Math pervades our daily lives, even though we are unaware of it most of the time. Critical thinking skills often require an understanding of at least basic math, and this is something each of us can and will use throughout our lives. For that reason, it’s best to start young. If your child can start with kindergarten math, their math learning will progress naturally, and continue to grow.
Math worksheets present mathematical problems to a child in numerical form. They are ideal for practice, as unlike math word problems, or story problems, they lay out the problem purely as a set of numbers that have to be multiplied, divided, subtracted or added. It can get a lot more complicated than that, of course, but that is the basics of the concepts used.
Math word problems tell a story that requires math skills in order to solve the problem. Students have to read the problem carefully in order to understand what is required. They have to take time to write down an equation that equals the story, then solve it. Math story problems certainly have their place, but in many ways math worksheets are more immediate and easier to use, and they help to teach students more quickly and more directly.
Math worksheets offer convenience
Math worksheets are extremely convenient and can be downloaded from any of the many websites that host them. MathNook.com offers math worksheets as well as math worksheet generators making it very easy to get exactly what you need to work with your child. They can also be used online, in many cases, making them even more convenient. This also works well for busy parents, who only need to teach concepts once and then let the child get on with it. Worksheets also make it easy for the child to work at times that is most convenient for them, if they have other after-school activities to attend.
A busy parent can quickly make up a math worksheet, if that is preferred to downloading pre-made worksheets. Printable math worksheets are of course readily available online and make the process even easier. Regular practice in this way can hone a child’s math skills to perfection in a very short period of time.
Engaging worksheets work best
Worksheets can be boring and repetitive. This can make them not very engaging for the student. Be careful to only choose engaging worksheets for math practice. Avoid the math worksheets that are simply columns of problems presented in an unfriendly manner. Seek out the more user-friendly ones that present the problems in a way that require some thinking. Some actually state that they are “brain-friendly,” so look for that.
When a child is engaged in their math practice, they will learn faster, and retain what they learn better too. They will be much more inclined to do the work if they enjoy it to at least some degree. Math teaching can be a challenge sometimes, but with a little thought beforehand, it can be engaging and fun.
Supervise your child’s time with math worksheets where possible
There is nothing worse than a mistake that is repeated over and over again. This is a common problem for children using math worksheets who are not regularly supervised. They will make the occasional mistake, but if it is spotted immediately, or early on, the mistake can be rectified and not become an ingrained habit.
When you use pre-made worksheets it is very easy to set your child going with them and leave them while you do something else. This is fine as long as you regularly check that all is well. Leaving them alone for too long can often mean that a mistake is repeated, which is a waste of time for both of you.
As well as using worksheets, you can occasionally let your child play some of the free games involving math that can be found online. There are plenty of cool math games to be found, and this will offer some light relief from working with worksheets all the time. The free games include visual models that a child usually finds fun to explore, and of course, they are learning something valuable at the same time. MathNook.com offers a variety of fun math games to help make learning fun!