Growing up, I wouldn’t have put “math” and “fun” in the same sentence. Art? Yes. Writing? Well, of course! But math? Nope. I knew it was important because my mother said so, but not because of any practical applications. She drilled me on multiplication tables, enrolled me in a “mathematics achievement center,” which was not an ideal Saturday morning for a five-year-old, and pushed me to try higher level classes as I got older. All of this was a recipe to HATE MATH. I’m sure I’m not the only one. PBS SoCal’s latest Early Learning = Success initiative, FAMILY MATH, is here to turn that tired story on its head. Math can be fun—for you and your little ones. In fact, you’re probably already teaching math to your kids and you don’t even know it!
FAMILY MATH is designed to help the adults in a child’s life to prepare for kindergarten. PBS SoCal gave L.A. Parent an exclusive look into the new program, which officially launches this afternoon.
Below is a sneak peek at the video component, a self-paced learning experience of 20–30-minute lessons for caregivers of children ages 2 – 5 years old.
Sorting & Collecting
Number Sense & Counting
Other video topics include patterns, shapes and spatial sense. Each lesson is designed to utilize everyday objects and activities that turn math into a fun and joyful experience for the whole family.
In addition to these videos, FAMILY MATH will offer virtual parent workshops, in-person workshops (once it’s safe to do so), editorial content around early learning and math, a newsletter, and digital resources like easy math activities to do with your kids.
An important aspect of the FAMILY MATH program is accessibility. Many of the resources are offered in both Spanish and in English and most of the suggested activities can be done with what families already have at home, like this counting activity and measurement activity.
The FAMILY MATH program was years in the making. Through rigorous research, user tests, partnerships with head starts, non-profits, and learning agencies like L.A. County Library and Compton Public Library and a pilot program in the Compton community, PBS SoCal created a program with an emphasis on families’ voices. Parents and caregivers asked for “rigorous simplicity” and the result is a comprehensive program that is fun, easy and pressure-free.
Last week we chatted with Jamie Annunzio Myers, COO of PBS SoCal and KCET, and Frances Zazueta, Early Learning Manager at PBS SoCal, about their new multi-platform initiative and how we can incorporate math in everyday activities with our children. As a mother of a two-and-a-half-year-old myself, I was excited to learn how easy and fun incorporating math into our lives can be. Both Myers and Zazueta emphasized building math confidence and creating math positivity starts at home.
5 ways families can start having fun with math today
- Laundry—This “chore” turns into an instant sorting activity! Have your child group like items together to help them understand similarities and differences.
- Cook a meal together—Have your child sort the ingredients for another fun way to understand similarities and differences.
- Build a puzzle—Put together a puzzle and learn spatial reasoning.
- Go to the grocery store—Bring your child along for plenty of math opportunities, like counting all the fruit in your basket or sorting different vegetables.
- Turn to nature—Step outside to count some rocks, sticks or leaves and learn relationships between numbers.
For more ideas, check out the blog posts on the FAMILY MATH website, which include simple and short activities, tips and community stories about real families using math in their everyday lives. Sign up for the newsletter to stay-up-to-date on the latest digital tools to help your little one learn math and have fun!