In addition to mental math activities, children should be given grade level mathematics workbooks to strengthen their math skills. Parents should have these books and other subject content books at home for additional practice and homework. These can be purchased from bookstores, teacher supply stores and multiple-purpose department stores where school or office supplies are sold.
Another recommendation for parents is to not allow children to utilize calculators at an early age. Children need to first develop their brains to be able to do mathematical computations on their own. Constantly using calculators at a young age can stunt the mathematical growth of children. If children develop math skills by mentally thinking of the answer to simple problems, they will be better prepared for everyday life, such as grocery shopping, balancing a checkbook, to name a few.
Computer based math practice problems are helpful in training children how to use math skills in real life while still using tried and true methods of testing. As with the old-school techniques, modern math programs also use multiple choice, fill in the blank and true or false questions to quiz students.
As children become more confident in their math skills, give them worksheets one grade level above their current grade. Help them if necessary, but when students become successful in the upper level workbooks; their confidence will really improve. The seed will be planted early and parents can watch as it grows.