Family Engagement Matters 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:
Songs, music, and rhyme are all helpful tools to aid students with math facts. Download some math songs to sing while you’re outside! There are also activities for when the weather doesn’t lend itself to outside math.