Probing the Relationship Between Home Numeracy and Children's Mathematical Skills: A Systematic Review

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

FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, cilt.11, 2020 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Derleme
  • Cilt numarası: 11
  • Basım Tarihi: 2020
  • Doi Numarası: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.02074


The concept of home numeracy has been defined as parent-child interactions with numerical content. This concept started to receive increasing attention since the last decade. Most of the studies indicated that the more parents and their children engage in numerical experiences, the better children perform in mathematical tasks. However, there are also contrasting results indicating that home numeracy does not play a role or that there is a negative association between the parent-child interactions and children's mathematics performance. To shed light on these discrepancies, a systematic review searching for available articles examining the relationship between home numeracy and mathematical skills was conducted. Thirty-seven articles were retained and ap-curve analysis showed a true positive association between home numeracy and children's mathematical skills. A more qualitative investigation of the articles revealed five common findings: (1) Advanced home numeracy interactions but not basic ones are associated with children's mathematical skills. (2) Most participants in the studies were mothers, however, when both parents participated and were compared, only mothers' reports of formal home numeracy activities (i.e., explicit numeracy teaching) were linked to children's mathematical skill. (3) Formal home numeracy activities have been investigated more commonly than informal home numeracy activities (i.e., implicit numeracy teaching). (4) The number of studies that have used questionnaires to assess home numeracy is larger compared with the ones that have used observations. (5) The majority of the studies measured children's mathematical skills with comprehensive tests that index mathematical ability with one composite score rather than with specific numerical tasks. These five common findings might explain the contradictory results regarding the relationship between home numeracy and mathematical skills. Therefore, more research is necessary to draw quantitative conclusions about these five points.