Huntingdonshire author trials books to boost maths skills

Susan Lucas

Susan Lucas - Credit: Archant

Children in Huntingdonshire have been learning their times tables by using words not numbers.

Youngsters at Houghton Primary School have trialled a new book which teaches children their times tables through stories. Memory Owl’s Times Tables, written by Susan Lucas from Hartford turns the numbers into characters.

In her book, two is a shoe, seven is Heaven, 48 is a naughty crate and each times table has its own story. The stories are based on Memory Owl and his friends.

Mrs Lucas, 41, an eLearning consultant who produces online learning products for adults, is interested in how we use our memory. She believes we remember through stories. She has two daughters, Amy eight and Sophie six who helped her write the tales. In her book, Memory Owl watches two sticks walk down a path, trip over and land in a puddle becoming dirty sticks or 36. The book is illustrated by Jake Tebbit.

Mrs Lucas said: “We need a new method of learning our times tables. The beauty of this method is that children as young as two can enjoy and remember the stories and older children can work out times tables by remembering stories rather than equations. The children at Houghton really enjoyed using the book. We had a book signing at the monthly parents’ open afternoon last week and there was a lot of interest from the parents of children of all ages. I would love to get all the local schools involved before taking the idea national.”

Free taster sessions are being offered to Huntingdonshire schools by Mrs Lucas, who is a qualified teacher. Memory Owl’s Times Tables is available on Amazon. There is also a colouring book and flash cards.

There is a schools’ package with reduced price resources, on-line stories and quizzes.