If you have read my article "Helping Your Child With Basic Arithmetic? Stay Away From Worksheets" then you know that I am not a fan of traditional worksheets. After writing that article, I found another credible teacher who has written many ezine articles expounding on the benefits of worksheets. I decided some clarification of position is in order. The primary problem with most math worksheets is that the problems are already written out and the child need only write the answers. For learning and practicing the basic skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, it is much more beneficial for the child to write out the entire fact and say the entire fact out loud. A child will learn a multiplication fact much faster if they are writing out 6 x 8 = 48 at the same time they are saying "six times eight is forty_eight" than if they just see 6 x 8 = ___ and only have to supply the 48. Rather than using worksheets, a better method is to use individual size white boards and have the child writing entire facts many times. Having a child writing 9 x 7 = 7 x 9 = 63 while saying "nine times seven is the same as seven times nine and is equal to sixty_three" is many times more successful than a worksheet with 9 x 7 = ___ and the student just thinks the answer once and then writes that answer on the duplicate problems.
Step 3: Flashcard Ward I have my son in a competition against my husband. I write the problems on flashcards. Whoever answers it first, gets a point. Off course my husband takes his time and makes sure to just stay within a point or two of my son. This is honestly the most effective step for my son. He tries so hard. I started offering prizes for the winner. Nothing big, you have to see how hard an eight year old will work for a cookie. When we complete these steps, he is ready to go! It has been extremely effective for Cameron. He started the school year with a 2 out of 4 as a math skill grade. His last report card just came and he is now on the 4 out of 4 level. I hope it helps you too!