There are some new materials being developed now based on what we are learning about how the brain learns. These brain_friendly materials should be an improvement over what has existed. I recently bought a book by Marcia L. Tate titled "Mathematics Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites." I highly recommend her book. She gives a great deal of information on alternative activities that are better for your child's brain development and for learning.
English Worksheets _ What you can do to make working on printable worksheets more enjoyable for your child may often depend on the age and interests of the child. For example, older children may have to read a poem which is on the sheet and then write their own poem in the same sort of style. If they have been used to playing word games while growing up this shouldn't be a problem, you just have to find a way of making the doing of it attractive. One thing that they might enjoy is if you put on a favourite cd and get them to see if they can use some of the main phrases from that in a different way, i.e. in the style of the poem. Depending on your child's age and concentration span there are plenty of fun ways to get them working on printable worksheets.