Shakuntala Devi is a maths prodigy often referred to as a human calculator.

She has travelled the world giving demonstrations of her mathematical talents. We can learn a tremendous amount about her attitude towards maths and numbers which can help us with times tables and all areas of maths for children.

Here is an example of her genius which you can find in the Guinness book of Records.

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She multiplied two 13 digit numbers to give the correct answer of ; 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730

It took her 28 seconds to write it down, longer than it took her to calculate the number.

She says in her own words “At three I fell in love with numbers. It was sheer ecstasy for me to do sums and get the right answers. Numbers were toys with which I could play.”

This is the view of a maths genius and perhaps the reason she is so good at maths. Just imagine how easy it would be for your children to learn the times tables if they felt like Shakuntala.

It is possible for your children to really, really like and enjoy numbers through learning times tables. It is possible for them to have the pleasure of getting the right answers instantly and then be motivated to do more and more maths.

The key is to bring in imagination, colour, art and movement into their early experiences of number and maths including times tables.

We often have a view of what a genius is like. A few years after her world record I was lucky enough to meet Shakuntala and I found her to be very pleasant down to earth lady. In fact she was an ordinary everyday person as well as a genius. One of the aspects of being a maths genius is that she sees the patterns behind numbers.

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Here is a pattern taken from her book – 'Figuring’. The pattern is linked to the 11 times tables. Take the sum 33 x 11. The quick way to do this is to add the 3 and the 3 to make 6, put this number 6 in the middle of the number 33. The answer is 3- 6- 3. That is 363.

When you know the pattern a difficult calculation is easy. Your children can feel like geniuses when they have a method that shows them how to have fun and really enjoy numbers and also shows them the amazing patterns behind numbers.

Times tables can be so easy to learn with the right method and result in children being motivated to learn even more maths. Your children can love maths just like Shakuntala Devi.