Creating “Math Time” for Kids at Home During COVID-19: Kimberly Brenneman Op-Ed for The 74

Kimberly Brenneman, Education program officer at the Heising-Simons Foundation, has co-authored an opinion piece for early childhood educators and organizations on how to best support children’s families in fostering math learning opportunities amid COVID-19-related school closures. The piece is published in The 74, a non-profit, non-partisan news site covering education in America.

“Where did you learn math? Most of us would say, ‘In school.’ All too often, families believe that math learning is something that happens only in class and that educators are the sole providers of math education. With schools being closed and social distancing in place across the country in response to COVID-19, this view is more concerning than ever, especially for children who live in under-resourced communities.

“Research shows that entering kindergarten with strong early math skills is the best predictor of eighth-grade performance regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status. Early math skills predict later academic achievement more than reading abilities or social-emotional development. In fact, longitudinal studies show that children who consistently struggle with math are less likely to receive a high school diploma or attend college. Still, fewer than 1 in 10 preschoolers from families experiencing economic hardship can accurately count 20 objects and recite the numbers 1 to 20.”

We invite you to read the full piece at The 74.

The article is co-written by Gemma Lenowitz, associate program officer of the Inspired Minds portfolio at Overdeck Family Foundation. Also contributing to this essay: Margaret Caspe, research consultant to the National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement, and Kelly James, a partner at Education First Consulting, which supports and coordinates the three-year Family Math Roadmap Initiative.

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