Friday, February 12, 2016

Bedtime Maths at Bed Time

When I first heard about Bedtime Math on the local public radio station a year ago I thought to myself "duh, why have we never thought of that before?". Now it seems like a no-brainer and there is evidence, although still tentative, that this program is working according to recent research at the University of Chicago.

We've known since the Stone Age that reading to children at bed time will help them become better readers as well as more curious and motivated individuals. So why not maths?

I think the answer to the success of this program lies in the way the author, Laura Bilodeau Overdeck, has managed to shed the nationally pervasive view that maths, especially at the preK - 6  levels  is nothing more than computation.  She sees math through a wider lens through which she weaves numerical relationships and patterns into everyday events and stories. The books contain questions at different levels that can be used by parents to match the developmental/ability levels of their children. One interesting finding from the study is that the books really help parents who are anxious about math or who did not have good math experiences in school.

Earlier today my daughter called to say she had just purchased her first Bedtime Math book for her 18 month old son Lachlan. She also added that he is seeing twos of things everywhere, and says "two"; even when he is breastfeeding :)

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