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How to help ds with math

(14 Posts)
Claw3 Mon 19-Sep-11 13:29:43

Ds just doesnt get numbers. He can count to a 100, but thats about it. He doesnt understand concepts like take away or adding or times. He has no concept of money and calls money 'dollars'. He struggles with before and after, first and last etc.

In school they play 'number bang' where 2 children stand back to back, teacher calls out a times table and the first to get answers turns and shoots his partner. Ds obviously is not good at this 'game' and gets upset at home about it. I told school he was struggling with his times etc and they sent home a times table sheet (i already have one up on ds's bedroom wall, its not helping)

Anyhow ds just cant get his head around it, even the 1 times table and even when i point out the answer is always the second number. He desperately wants to learn them and is getting very frustrated.

Any ideas?

IndigoBell Mon 19-Sep-11 13:31:02


Claw3 Mon 19-Sep-11 13:32:24

Off to google

Claw3 Mon 19-Sep-11 13:45:05

Just googled, where do i order from? It seems expensive.

IndigoBell Mon 19-Sep-11 14:01:27

I haven't used it.

But I think you start with this which is £35.00

Claw3 Mon 19-Sep-11 14:29:15

Thanks Indigo, the sets that were coming up in google were £130-185.

appropriatelytrained Mon 19-Sep-11 16:45:26

Hi Claw

I am HE at the moment so have been working through lots of different resources.

I have found books really very helpful as they are clear and you can photocopy bits and work through little sections.

I combine it with other resources such as using toy soldiers for number work (addition/subtraction) cakes and sweets for fractions and painting and teddies and whatever else I can think of!

I also like mathletics (it doesn't out him against the clock!), BBC Bitesize has great resources as does

Try and find something he is comfortable with and work from there and work at his pace. Consolidating skills is key as our boys get panicked when they don't understand

Times tables is practice - use a table to create confidence. Print and laminate

appropriatelytrained Mon 19-Sep-11 16:46:16

Claw3 Mon 19-Sep-11 17:22:38

Thanks appropriately, will take a look and hopefully start getting somewhere.

Ineedalife Mon 19-Sep-11 17:38:18

Not sure if it is the done thing but 2 of my Dd's learnt theie tables by rote off a CD. they love singing and learnt the Times table songs really easily.

They are both able to use the tables effectivly so I don't think it has harmed them in any way.

Just a thoughtsmile

appropriatelytrained Mon 19-Sep-11 17:47:34

What did you use Ineedalife? I actually think 'rote' learning, or constant exposure to the tables is the only way! Although there are some tricks with some of them, 6-8 are the tricky ones and there's no way around it!

Ineedalife Mon 19-Sep-11 19:35:12

Oh, gosh now youre asking. I think I got Dd3's from Amazon, try googling Times table Songs or something.

tryingtokeepintune Tue 20-Sep-11 23:12:40

Hi Claw,

Your description of your ds's mathematical standard brings back memories of me posting here 12 months ago. Like your ds, mine could only count up to 100. He did not understand more/less/add/subtract/equal etc. However, the help and advice I received from others on this board was invaluable in helping me to teach him.

The most valuable advice I got (can't remember from who) was that if your child has not learnt in eg. 3 sessions, then simplify it and continue to do so. This was how I found out that although ds understood the word more, it was only in relation to whether he wanted more milk or juice. He did not understand the concept of 1 more. To help him, I just went back to basics and literally drew eg. 5 stars and 3 stars and then asked him to point to which column had more stars. Worked with him using visuals for a while and then after 3 weeks, I asked him whether 3 sweets is more or 5 sweets (he just discovered sweets and loved them). We started this from September and it was in December that he could finally answer the question which was more - 26 or 19 - without any mention of sweets. I also worked in blocks of under 10, then numbers to 20, then 30.

Addition - I used visuals first saying 2 sweets add 0 (nothing) is ? Then I progressed to writing the sum across and down in columns. When he was sure of that, I got him to add 1. It took almost a month before I could get him to add 1 to numbers above 10. Then I moved on to 2 etc.

I also used Numicon, the abacus, fingers etc.

It is all in small steps but I found that building his confidence was the main thing and not letting him get things wrong. I did not do any multiplication with him at first but ds can now count in 2, 5 and 10. Add and subtract 10 mentally to any number up to 100, etc. Just small steps.

I have read your posts and know how hard you are trying to put things right for your ds. My ds was in school for years and all they did was babysat him - they did not think he was capable of more and of course the teachers knew best! Luckily he is in a different place now. Want to say I really feel for you and understand what you are going through.

Claw3 Wed 21-Sep-11 08:36:45

trying, thanks very much. I am having difficult, understanding ds's difficulties, its all so conflicting. EP assessed ds scored on 30th centile for math reasoning and comments this is slightly below average. When im trying to do math with ds, in real life without centiles he is far from slightly below average, he just doesnt understand.

Ive been posting on here, trying to make sense of ds's difficulties, when centile scores say one thing and real life tells me another, peoples questions and comments have really helped me to make sense of it all. Your comments make perfect sense, ds has severe difficulties with links, word finding, relationships or how people are related, why i thought math would be anything different, i dont know!

On the plus side he is very strong visually and as you suggest i really do have to go back to the bare basics, with visual supports all the way.

Thanks everyone you are really helping me to make sense of it all smile

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