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Math worksheets: How to use them to help your child succeed in school

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Helping your child to succeed in math can be as simple as using some fun math worksheets and learning the mistakes to avoid pushing them away from math. 

You don’t have to be a math whiz yourself to teach your child math, you just have to be willing to learn beside them and help them find the resources they need to succeed. 

How to use math worksheet flashcards 

Math flashcards can help your child build rote memory of different math facts including addition and multiplication.  

Many schools require kids to know basic addition and multiplication facts by heart. 

But there is a better way to use flashcards than just drill and kill. Drill and kill means showing the card and the child saying the answer. 

Playing games with the cards is a good way to help build math fluency. 

Math Go Fish can be played with a set of math flashcards. 

Instead of matching cards, you are going to match sums. For example, “Do you have something that adds to 8” “Yes 6 and 2”  

Then when you have two cards that both add to the same sum, those become a pair.  A pair could be 2+2 and  3+1 because they both add up to four. 

How worksheet Math drills can help at home 

Elementary math is mostly your child practicing the skill over and over again. One way to get them a little bit excited to do math worksheets is to give them math worksheets with a fun theme. 

We have these fun unicorn math worksheets that have pages that have regrouping and sheets that do not, so you can practice the skill your child is struggling with. 

Another math workbook that we have on our site is the St. Patrick’s Day Math Activity Book. This activity book contains pages that cover skills from pre-k through third or fourth grade, including counting, addition, subtraction, number bonds, number recognition, and multiplication. 

Sometimes having a fun-themed page can make practicing math skills feel like less of a chore for kids. 

Learning games make learning math fun 

Whether you are playing math games online or printing out some fun math games to share at home, they are a great way to help your child practice. 

This Pizza Game is a really fun printable math game that you can use to help your child sharpen their addition skills.

This ladybug or ladybird math activity is a fun activity to practice addition and subtraction at the same time.  We play tricky math with this where my kids see if they can trick me or I can trick them with the problems on the page.  I pretend to get tricked occasionally so when they make mistake, it’s not something negative but something to grow from. 

If you are looking for more fun ways to work with math in your home check out our post here for 5 more tips on math fun. 

You can also consider some of these maths games from Learning Resources for more fun;

5 Things to avoid when helping your child with Maths

When you are helping your child to improve their math skills, there are few mistakes you want to avoid. You may not even know you are making these mistakes.

1. Minimizing their struggle 

When your child is struggling, don’t say things like “Oh this is easy” or “You know this.” Even if you feel like it is easy and they know it, right this minute they are struggling.  Give them some empathy and meet them where they are right now.  It is not unusual for a child to waiver in their confidence of their math skills until they are truly mastered. 

2. Saying you are bad at Maths

Saying. “Oh honey, I’m bad at math, I don’t know if I can help you,” is not helpful. Even if you feel like you are bad at math, you want your child to learn that math is a skill that can be practiced at and get better, not something that you are inherited good or bad at. 

3. Doing “drill and kill”

The “drill and kill” method is going over the same material in a flat boring method that basically kills your kids motivation for learning that skill. 

A better way to help them with their math skills is showing them real world ways they will use those skills, jobs that need those skills, and fun worksheets that get them excited to practice. 

4. Moving too quickly 

Have you ever tried to learn something from someone who was already really good at it?  Maybe it was a craft or a computer program at work.  They thought they were going slowly enough but to you, it felt like a whirlwind of information.  

We unintentionally can do this to our children too. 

When we understand basic math really well it can be hard to remember what it was like to struggle with it. 

Breaking it down visually and checking for comprehension by asking your child questions is the best way to make sure you aren’t going to quickly 

5. Talking over your child 

This is an easy one to do. I know I am guilty of it. I will be showing my child something with their math, then they start telling me something and I just bulldoze over them with my words. 

Even if what they are saying sounds irrelevant to what you are working on, take the time to listen to what they are saying.  If it is truly irrelevant, validate their feelings then transition them back to their assignment.  

They may just be wanting to share something because they know at this moment they have your undivided attention and they need to talk about it. 

The takeaway

Free math printables are a great way to help your child to practice their math skills. Fun themes, games, real-world math use are helpful when your child is struggling with math. 

But there are a few mistakes to avoid if you want your child to grow in their math skills including minimizing their struggle, saying you are bad at math, drill and kill, moving too quickly through steps, and talking over your child. 

If you want more free printable math sheets and more math help check out our maths page. 

If you want more maths activities do check these from the site out:

Math activities

Here are even more helpful maths activities from around the web:

More maths activities

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Come back soon,

Helen

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