ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

Research Findings. It has been proposed that the home literacy environment may influence the development of early number skills. However, the results of studies examining the association between home literacy experiences and early number skills are mixed. This could be due to the way that the home literacy experiences are conceptualized and measured. This study examines the relationship between early number skills and aspects of the home learning environment. Alongside home number experiences and parental mathematical attitudes, two types of home literacy experiences were examined in a sample of 274 pre-schoolers (mean age 4:0, SD 4 months); code-focused home literacy experiences that focus on the phonological and orthographic features of language, and meaning-focused home literacy experiences that focus on sharing the meaning of language and text. Home number experiences and letter-sound interactions (interactive code-focused literacy experiences) were related to the children’s counting, number transcoding, and calculation skills whereas meaning-focused home literacy experiences and parental mathematical attitudes were largely unrelated to these early number skills. Structural equation models indicated that only letter-sound interactions could predict statistically significant unique variance in counting, number transcoding, and calculation. Practice or Policy. These findings suggest that code– rather than meaning-focused home literacy experiences are related to pre-schoolers early number skills. Supporting parents to engage in code-focused home literacy experiences may benefit pre-schoolers number skills as well as their emergent literacy.
Content may be subject to copyright.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... The questionnaire included a code-related experiences scale, a meaning-related experiences scale, and a book exposure checklist (that was used as an index of shared reading). We have previously reported (Soto-Calvo et al., 2020a) that the coderelated index fractionated into two subscales: letter-sound interactions and letter activities. The majority of the experiences within the letter-sound interactions subscale involved parent-child interactions which emphasized phonology or letter-sound associations (GPC). ...
... Parents reported the frequency of children's home literacy experiences as part of a larger home learning questionnaire (see Soto-Calvo et al., 2020a). They responded using a 6-point Likert scale ranging from never (0) to several times a day (5). ...
... Analysis of the home literacy scales has been reported previously (Soto-Calvo et al., 2020a). In the present study, the factor analysis was repeated using listwise deletion for missing items, rather than mean imputation which was used previously. ...
Article
Full-text available
Research Findings: The study investigated whether preschool code-related home literacy experiences had direct associations with regular and irregular word reading in the first year of primary school as well as exploring whether there were indirect associations between these experiences and later word reading via children’s language skills or inhibitory control. The parents of 274 preschool children completed a home learning questionnaire at time 1 (Mage = 3:11). At time 2, the children completed phonological awareness, vocabulary, inhibitory control and nonverbal reasoning assessments (Mage = 4:3) and at time 3 a word reading assessment (Mage = 5:3). Letter-sound interactions (a code-related home literacy index that included discussions about letter-sound associations) bore significant associations with children’s word reading, whereas letter activities (a code-related index that was less focussed on letter-sound links) did not. Path analyses indicated that letter-sound interactions directly predicted regular word reading and predicted regular and irregular word reading indirectly via children’s phonological awareness. These findings highlight that different aspects of code-related home literacy experiences are differentially associated with later word reading skills. Practice and Policy: The findings suggest that parents’ integration of interactive, age-appropriate discussions that focus on letter-sound associations into children’s everyday experiences may support emerging word decoding skills.
... Home numeracy and literacy activities are differentially related to children's mathematics performance (Skwarchuk et al., 2014;Soto-Calvo et al., 2020a,b). For example, in a sample of families from the United Kingdom, Soto-Calvo et al. (2020a) found that parents' reports of the frequency of mapping numeracy activities and code-based literacy activities were correlated with preschool children's symbolic numeracy skills (i.e., counting, number transcoding, and calculation). However, only code-based literacy activities (not meaningrelated activities) predicted unique variance in children's symbolic numeracy skills. ...
... However, only code-based literacy activities (not meaningrelated activities) predicted unique variance in children's symbolic numeracy skills. Soto-Calvo et al. (2020a) did not ask parents about more advanced numeracy activities (i.e., operational activities such as practicing calculations). In most other research on home numeracy activities, only operational activities (i.e., more advanced), were related to numeracy performance (Skwarchuk et al., 2014;del Río et al., 2017;Susperreguy et al., 2020a). ...
... Researchers studying children's home experiences in Latin America have focused on the relations between numeracy outcomes and numeracy experiences rather than on the relations between numeracy outcomes and literacy activities, as in Soto-Calvo et al. (2020a). In terms of home numeracy environments, del Río et al. (2017) compared reports of home numeracy activities of fathers and mothers, and correlations of those reports with the problem-solving skills of 180 Chilean kindergarteners. ...
Article
Full-text available
We explored the home learning environments of 173 Mexican preschool children (aged 3–6 years) in relation to their numeracy performance. Parents indicated the frequency of their formal home numeracy and literacy activities, and their academic expectations for children’s numeracy and literacy performance. Children completed measures of early numeracy skills. Mexican parent–child dyads from families with either high- or low-socioeconomic status (SES) participated. Low-SES parents ( n = 99) reported higher numeracy expectations than high-SES parents ( n = 74), but similar frequency of home numeracy activities. In contrast, high-SES parents reported higher frequency of literacy activities. Path analyses showed that operational (i.e., advanced) numeracy activities were positively related to children’s numeracy skills in the high- but not in the low-SES group. These findings improve the understanding of the role of the home environment in different contexts and provide some insights into the sources of the variable patterns of relations between home learning activities and children’s numeracy outcomes. They also suggest that SES is a critical factor to consider in research on children’s home numeracy experiences.
