Each grade act as a step in the whole staircase to the mathematics high_rise building. Performing poor in math in any grade is like breaking some steps in the whole staircase. As broken steps make the whole staircase risky or scary to use in the future, incomplete math competencies in lower grades make math very hard in the high school. So, what it takes to be smart in mathematics? My answer is; stay focused on math in each and every level of your studies. Participate in your class math practice sessions. Ask your teacher lots of questions until you are not clear about any concept. Mathematics is a subject of solving the problems on paper by hand rather than only to read them. As in case of Social Studies taking more readings make you smart, in math practicing lots of problems and solving them by hand makes you smart. To practice mathematics, math workbooks are the good source. You learn a concept in a workbook, then in the same booklet there are more problems on the same concept for practice. Another good method to practice mathematical concepts is using math worksheets and you can print math worksheets free of charge from the web.
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.