Many people believe that you have to have a knack for math in order to do well in it. However, understanding the basic principles of math does not need any innate talent, or a genius intellect. What it does need is a change in attitude, and a solid foundation of basic skills on which to build. Mathematics worksheets can help you provide your preschooler with a solid grounding that will help them conquer math. The first secret you need to discover is tha your children will follow your lead. Not a big secret to most parents, but sometimes we are unaware of the influence we have on our children. How often have you sat faced with a list of figures _ balancing the check book, credit card statement or filling out tax forms _ and muttered about how much you hate math, how hard it is, how you just don't have a head for math? You need to stop yourself right now! What you are telling your child is that math is a horrid chore, a difficult task, and one that you either have the talent to do, or you don't. You are making your child anxious about a school subject that they will have to do for many years _ and a skill that they will need for the rest of their lives. You are also telling them that if they struggle with math, it just means that they don't have the talent for it _ and it is therefore not their fault, and there is nothing they can do about it.
Engagement entails much more than rote repetition of a procedure. Math worksheets tend to present very similar problem types over and over, leading to mundane practice of disassociated skills. For students who understand the material and successfully complete an assignment, another worksheet becomes meaningless. On the other hand, for the students who don't understand the material, an alternative method of instruction is what's needed. Another worksheet simply adds to the student's frustration, or worse, contributes to a belief that "I'll never understand math." A cute image or a "fill_in_the_blanks" riddle does nothing to increase engagement or learning (and let's face it, those riddles are not funny!). Instead, teachers need to increase engagement by providing students with exercises in which they discover patterns and relationships, solve problems, or think creatively about math relationships.