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Multiplication Help

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    Multiplication Help

    My niece is in 4th grade and her Mom reached out to me for help with multiplication. Helen has dyslexia and her class is specialized to deal with learning differences. However, she's really struggling with the pace this year and dreading school. She learned multiplication facts last year in school, but didn't practice this summer. Now that they're reviewing them, she doesn't remember them at all and homework time has become a 2 hour ordeal with Helen feeling defeated and her Mom overwhelmed.

    I home school my daughters, and one of my daughters has ADHD, but I don't have experience with students with dyslexia. I sent my sister in law the multiplication visuals from Rod and Staff that we use. I suggested multiplication flashcard games, but evidently flashcards are confusing for Helen. I thought maybe some of you might have some good ideas to help my niece master multiplication facts and feel confident in Math. Any tips or ideas?

    Thanks so much!

    Maran Grace
    Atlanta Georgia
    Homeschool Mom to Sarah Catherine (8th), Margaret (3rd), and Charlotte (Jr K)

    Maran Grace

    DD12 Grade 8
    DD7 Grade 3
    DD3 Jr. Kindergarten

    Peachtree Corners, GA

    For her homework, perhaps she can use a printed fact sheet as reference. Not only will this speed homework completion, but she will absorb some of the facts as she works.
    If she needs only 4s-9s, for example, just print those. If her teacher can accommodate further, purpose she can have a reduced load of problems to work each night.

    MP Fourth Arithmetic Plans give excellent examples of quick and visual oral drills, speed drills, board drills, and flash card reviews. (I was reading these plans in preparation for SC 7&8 just this afternoon!)

    Your friend could obtain the R&S 4 Arithmetic Teacher Manual, Speed Drill booklet, Flash Cards, and MP Fourth Arithmetic Individual Lesson Plans. During the school year she can use those brief oral drill techniques prior to homework time and again quickly on Saturday mornings. Clearly next summer needs to include quick daily practice.

    Often we hear "flash cards don't work for my child," but flash cards properly taught can be a fast, efficient way to review! The key is using very small batches in short bursts targeting one skill at a time. Practice flash cards nightly just before homework starts. Keep her piles of mastered cards readily visible for encouragement.

    Multiplication-rich games can help on weekends. Yahtzee and other games requiring skip counting, calculating, and mental multiplying can be fun ways to sharpen and apply +, -, x facts.


      No specific dyslexia experience, but I have used these charts in the past with a couple of my kids. There is an explanation included, but basically they get 2 minutes to fill it in each day and then can use it for their math work for that day only. It helps them learn the patterns and doing it each day helps cement the facts. Their favorite game is multiplication war and having the matrix helped them while they were learning. My kids are much more amenable to playing games repeatedly than doing flash cards repeatedly.

      For 2019-2020
      DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
      DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
      DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
      DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina


        Also, we have tried a flashcard drill technique where you do half of one family (say 4s) in ascending order with the answer showing. This is why I love Abeka math flashcards. Flash the cards with answers and have the child say the problem aloud from top to bottom, using a finger to guide the eyes if necessary from digit to sign to digit and the answer. Then flash them in the same order with a prompt for the answer. As memory is built, start doing them out of order 2-3 times.

        For kids with dysgraphia, there is a school in the Northeast where they have really large flashcards with corresponding dots above each number. They use all kinds of visual cueing to move numbers into memory. That is something to look into because she may be absolutely right that flashcards do nothing for her.
        Mama to 2, Married 17 years

        SY 19/20
        DD 9-3A
        DS 6-SC C


          Thank you all so very much for your responses! These are great things to try and I'll pass them along. It's so helpful to have a community to reach out when problems arise and you need creative solutions. These are great.

          Maran Grace

          Maran Grace

          DD12 Grade 8
          DD7 Grade 3
          DD3 Jr. Kindergarten

          Peachtree Corners, GA


            I've taught 2 dyslexics multiplication now. The thing that worked for both of them was a program called Times Tales. ( The numbers are given a character and the facts become little stories. I tried everything before I found this. Once they were fairly solid on the facts, I had them fill in their own multiplication table and use it for their work until they no longer needed it.

            My oldest graduated from college this year with a science degree. He had As all the way through Advanced Calculus. Take heart!
            Honored & Blessed to be teaching my children at home
            (since 2001)

            DS-sophomore in college
            DD-soon-to-be college freshman!