Building Math Confidence for the Whole Family

Last month, Zeno piloted a new Parent Workshop model as a part of the Family MathWays program. Parents discussed kindergarten math skills and shared ideas for math games.

In the initial development of the Family MathWays program, we focused on developing resources and events that centered on children’s math learning. While this is still an essential part of our work, we also recognize the irreplaceable role parents play as their child’s first and most important teacher. In our discussions with parents and caregivers, we’ve heard a strong desire in the communities we serve for parent-centered content to compliment child-centered resources.

What happens in a Parent Workshop?

Parents working together to create their own math games at the Parent Workshop

Last month we piloted a new Parent Workshop model with our partners at Heritage Head Start in White Center. For this first Parent Workshop our goals were to:

  • Spark interest in math play with kids
  • Share knowledge of the math concepts kids need to know by kindergarten
  • Be a place where families can build community with others
  • Increase confidence in math skills by building upon caregivers’ own strengths
  • Give free resources, math games, and tools so that all families can play math at home!

During the workshop, parents and caregivers first had the opportunity to learn about and discuss a list of math skills commonly expected of children entering kindergarten. Parents and caregivers then worked in small groups to brainstorm ideas for games that they would want to play with their families that address these math skills. At the end of the workshop, parents and caregivers had an opportunity to play math games with their children and take home learning resources.

How did it go?

Overall, parents and caregivers enjoyed the experience, and we gained some great insights about the ways families play with math at home. Feedback from parents and caregivers were overwhelmingly positive: participants felt they learned new, easy ways to teach math to their children, and liked having time to come up with math games to play with their kids.

We thought this was a great start to working more directly with parents and caregivers, and look forward to building on this event to host more Parent Workshops next year!

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