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I agree with this article in that it is so very important to create a balance with fact memorization and problem solving. i know some of the newer math programs are trying to incorporate this balance. memorization is important ,btu to live in the real world you not only need this memorization you need the critical skills to take math in the real world into problem solving. They both are needed to become lifelong learners and to become active members of society...

@Kathy Simpson:Thanks for your comment, Kathy. I'm glad that you see a trend toward balance. That's what I'm hoping for too. For a while, it seemed that contemporary math programs

were concentrating almost solely on number sense and other number strategies and practically denounced memorization of basic math facts.

Totally agree that memorizing math facts helps students with math problems and their solving! Great reading!

@Victoria:Thanks for your comment. I hope to get some kind of consensus from a number of comments.

I think you are totally right that a lot of repetition really helps. Our daughter struggles a little with maths as her adhd makes it difficult to concentrate. I have been toying with the idea for a while now to get her some extra private tuition (she doesn't want to do it with me and listens better with others) so that she can reinforce what she is learning at school in a quieter environment. I really want her to enjoy school and not have to struggle so much later by giving her a good basis to build on.

@Sam @ A Happy Home In Holland:Thanks for your comment. When it comes right down to it, repetition is needed to actually memorize the basic facts. As long as its done mindfully(as opposed to mindlessly)and not robotically, repetition usually gets the results that are sought after. For children that have problems memorizing, other tags can be used to assist in the memorization process.Color is one of them. If used in the right way, color can improve focus, increase attention, facilitate retrieval, and strengthen retention.