Frequency of Home Numeracy Activities Is Differentially Related to Basic Number Processing and Calculation Skills in Kindergartners


Yildiz B. , Sasanguie D., De Smedt B., Reynvoet B.

FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, vol.9, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00340
  • Title of Journal : FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY
  • Keywords: home numeracy activities, basic number processing, calculation, kindergarteners, math achievement, MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT, INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES, NUMERICAL ESTIMATION, LEARNING-DISABILITIES, LINE ESTIMATION, YOUNG-CHILDREN, ENVIRONMENT, KNOWLEDGE, PRESCHOOLERS, PREDICTORS

Abstract

Home numeracy has been shown to play an important role in children's mathematical performance. However, findings are inconsistent as to which home numeracy activities are related to which mathematical skills. The present study disentangled between various mathematical abilities that were previously masked by the use of composite scores of mathematical achievement. Our aim was to shed light on the specific associations between home numeracy and various mathematical abilities. The relationships between kindergartners' home numeracy activities, their basic number processing and calculation skills were investigated. Participants were 128 kindergartners (M-age = 5.43 years, SD = 0.29, range: 4.88-6.02 years) and their parents. The children completed non-symbolic and symbolic comparison tasks, non-symbolic and symbolic number line estimation tasks, mapping tasks (enumeration and connecting), and two calculation tasks. Their parents completed a home numeracy questionnaire. Results indicated small but significant associations between formal home numeracy activities that involved more explicit teaching efforts (i.e., identifying numerals, counting) and children's enumeration skills. There was no correlation between formal home numeracy activities and non-symbolic number processing. Informal home numeracy activities that involved more implicit teaching attempts, such as "playing games" and "using numbers in daily life," were (weakly) correlated with calculation and symbolic number line estimation, respectively. The present findings suggest that disentangling between various basic number processing and calculation skills in children might unravel specific relations with both formal and informal home numeracy activities. This might explain earlier reported contradictory findings on the association between home numeracy and mathematical abilities.