Camelia is a colleague of mine at the college and our offices have been on the same floor for years. She is a much-loved math professor (In case you didn’t know, this is a little unusual, as math professors often get a bad rap, simply because they teach difficult content and are blamed when it doesn’t go well.) Camellia, as you will read, comes from Romania so her daughter’s first language is Romanian. See how this changed her perspective about math education and how it played out over the long run.
- Please describe how you are involved in the field of education.
I teach college Math
- How many children do you have and how old are they?
I have a 5 year old daughter
- 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?)
She started attending Bright Horizons since she was 14 months.
- Describe your children’s exposure to math in their prekindergarten years both at home and at school.
When my daughter was 4 and ½ year old I realized she was never exposed to any Math (except counting up to 20) neither in school nor at home.
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?
Being a family of immigrants, we were focusing on teaching our daughter Romanian and English. When we realized she was so behind with Math (and so ahead with English, she started reading when she was 3) we withdrawn her from preschool and started doing Math and science at home:
-counting everything and everywhere
-playing games (e.g. up and down)
-adding, subtracting food (crackers, gummy bears etc)
-money, clock time, real life Math
-reading books about science and Math
8. What would you have like to have seen done differently in their prekindergarten settings?
I understand reading is really important (she had homework about reading, vocabulary since she was 3), but introducing Math in early years is important as well. I would like to see that Math is introduced/taught even from preschool.