Dyscalculia? It’s in the Numbers

You have probably never heard of dyscalculia. I hadn’t either when we first started homeschooling back in the 90s. I was working with my three oldest boys and finding the younger one was moving much faster through math than one of his older brothers. He could figure things in his head while older brother struggled. By the time my older son was in the 6th grade, I was aware that there was a problem. He still couldn’t memorize his multiplication facts. I had figured out that he reversed his numbers without realizing it. If we were doing 7×8 he would put down 56 sometimes and 65 other times. He didn’t notice his mistake. He had the same problem with phone numbers at times.

So I did some research and came across some articles about dyscalculia. What I learned is that dyscalculia is generally understood to be a mathematical equivalent to dyslexia. If you have a child who is struggling with math, perhaps you should consider this as a possible cause.

It has been determined that children with ADHD are at higher risk for dyscalculia.


Here are some resources to help you get started in understanding dyscalculia and how to address it.

11 Facts About the Math Disorder Dyscalculia

Understanding Dyscalculia

How to Help Children with Dyscalculia


Resources to Help with Visualizing Large Numbers

Here are a couple of great resources that will help students visualize very large numbers.

One is a book written for early elementary ages called How Big is a Million? published by Usborne. It gives a simple illustration about understanding large numbers that young children can grasp. It comes with a poster to further help children visualize what a million looks like.

And for older students, we recently found a very interesting website called the MegaPenny Project that shows large numbers by using stacks of pennies. The first image is one single penny and by the time you get to the end of the illustrations, you are at a Quintillion. While we will,  in all likelihood, never actually have to use a number that big, it’s still quite fascinating to see the stacks of pennies grow to that enormous number.

Have you found other sources that help with this concept? I’d love to hear about them.