By di91T4lo3p4NdH4. Cursive Letters. At Monday, March 23rd 2020, 05:12:53 AM.
Know the author has background. This person needs to have a background in education and, ideally, should be trained in the latest educational methods, like brain-based teaching/learning. I personally would never use any materials with my child that did not specifically mention being "brain-based." I am not talking about just "research-based." I see more and more sites claiming to have research-based materials, but what I find is definitely NOT based on how the brains actually learns. Brain-based learning is relatively new in the educational world, but most worksheet sites and materials are using old science or, more often, no science at all.
ALEKS, my personal favorite, uses artificial intelligence software to routinely assess what a student actually knows, reinforce the areas that they need extra help in, and moves them through a pie chart of skills with interactive lessons and explanations that students view along the way. Periodically, new assessments are given and the software individually redesigns the material that your student needs to learn to tailor a math course that is unique to each student. Rather than having chapter tests, students work to complete the entire pie chart. The course is complete when the student has 100% mastery, so the foundation of skills is very strong when a student completes the course. In any math program, students should also practice self-checking and use a Critique System for evaluating their personal problem areas, but with regular evaluations such as these and solid online math programs, students can significantly change the way they feel about math, as well as their skill in math. Online math is an excellent option worth considering, certainly for home-schoolers, but also for any students who want to brush up on skills over the summer.
I know that many people will ignore the science in favor of the convenience. It is very difficult to fight the tide when there are so many internet sites pushing worksheets at parents, and so many reputable textbook companies doing likewise. It is difficult to remember the reasons to avoid them when one has very little time to devote to working with math. Worksheets just seem so much easier than doing things any other way. Can they really cause harm? The answer, of course, is YES they can. In my perfect world of mathematics education, no pre-school child is ever exposed to a worksheet of any kind. I would swing my magic wand, all worksheets would disappear, and the memory of them would be gone forever. In the real world, I know that simply will not happen. There will still be some parents who will insist on using worksheets.