Using subtraction worksheets is a great way to really solidify your child’s ability to subtract. Here are some of the ways they can help:
1. Reinforce your child’s memorization of key number relationships: Kids who eventually are able to instantly know the answer to questions like ’15 minus 9’ or ’11 minus 8’ will have an advantage.
2. Give them practice on harder sums, thus helping them develop some ‘tricks’: When confronted with a more challenging question – let’s say 77 minus 29 – rather than being daunted, kids who are comfortable with subtraction will have a range of strategies up their sleeve. In this instance, they might mentally subtract 30 from 77 to get 47 and then add 1 to get the answer, 48.
3. Develop their ability to check by adding: If your child is uncertain of their answer, encourage them to add their answer to the number they were subtracting by. For further addition practice, see our addition worksheets page.
Our Free Subtraction Worksheets
Each of our 30 subtraction worksheets contains 30 questions in a 5 by 6 grid, with the numbers down the left column being subtracted from those on the top row.
Each worksheet contains 30 potential questions, however, every now and then an answer square is grayed out if it would otherwise have required a negative number. A completed answer sheet is included for every worksheet. The worksheets are split into three groups:
3. Advanced: Challenging two-digit number subtraction and a little bit beyond. The final worksheet (number 30) contains much larger numbers – but although it looks hard, it is actually quite easy and is designed to instill confidence in children in dealing with bigger numbers. (Click here for answer sheets).
If your child is not quite ready for these worksheets yet, you may find our subtraction flash cards useful.
Suggestions For Use
* Print off two copies of the same worksheet, for you and your child to complete separately. Then, swap sheets and mark each other’s work using the answer sheet. Discuss any that your child (or you!) gets wrong.
* Complete a worksheet yourself, deliberately making several mistakes. See if your child can correctly identify all of the errors. Then, swap roles – many children will relish the task of trying to see if they can fool you, (and of course, all the while they will be improving at subtraction!)
* If your child is confused with why some squares are grayed out, why not give them a real world example? For instance, line up five pens and ask them to take away (subtract) seven and discuss with them how this is not possible.
* Have your students complete a worksheet at the start of each lesson, against the clock, and see which students are among the first to finish with a perfect score.
* Play bingo with completed (and corrected) answer sheets. Distribute 30 small paper squares to each child and have them write each number from their worksheet on them. Then put all of the squares in a box and draw them out one-by-one, with the children crossing off their numbers when called.
Used properly, subtraction worksheets are a great tool. However, used incorrectly they can make kids feel pressured or bored.
If your child is not having fun and enjoying the challenge of these worksheets, don’t try to force the issue – save them for a later day