Children’s numeracy knowledge and performance varies across countries, regions, and languages. These cross-cultural differences occur even prior to formal schooling. Much existing cross-cultural numeracy research was focused on the role of language in accounting for these differences in children’s early numeracy development and performance. However, when cross-cultural research studies have assessed both language-related effects and differences in children’s numeracy-related experiences at home, both factors have been linked to performance differences. Longitudinal studies show that the frequency of parents’ numeracy-related activities at home is correlated with children’s numeracy knowledge in kindergarten and primary school. Thus, home experiences may be an important factor in cross-cultural differences in young children’s numerical development. In this chapter, we summarize cross-cultural differences in young children’s early educational experiences and the parental practices that have been linked to superior performance. On the basis of that research, we suggest ways that parents and educators can facilitate the numeracy development of all young children. We also identify gaps in cross-cultural home numeracy research and briefly discuss ways to overcome some of the methodological challenges of such work.

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Keywords Cross-cultural differences, Cross-cultural numeracy, Home experiences, Home numeracy, Number language, Number systems, Numeracy development, Numerical development, Parental influences, Supporting numeracy
ISBN 978-3-319-43972-3
Persistent URL
Cankaya, O, & LeFevre, J.-A. (2016). The home numeracy environment: What do cross-cultural comparisons tell us about how to scaffold young children’s mathematical skills?. In Early Childhood Mathematics Skill Development in the Home Environment (pp. 87–104). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-43974-7_6