I have received nearly a dozen responses to my Parent Questionnaire (not bad, eh?) about children and math. Our first respondent is Chris – my colleague and friend, a new dad, and a math educator. Since his children are still quite little, he has not had very many experiences with early childhood mathematics, but is hopeful about the deliberate delivery of math content both at home and during child care.
1. Please describe how you are involved in the field of education.
I teach college mathematics. My wife teaches 1st and 2nd grade. I’m also in the process of getting a Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Math education.
2. How many children do you have and how old are they?
I have 2 children, Vincent and Joseph. Vincent is 2 years old; Joe is 4 months old.
3. Describe your children’s early childhood experiences. Did they stay at home with a family member? Did they attend preschool or childcare? Did they attend a home-based childcare program, or a combination of the above? (If your children have not yet entered a childcare setting, please answer these questions for the future, i.e., What do you hope your children’s math experiences will be? What are your plans for introducing math to your children at home?)
Vincent spent his first year (during the school year) at a nanny’s house. She had a 1.5 year old. He spent the next year in a nanny share with our neighbors. The nannies work more on language and behavior than with math. The same goes for my wife and I. We focused significantly more on language and behavior, more recently because he’s exhibiting a speech delay and is seeing an occupational therapist. However, inconsistently my wife and I have counted, compared, sorted with him.
As for Joseph, we haven’t done much yet but hope to be more diligent with the early math experiences.
4. Describe your children’s exposure to math in their prekindergarten years both at home and at school.
5. Knowing what you now know about raising and educating children, what worked well in your children’s early math experiences?
6. What didn’t work well?
7. What would you have done differently at home?
I would like to make a more conscious effort in engaging Joseph in more organized play, particularly focused on mathematical concepts.
8. What would you have like to have seen done differently in their prekindergarten settings?
I would encourage the nannies to vary the activities to incorporate mathematics more deliberately.