BOB HIRSHON (host):
Parents, kids, and math. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
We all know that reading to our kids at home encourages literacy. But we usually leave math to their teachers.
TALIA BERKOWITZ (University of Chicago):
There is this big push to have parents work on literacy with their children. And there isn’t a message being sent to parents that math is something parents can help their kids learn.
University of Chicago developmental psychologist Talia Berkowitz is trying to change that. She and her colleagues had first graders and their parents use an educational app called “Bedtime Math” together just a few times per week. It features fun stories and related math questions, without the distracting noises typical of many kids’ apps.
And what we found is that the more parents and children used the app, the higher childrens’ achievement on a math assessment at the end of the school year.
The researchers report in Science magazine that the greatest gains were in students whose parents had high levels of math anxiety. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.