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.
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.