In this modern, technology lead world it is easy to overlook the importance of basic mathematics and mental arithmetic. When every mobile phone has a calculator built in, and every website automatically adds up your shopping cart, who needs to add up in their head? The fact is that mathematics is a vital life skill and as adults we know it is something we use every day in our adult lives. We know that it is essential that we teach our children how to do maths from a young age, but sometimes it is easy to overlook the simple steps we can take at home. We can all remember learning our times_tables at school _ one times one is one, two times two is four, and so on _ but there was a reason why we learnt this way, because it works. But it's not just about learning the times tables in sequence through repetition, it's important to get kids practicing with varying levels of multiplication problem. Working through problems and then checking the answers afterwards is a simple way to practice multiplying numbers.
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.