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Dd is amazing at seeing abstract connections btwn items and is very visual but is not someone who does well when asked to just sit there and memorize a series of random facts. She needs to see the overall connection or pattern, not just memorize unrelated facts. 
While dd is doing well with the school work and homework, understands both math functions and always gets 100% on the tests, she isn't particularly speedy in completing the problems b/c she doesn't have all of the times tables memorized. 
IIf she's getting 100% on the tests, though, what does it really matter that she hasn't memorized the times tables? She understands the concepts of multiplication, and that's what's important.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.
Just things like seeing for myself that all the results for the 9 tables actually add up to 9 (27, 36, 45, etc.) really interested me, and make it easy for me to compute the answer when necessary.

If she's getting 100% on the tests, though, what does it really matter that she hasn't memorized the times tables? She understands the concepts of multiplication, and that's what's important.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.
Anyway, that's my biased view of why comfort with basic computations (not necessarily memorization... but at least near to it) is so important. 
I agree, it is important. The problem is that you can't force a person to be comfortable with it, and even less so by insisting upon highstakes "immediate" timeconstrained computation. That's what always made me freeze up  the timed tests and pressure. The drill tests and homework. I hated it. Thankfully, real life is pretty much not like school at all...
Maybe your husband could read a little Marilyn Burns math theory to reacquaint himself with the pleasures of computation, arithmetic, and theoretical math. It helped me immensely. She also says the multiplication tables are important, but that there are many ways to learn them without drilling or stress. 
Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.
Most teachers don't seem to agree with me unfortunately. There is so much focus on the process that the means seem to matter more than the end.

As to figuring out the best deal at the grocery store... around here, most stores have eliminated the need for math. The price tags have little orange squares that have the unit prices on them; so, brand X costs y, and then a unit price of a per ounce (or whatever), so comparing the price per ounce/pound/etc is easier than ever. All you have to do is read the numbers. : 
Sure but have you ever noticed how sometimes they change up the unit measurement amongst the same products just to mess with you...like one brand will be measured in units of Liters, and the next brand will be units of milliliters. Grams here, ounces there.

But anyway, that involves long division...they tackle that in 4TH grade, right? 
Long division is fourth grade at my school. I teach it. Kind of. I like the students to understand the concept of division but would never be alarmed if my own children couldn't actually compute a long division problem. For this one, I say a calculator is just fine! However, if my child needed to solve a real life problem and couldn't determine which algorithm he needed to use in order to reach a reasonable solution, then I'd be very upset.

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