Times Tables Challenges

Retention of information is a challenge for my daughter. She picks up concepts really quickly, particularly maths concepts, but then forgets them in record time too!

So typically, this is what happens:

She learns a new concept, I celebrate the fact she took record time to understand the new idea, faster than her peers even (yay!), we do practice ¬†questions, she answers all the questions flawlessly – Job done. A week later I present her with a question from the topic and she stares blankly at the question and at me. “Have we done this topic Mummy”? she asks.

I’ve read and understood that retention is a challenge for dyslexics and that learning for them involves repetition, more repetition and even more repetition.

As we well know, this makes learning times tables a near on impossibility. We’ve tried everything – books, apps, practice sheets etc. She learns and she forgets.

Someone recommended singing timetables to me. So I searched amazon and there they were. The music is a bit cheesy and the voices a bit odd, but they seem to be working. We’ve learned 5’s and 3’s ¬† so far. I’m encouraged. Its super early days, but I’m hoping this will be the solution. We’ve got 10 more tables to go.

Wish me luck – I will keep you all posted.

Try them out, these are the ones I have.



  1. Janis from ReallyKidFriendly :)

    July 9, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Actually you’d be surprised but lots of children (even without special needs or dyslexia) have similar issues with arithmetic. I’m one of them!! I can do word problems without a hitch, but ask me to calculate a tip and it’s like I’ve never seen numbers before in my life. Mads had the same issue. “Harry’s Magic Tables” has times table rhymes that are so annoying you will want to poke your eyes out, but apparently it works WONDERS for kids in terms of retention.
    My trick, though, is to help her visualise what multiplication actually *means* rather than memorising… the teachers will recommend Numicon and LEGO… but I quite like the “visual maths” approach where you make vertical lines and horizontal lines and then count the intersections (like 3×2 is 3 vertical lines crossed by 2 horizontal lines, and then there are 6 intersections). Vihart has a (crazy quick) explanation here: Vihart Visual Multiplication

    1. anikewariebi

      July 12, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      Wow – visual maths. We will check it out. Jasmine is very visual. Thank you for the great comment and insight.

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