Use of Maths app at Home Improves Achievement at School

October 26, 2015 Published by

Here at the Good App Guide we are continually keeping up to date with the latest trends and research regarding children’s apps and we were interested to see the findings of a recent study in the US into use of a Maths app at home.

You Can Read a summary of the Study here

(You will need a Subscription to access the full report)

In this study, they found that use of the specific Maths app they chose (e.g. Bedtime Math – containing short numerical story problems)

“Significantly increased children’s math achievement across the school year compared to a reading (control) group, especially for children whose parents are habitually anxious about math”.

In short, the study revealed that usage of this Math app at home contributed to improved academic achievement in school.Apps at bedtime

Now whilst we haven’t had the chance to test the Bedtime Math app at the Good App Guide yet ourselves, we are not surprised by the findings. From our experience we would expect some improvement in maths at school following regular usage at home of any good age / development stage appropriate Maths apps. After all, practice makes perfect right?

However, having looked briefly at the Bedtime Math app, one unusual aspect of this app is that it is pitched as part of a child’s bedtime routine. Research suggests that studying before bedtime can lead to better memory retention the following day which makes us wonder whether bedtime usage has particularly contributed to the improvement in maths ability following regular usage of this app.

At the Good App Guide, we do not encourage screen-time at bedtime as research shows that the blue light emitted by screens keeps you awake and can contribute to issues with children falling asleep in some cases. Certainly if your child has problems with getting to sleep we suggest avoiding screen time for 2 hours before bedtime to see if that helps. However, of course many children do use screens around bedtime and still fall asleep almost instantly so this clearly depends on the child. We would love to see more research in this area.

In the meantime we tentatively suggest that the key to bedtime activities is that they are quiet and relaxing and particularly that they involve a parent’s focus. Reading bedtime stories is so valuable for children – encouraging their literacy skills, imaginations and even their bond with their parents. If something educational like a few maths problems could be dropped in alongside (whether in print or digital format) without stressing or over-stimulating the child then this may well be worthwhile.

For children who struggle to put the tablet down at bedtime, a quiet educational app played alongside a parent may also provide parents with a great opportunity to steer children away from other games and provide a clear end point to screen time for the day. With the added advantage that the right choice is likely to reap the benefits at school this could be a great idea in many households. 

Of course, just because an app is intended to be used at bedtime doesn’t mean you can’t use it at other times of day too. If you feel uncomfortable about introducing screen time into your child’s bedtime routine consider trying this sort of app regularly at another time of day instead – a maths problem a day at supper time could work well too.

If there’s anything we have learned in the digital age, it’s this. We now possess brilliant devices and applications which provide cost-effective opportunities for us to access masses of information at the click of a button or the tap of a finger. These opportunities were simply not available to us when we were children, so it only makes sense that children should now be able to benefit from this to support and aid their academic development and even prompt them to venture into new topics and subjects that become of interest to them. Learning at home does not have to follow the traditional manner by reading and learning from a textbook, there are hordes of applications and websites available to us that can make learning about a particular topic or subject much more enjoyable and educational for both parents and children alike!

Related Articles:

Good Math Apps for Children

Sleep Problems and Routines

Should Bedtime run on Schedule?

Photo Credits:

Papa & M by davitydave licensed under CC-BY NC 2.0

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This post was written by Fundamentally Children

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