Math & Literacy are Equally Important, but Don't Get Equal Time

Highlights from the DreamBox Parent Survey on Math Education

Recently, because we are always interested in parents’ opinions and experiences, we asked parents of DreamBox users how they feel about a number of issues related to their children’s education. We conducted a survey asking about learning activities at home, how math and literacy are taught in school, interactions with their kids’ teachers, and the role of technology in education. We thought you might be interested in what these engaged parents said!

528 parents participated, with children ranging from 4 – 8 years old (almost exactly split between boys and girls), and many parents took the time to add their comments and provide insight. Here are some highlights that we found interesting from the survey responses.

While math and literacy are equally important, they don’t get equal time
Parents are spending significantly more time with their children on literacy activities than on math, even though most parents believe literacy and math are equally important for their children’s futures.

importance graph


72% of parents also report that literacy teaching is individualized to each student, while only 50% report that math teaching is individualized.

Many parents believe the “gender gap” in math education is disappearing
63% of the respondents believe there is no gender gap in math education. However, this question elicited a particularly high number of comments. Many believe the gap has existed but give their schools credit for addressing the gap. Some parents commented that there was less of a gender gap in early elementary grades, but that it may increase in higher grades.

communications graphParents would appreciate getting more teacher communications
A majority of parents get teacher communications monthly or only with term report cards, but 56% would prefer more teacher communications. Only 1% would prefer to get fewer teacher communications. A majority would prefer to receive emails about their child’s specific progress, the curriculum, and class activities. And 46% would like to access this information through a website.

Parents try to communicate positive attitudes toward math

46% of parents feel (or felt as students) apprehensive about math. And a majority (65%) believe their own feelings influence their child. apprehensive graphThis was another hot-button question, getting a lot of comments from parents! Many stressed their efforts to turn around their own negative feelings and ensure they’re positively influencing their child.

Most parents believe technology improves education
A very strong majority, 94% of respondents, believe that computers and technology can enhance the subject matter being taught in school; while 66% believe that technology access will enhance their child’s ability to learn, and help him or her be successful.

We would like to thank all of the parents who participated in the DreamBox survey. If you’d like to download the full DreamBox parent survey summary, click here.



DreamBox Learning marketing team.

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  • A great way for parents to spend time on math and literacy simultaneously is through reading children picture books with a math theme. Math literature provides a context and purpose for the exploration of mathematical language and allows children to grapple with mathematical concepts in meaningful contexts. As the language of mathematics is a stumbling block for many students, finding a way to bridge the gap between informal oral language and the formal terminology and symbols of mathematics is important. By providing interesting narratives and colorful illustrations picture books frame the abstractions of math in a way that make them more concrete and approachable. Good math literature stimulates thinking about mathematics, develops and reinforces mathematical language and concepts, enhances a child’s understanding of mathematics and promotes enjoyment of the subject. Many books are available which have potential for teaching mathematical terminology and concepts ranging from colorful books about colors, shapes and counting for babies and preschoolers to books presenting a fictionalized look at more advanced concepts such as the Pythagorean Theorem or pi.