Thanks to this app, parents don't have to be math whizzes to help their kids improve their arithmetic skills.
One of my favorite parts of of childhood was reading with my parents.
I always looked forward to snuggling up with them as they read stories and made goofy monster voices. One of my favorites was " The Monster at the End of This Book" by Jon Stone.
My least favorite part of being a kid? Math homework.
If I needed help, I had to wait for my dad to come home from work because my mom couldn't help me (I think I got my aversion to math from her). I still remember the time when he promised that we got all the math problems correct, but it turned out I got one wrong. That was in first grade. I may or may not still be bitter about it more than 20 years later. (Spoiler alert: I'm still bitter.)
But now there's an awesome free app that combines story time and math for a learning/bonding win.
There are a lot of apps out there to help with math skills and just as many that tell children's stories in an interactive way. Bedtime Math, created by the nonprofit Bedtime Math Foundation, combines both approaches ... and they're seeing results.
A study found that using Bedtime Math regularly can help elementary school children do significantly better in math class. The best part? You don't have to be confident about your math skills to play.
In fact, kids in the study who had "math-anxious" parents (the ones who didn't like math or feel confident in their skills) actually saw the most improvement.
Here's how it works: Every day, there's a new math problem added.
You don't jump straight to the adding and subtraction. First, there's a story to read (and, if you're lucky, there's a cute animal party involved).
Once you're in the app, there are no scores, timing, or drills to do. It's just a low-key, fun bonding storytelling tool to use while unwinding at the end of the day.
It's more fun than doing a boring math worksheet, and there's strong evidence that's it's really improving children's math skills.
By the end of the school year, the kids with math-anxious parents were performing as well as children whose parents were confident in their math abilities.
Hopefully, this app can help us shift our approach to math. Sure, not all of us are good at math, but that shouldn't mean our kids can't succeed at it.
Obviously, not all families have the ability to buy an iPad. Some families may not have the time for bedtime reading because parents are working multiple jobs. But the lesson here is that having a few minutes of bonding time between parent and child can help break a family cycle of low math performance.