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Family Engagement Matters in Early Math Learning

In this blog post we highlight takeaways from an e-newsletter that focuses family engagement in early math learning.

A recent e-newsletter from the Harvard Family Research Project highlighted family engagement in early math learning. In the introduction, the newsletter reminds us that math education, like all education, “develops anywhere, anytime, starting at birth.”

This issue of the newsletter offers insights for both practitioners and families. Some of the main takeaways from one of its articles include:

● “Families matter for children’s math development. When families are engaged in their children’s math learning—for example, by telling entertaining math stories, playing digital media games, and doing hands-on mathematics activities at home—children’s understanding of math concepts and math competencies increase.”
● “Mathematics learning starts in infancy and happens everywhere, all the time. For this reason, families are critical to supporting math learning, and research from this series shows that families can do it in unpressured and socially positive ways. For example, reading all kinds of books with math content that is either implicit or explicit can lead to enjoyable parent‒child conversations.”
● “Families and educators must share responsibility for supporting early math development. Families need guidance and ideas for how to support early math development. Educators in a variety of settings (such as teachers, home-based providers, and librarians) can provide families with tips and ideas to encourage math learning. Similarly, educators need to understand the cultural nature of mathematics, and incorporate family and community practices into their teaching practice.”

Included in this issue are these articles:

Math is Everywhere, When We Know What to Look for
Reading Interactive Math Storybooks
Q & A with Laura Overdeck of Bedtime Math: Helping Families and Children Cuddle Up to Math

About Ethan Demme

Ethan Demme is the Chairman and CEO of Demme Learning and is passionate about building lifelong learners. Ethan is an elected member of the board of supervisors in East Lampeter Township, PA. He has never backed down from a challenge, especially if it's outdoors, and is currently into climbing big mountains and other endurance sports. An active member of his local community, Ethan is a well-socialized homeschool graduate who holds a B.A. in Communication Arts from Bryan College.

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