written a children’s book as me how I launched mine. Of great help was the press release below, published in 2016. This press release appeared on numerous websites and was published in five languages! It also was published in Education Matters, a journal for educators. Can you imagine what a full page ad in that magazine would have cost me?
Times Tables, the Key to Your Child’s Success?
Irvine, CA- When did you lose interest in math? Never had any? Maybe, but Eugenia Francis knows exactly when it started to happen to her son. The moment? The dread rite of passage all children face: the multiplication tables.
As her son struggled with endless drills, Francis realized there had to be a better way. Why not learn the tables in context of one another and emphasize the commutative property (i.e. 4 x 6 is the same as 6 x 4) of the multiplication tables? Francis drew a grid for tables 1-10 and discovered patterns for her son to decode. The mysteries of the times tables unfolded as a daily exploration of “magic” never discussed in his third-grade class. Their fridge eventually was papered with patterns that made the times tables intriguing. “Patterns made my son smile,” Francis says. “He could see the structure and knew he got it right.”
Ever the creative educator, Francis taught college English. “Patterns whether in literature or math,” she says, “reveal the underlying structure. There is an inherent simplicity in them, an inherent beauty. Math should engage your child’s imagination.”
At the kitchen table, Francis applied her skills to math. Why not learn the tables in order of difficulty? Tables 2, 4, 6 and 8 are easy to learn as they end in some combination of 2-4-6-8-0. Tables for odd numbers also have distinct patterns. Why not a more creative approach? Thus was born Teach Your Child the Multiplication Tables, Fun, Fast and Easy with Dazzling Patterns, Grids and Tricks! (available on Amazon and www.TeaCHildMath.com ) and mom the entrepreneur.
Patterns appeal to children. Learning to recognize patterns teaches analytical skills. A review in California Homeschool News stated: “My daughter thinks it’s is lots of fun. She’s already had quite a few ‘ah-ha moments as she recognizes and predicts the various patterns.” Patterns enhance recall. “Children with ADHD, dyslexia and autism do well with my method,” Francis says.
Parents and teachers must ensure children learn the multiplication tables. “Without them a child is doomed,” Francis states. A child who has not mastered the times tables has difficulty succeeding in mathematics beyond the third grade.
A recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times noted that failure to pass Algebra I was the “single biggest obstacle to high school graduation” and that failure to master the multiplication tables was one of the main reasons. A survey of California Algebra I teachers report that 30% of their students do not know the multiplication tables. It is hardly surprising then that fifteen-year olds in the U.S. rank near the bottom of industrialized nations in math skills.
“We have one of the highest high school dropout rates in the industrialized world,” Bill Gates stated. “If we keep the system as it is, millions of children will never get a chance to fulfill their promise because of their zip code, their skin color or their parents’ income. That is offensive to our values.”
Teachers must innovate and bring the magic of math into the classroom. Parents must do their part. “Parents have a huge influence over a third or fourth grader,” Francis states. “By high school it may be too late. Why not take the opportunity that teaching the multiplication tables provides to give your child a head start in math and develop analytical skills necessary for algebra? Mastery of the multiplication tables is essential to your child’s future.”
Francis published her innovative workbook to help other families. “If more of us would do for other people’s children what we do for our own, the world would be a better place.”