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How Do Parents Support Preschoolers’ Numeracy Learning Experiences at Home?

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This study described the kinds of early numeracy experiences that parents provide for their preschoolers, and determined the extent to which parental experiences and involvement in home activities enhanced preschoolers’ numeracy knowledge. Twenty-five parents completed a home activity questionnaire, a 2-week diary study, and a videotaped play session where they were asked to draw out numerical content. Preschoolers’ numeracy scores were predicted by: (1) parental reports of positive personal experiences with mathematics and (2) involvement in activities with complex (versus basic) numeracy goals. Parents felt that most activities had important or essential mathematical value, but focused on number sense goals. Finally, parents who reportedly spent more time on numeracy tasks received high quality interaction ratings in the videotaped sessions; but these variables did not predict numeracy scores. The findings are discussed in terms of educating parents about incorporating numeracy concepts.

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This research was supported by a grant from the Brandon University Research Committee. The author wishes to thank the parents, children and teacher of the preschool where this study took place. Thanks is also extended to Paul Betts and Ralph Mason for their assistance with some conceptual aspects of the paper, and to Jo-Anne LeFevre for her expertise in data analysis. Finally, thanks to Lori Mergulhao, Vanessa Rigaux, and Corinne Thuring for their assistance in data collection, data entry and/or data coding.

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Correspondence to Sheri-Lynn Skwarchuk.

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Skwarchuk, SL. How Do Parents Support Preschoolers’ Numeracy Learning Experiences at Home?. Early Childhood Educ J 37, 189–197 (2009).

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