There are both similarities and differences between the new computerized programs and the former method of writing in math workbooks, tearing out the pages and turning them in.
The same general idea worked when it came to my son's Lego's! It was a great way to work on patterns and following directions! I would draw a pattern on paper for him to copy and recreate with his Legos. It not only helped with his color recognition, but his problem solving skills, fine motor skills and he didn't even know he was doing math!!
Learning math skills can be frustrating and complicated for children. In order to make things easier, schools are using new programs to help children learn math in a fun and simple way, mimicking computer games.
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.