The other day J-Man (10) and I were discussing timestables for no particular reason (honestly- why were we discussing them??).
I commented that most kids his age in school would know their timestables by now, but that it wasn't a worry for me because he was able to work them out, and if he ever decided they would be useful to know quickly- he would work out a way to memorise them.
He said he wasn't sure he could work them out, so I asked him if he could work out 7x8.
Veyr quickly he supplied the answer, and I was mroe than a little amazed.
I asked him how he came to it.
"Oh- it was easy Mum- I just added 16 to 40."
"But why 40?", I asked, because I couldn't think what was obvious about that at all.
"Half of 80", he answered.
We dug a little deeper, and this is what I found.
When presented with the sum 7x8, my unschooled 10 year old multiplied 8x10, halved it, and added 16 which he knew was 2x8.
10 x 8 = 80
80/2 = 40
5x8 + 2x8= 7x8
Then he floored me by saying he wasn't any good at maths, it isn't really his "thing".