Parental Early Math Support: The Role of Parental Knowledge About Early Math Development
Douglas, Ashli-Ann Latoya
Parents vary substantially in the frequency and complexity of the math support that they provide to their children and this variability is often related to their children’s math knowledge, at least for numeracy. The Parent Early Numeracy Support (PENS) model holds that parents’ child-specific numeracy beliefs and socioeconomic status play important roles in their efforts to support the development of their children’s math knowledge. The proposed study focuses on the nature and role of parents’ knowledge about the development of two critical early math topics - patterning and numeracy - in their efforts to support their children’s math development at home. Parents of 3- and 4-year-olds (N = 344) reported on their knowledge of early numeracy and patterning development, numeracy and patterning beliefs, numeracy and patterning support, and their education and income via a survey. Parents’ knowledge about early numeracy or patterning development was not consistently related to their education or income. However, their knowledge about early patterning development was positively related to all of the measured child-specific patterning beliefs and was predictive of both the frequency and complexity of their patterning support. Their knowledge about early numeracy development was also positively related to most of their child-specific numeracy beliefs but was not a unique predictor of their numeracy support. Implications of these findings including how the PENS model can be expanded to capture both numeracy and patterning and to integrate parents’ knowledge about early math development are discussed.