If he's right at the very beginning of it, you usually start with understanding the concept of repeated addition (ie 3x4 is a quicker way of doing 4+4+4) and lots of physical grouping e.g. using cubes to make 3 groups of 4 then seeing how many you have). Helps lots and links to division and their understanding of how 4+4+4 links to 3x4 and 12 divided by 4 etc.
If he understands the concepts and is memorising facts, lots of work on 2,5,10 times tables (easiest ones) counting in 2/5/10s, games, multiplication squares etc. Then usually add 3,4 then 6,7,8,9 tables.
I learnt my times tables by listening to songs. I had a tape that did (for example) 1X6=6........12X6=6 then 1X6= (silence for the listener to answer)......12X6 =(silence) and then jumbled them up 4X6= 1X6= 8X6= and so on.
"Times Tables the fun way" on Itunes follows this pattern.
Not sure why but both ds 2 and ds3 knew the 9x before any of the others. I thought it was from hearing ds1 singing his tables and the poster we had on the wall by the table where they eat. Both of them though claim it is the easiest to learn as the tens go up on one side as the units go down. 09 18 27 36 45.. proof that we all learn differently, as it had never crossed my mind to think of it like that
Normally though I would think the easiest order would be 10 then 5 2 3 4 11 6 8 7 9 12 and singing them helps with embedding.
When my Ds2 was at primary they taught them to count up in 2s, 3s, 4s etc.
The result was hopeless. I was a parent helper and the majority of children when asked 7 x 6 had to count on their fingers 7, 14,21,28 etc. DS was getting nowhere so I taught him the old fashioned way by rote. There is nothing "wrong" with being able to do fast mental arithmetic whichever way you do it.
I wondered if anyone had any ideas how primary school teach children the times tables. I am attempting this at home and I don't want to be teaching my DS the "wrong" way and it confuse him if the school start to teach him another way.