As an educator, I know how important it is to read to children every day. I am always reminding parents to read to their children before putting them to bed each night. As a fifth grade teacher, I require 20-30 minutes of daily reading and send home weekly Reading Logs to be filled out. But how many of us have our children doing math problems before bedtime?
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck, has launched Bedtime Math, a website that gives parents free daily math problems to solve. Since research shows that “early math skills are a better predictor of academic success than reading ability”, Overdeck is hoping that Bedtime Math will alleviate the math anxiety that some children have. I know that I have certainly experienced that in my classroom. Many times I have heard students say, “I’m just no good at math.” It would be very beneficial if we could make them feel as good about their math skills as they do about reading. The question is, how do we do that?
“Everyone knows they should read a book to their kids before bed,” Overdeck says, “but nobody knows they should be doing math too.” Overdeck holds pajama parties, where the children can live out geometry by pedaling square wheeled trikes over curved tracks, make their own card-stock clocks and tangrams, and count out glittery animal stickers and paste them onto homemade dominoes. Could that be the answer we are looking for? So far, there is no research to back up her claims–most of the data is anecdotal. But it does sound like an interesting theory.
For more information about math problems before bedtime, you can read about it in the February 25, 2013 issue of TIME Magazine.
By Andrea Tait, Private Tutor