Some grade-schoolers love doing math worksheets. However, some kids just tolerate them, and some outright dislike them. Math worksheets are unavoidable to a certain degree, with students meeting them both at school and for homework.
When children start working on extra problems, whether as part of a tutoring program or simply as additional help, parents’ feelings about math worksheets begin to bubble to the surface as well. Your opinion on the worksheets might mirror your child’s: You love them, tolerate them, or dislike them. Part of the frustration stems from the fact that parents are often required to grade this extra math. This might not be a big deal for simple addition problems, but once you get to multiplying three-digit numbers by three-digit numbers, grading can become tedious, even if you are using a calculator or looking at the solutions at the back of the book.
Fortunately, technology is changing math worksheets for the better. Your children will appreciate the difference, and so will you.
Activities Don’t Feel Like Worksheets
Many online math activities, including iPad-based tutoring programs, still offer dozens of problems per assignment just like worksheets do. But because it’s digital, children usually don’t see such activities as work. They’re not sitting at a desk or table with a pencil and a sheet of paper, figuring out problem after problem, so it can’t be work. This simple shift can inspire students to enthusiastically tackle math they might have otherwise shunned on a worksheet.
Technology Asks and Answers the Questions
Unless you have an answer key, parents will be tasked with determining if a homework problem is correct. Though most parents will naturally accept this job in order to help their kids, it still is inefficient. Most online worksheets and tutoring programs provide the answers, usually instantly, which is not only a time-saver but gives students an immediate response while problems are still fresh in their minds.
Some math websites and online tutors offer equation generators that will produce problems, either one at a time or as entire printable worksheets. The equations generated usually differ every time, and the correct answers are just a click away as well.
Work on Math Wherever It’s Comfortable
As already mentioned, math worksheets usually require a table or desk and a student sitting upright doing his or her work. For many kids, this feels too much like school, and they resist. Technology has allowed students to improve their math wherever they are comfortable. Furthermore, iPad-based tutoring programs permit math improvement in almost any place—in the car, at a restaurant, while waiting at the orthodontist’s office, and so on.
Tutors Who Can Review the Work
With some iPad-based tutoring programs, assignments are graded and assessed by instructors who can communicate with the students via the tablet. Not only does this ease the grading burden on parents, but it also provides a more objective voice during the tutoring process. Every parent at least once has experienced some frustration reviewing their child’s schoolwork, possibly because you see a wrong answer to an easy problem or because kids want to argue that an incorrect answer was right. Skilled tutors can provide the patience and enthusiasm that parents occasionally (and understandably) can’t.
What are your feelings about math worksheets?