@pastanaga - I've always found it funny that people who would be ashamed to admit that they have trouble reading or writing will happily admit to being terrible at maths.

I had a really great math teacher when I was in elementary school and I still remember her lessons more clearly than almost anything else. We would sometimes spend the whole lesson on a single problem, talking about it and trying different solutions to see if they fit.

She really helped me to see what was behind the numbers and why they had to fit together that way. And it didn't make me slow to figure things out, either. Most of us could solve quite large problems in our heads because of the strategies she taught us.

Unfortunately, she was one good teacher among quite a few not so good ones and my enthusiasm for math was gone by the end of high school. I wish she had been writing the math lesson plans for everyone else in the district.