To summarize: math worksheets don't teach, teachers teach _ Of course, there is a place for math worksheets. After some instruction has occurred, math worksheets can provide extended practice and support development in fluency, provided the teacher is engaged with students as they work. Teachers who are effective at grouping students can use math worksheets as a springboard for discussions, discovery, and communication. So the next time you do a search for curriculum materials, skip the worksheets. Instead, consider resources that provide interactive experiences or consider sites that provide students with challenging problems. These sites will more likely engage students, foster discussion, and build a true understanding of the purpose and joy of learning math.
If you do want to produce your own worksheets and don't have the Microsoft software, you can download free tools like OpenOffice or use an online word processor or spreadsheet such as the free Google Docs which help you do similar tasks. You just need to create a table with as many rows and columns as you need and then type in some numbers before printing it off for your children to practice _ depending on the level of complexity choose single digits or multiple digits. If you're not sure what level to start at, aim low, start with easy numbers and see how your child goes, the self_esteem boost they'll get from acing the first worksheet will give them confidence for more difficult math problems.