My son, who is dyslexic, has always liked math and has done well in it. He's pretty much the opposite of me. I skipped first grade in grammar school. That's the grade where they introduce math, so when I started second grade I was insecure, unsteady, and threatened by math. It's continued ever since.
Unfortunately his school district made the jump into a terrible program called Everyday Math last year. As a young dyslexic child, my kid needs a lot of structure, and needs to really understand things before he moves on. Everyday Math. Ugh. Here's a Youtube video talking about Everyday Math that makes some excellent points.
Nowadays, there are many different ways to teach math, for all of the different types of learners. I occasionally see the names of different math programs float by in emails and on websites. This page will try to list some resources and give a perspective on which might be good for your flavor of learner.
A girlfriend of mine used to play math games in her car with her son when he was a baby. Can you imagine? She would ask him to solve simple math questions, and ... I don't know, my mind just boggles. But her trick is to just care about it. Make it fun. Help make your children aware of numbers.
Many schools like to suggest manipulatives for helping children understand math. Math U See is a home-based program.
My son did pretty well with addition and subtraction. Never really memorized them, but could figure them out very fast, mentally. In third grade, though, he had to memorize the multiplication tables, and it was hell. I'm sure that it was partially my problem. I am *not* a sit with a flash card type of mother, especially since what I've read tells me that flashcards don't work with dyslexics.
I just found a program that sounds absolutely wonderful, but am having a very hard time finding someone to teach it to my child. It's for right-brained kids and people are swearing that it changed their child's life! It's the Making Math Real program, based in Berkeley. Here's how they teach multiplication.
We also used quite a few of the Youtube videos for multiplication. There are quite a few that just read the tables and show videos. I'm not sure how well these work, but at least your child gets exposure (sigh).
I love this guy. He's got a gentle voice, a friendly twinkle in his voice, and gives you very easy ways to calculate. Secrets of fast math revealed.shows all sorts of tricks. If you want the entire series, you have to pay $42 though.
General Math Resources
There are many online math resources. One of the coolest ones that I've seen is by a guy named Salman Khan and is called The Khan Academy. You have to see this site. He's put together a billion videos describing everything from simple addition to implicit diffentiation. Living Math is a forum for discussing teaching living math and science. The Living Math website is here, and you can sign up for the Yahoogroup here. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LivingMathForum/ The Yahoogroup members compare the math curriculum programs. Math Playground is an interactive math tool developed by teachers to help kids learn how to solve word problems. It contains math games and videos. Timez Attack is a multiplication video game. The base version is free. I was very impressed by it and by the little video on the site, so I bought it. Unfortunately, my nine year old is extremely videogame savvy and thought I was insane for thinking that he would play a simplistic, repetitive game (sigh). Not a success. Math Mammoth has math curridulum for homeschoolers, but you can also buy the electronic versions for between $2 and $5.50 apiece. AAAMath has a set of interactive math lessons.
Teacher Blogs and Resources
Let's Play Math is a lovely blog that contains umpteen references to all sorts of math teacher blogs, talks about fun math techniques that teachers are using, and has some great resources. Two more fun math teacher blogs are Math Teachers at Play and Math Carnival. And Math Mama, has a posting that lists 20 delectable math books. Also check out her math links on this page - formidable! Living Math is website devoted to helping children explore and enjoy math in a dynamic and holistic manner (e.g. out of the ordinary). Living math is the discussion of math education incorporating living books and materials with or without traditional curricula as the primary learning tool I would suggest that you check out their reader lists, which contains a list of books that support math ideas, at every step of the way. Kudis on the Living Math approach, incidentally, which includes learning math through history lesson plans and book lists. An example is their Navigational Math and Science page. Cool stuff. There's also a Living Math forum. Hoodamath is a website created by a math teacher. It contains tons of exercises and games. It was voted as one of the top 20 teacher blogs for 2009.
The Rainbow Resource Center has many books and games to support all levels of math. Simply go to the Rainbow Resource Center website and type the level of math that you want to learn or practice.
And a little science learning too!