... Positive links have been identified between home literacy experiences and early numeracy (Anders et al., 2012;Baker, 2014;Napoli & Purpura, 2018;Soto-Calvo et al., 2020), although this relationship is not consistently found (Huntsinger et al., 2016;LeFevre et al., 2009;Segers et al., 2015). Manolitsis et al. (2013) examined the relationships between code-and meaningfocused home literacy experiences and counting knowledge using path analyses. ...
... Early Number Skills Assessments. The counting, number transcoding and calculation assessments were developed for this longitudinal study, further details including the individual items are given in Soto-Calvo et al. (2020). With the exception of sequential counting, all the number assessments began with one practice item for which feedback was provided. ...
... The three factors were counting (counting objects and give me X), number transcoding (numeral recognition and numeral reading) and calculation (additions and subtractions). The sequential counting task was excluded because it reduced the fit of the model whether included as a separate factor or included with the other counting measures (Soto-Calvo et al., 2020). At T1 the fit of this model was good, χ 2 (6) separable and together explain a significant proportion of variance in mathematical attainment. ...
Article
This study examines the longitudinal relationships between home learning experiences and early number skills. The counting, number transcoding and calculation skills of 274 children were assessed in the penultimate term of preschool (Mage = 4:0). Prior to these assessments, parents completed questionnaires that surveyed the frequency of the children's home learning experiences. Three types of experiences were indexed: code-focused home literacy experiences that focus on the phonological and orthographic features of language, meaning-focused home literacy experiences that focus on sharing the meaning of language and text, and home number experiences. The children's language abilities (phonological awareness and vocabulary) and nonverbal abilities (inhibitory control and nonverbal reasoning) were assessed in the final term of preschool (Mage = 4:3). Their number skills were reassessed in the final term of the first year of primary school (Mage = 5:3). Home letter–sound interaction experiences (interactive code-focused literacy experiences) had significant longitudinal relationships with counting and number transcoding that were independent of language and nonverbal abilities. The relationship between letter–sound interaction experiences and later counting was also independent of the autoregressive influence of baseline counting ability. We extend previous findings by demonstrating that interactive code-focused home literacy experiences in the preschool period predict growth in counting skills even when a broad range of language and cognitive abilities are controlled. Supporting parents to engage in code-focused home literacy experiences may benefit pre-schoolers’ counting skills.
... Informal activities are various playful activities involving print or numbers (e.g., shared reading or measuring ingredients while cooking). Evidence is accumulating to show that formal and informal activities contribute to developing skills for both literacy and numeracy (Sénéchal and LeFevre, 2014;Soto-Calvo et al., 2020) and that different practices in the home environment may relate to children's skills at various ages (Thompson et al., 2017). ...
... domain studies exploring the association between HLE and literacy skills, which suggested that more parent-child shared reading supports children's language and literacy skills, oral language in particular (e.g., Mol and Bus, 2011:;Sénéchal and LeFevre, 2002;Torppa et al., 2007). The research also conflicts with the accumulating body of studies where both HLE and HNE, along with numeracy and literacy skills, have been inspected (e.g., Manolitsis et al., 2013;Napoli and Purpura, 2018;Khanolainen et al., 2020;Soto-Calvo et al., 2020). These studies have systematically reported significant associations between HLE and literacy and numeracy outcomes, providing wellestablished evidence for shared reading predicting literacy and/or numeracy outcomes, rather than the other way around. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the direct and indirect effects of home numeracy and literacy environment, and parental factors (parental reading and math difficulties, and parental education) on the development of several early numeracy and literacy skills. The 265 participating Finnish children were assessed four times between ages 2.5 and 6.5. Children’s skills in counting objects, number production, number sequence knowledge, number symbol knowledge, number naming, vocabulary, print knowledge, and letter knowledge were assessed individually. Parents ( N = 202) reported on their education level, learning difficulties in math and reading (familial risk, FR), and home learning environment separately for numeracy (HNE) and literacy (HLE) while their children were 2.5 years old and again while they were 5.5 years old. The results revealed both within-domain and cross-domain associations. Parents’ mathematical difficulties (MD) and reading difficulties (RD) and home numeracy environment predicted children’s numeracy and literacy skill development within and across domains. An evocative effect was found as well; children’s skills in counting, number sequence knowledge, number symbol identification, and letter knowledge negatively predicted later home numeracy and literacy activities. There were no significant indirect effects from parents’ RD, MD, or educational level on children’s skills via HLE or HNE. Our study highlights that parental RD and MD, parental education, and the home learning environment form a complex pattern of associations with children’s numeracy and literacy skills starting already in toddlerhood.
... However, the relation between math skills and the HNE appears to be relatively complex and sometimes inconsistent (for a review, see [25,26]). For example, several studies have found a relation between higher quality HNE (i.e., more frequent home numeracy activities) and better numerical skills (e.g., [8,10,19,20,22,24,[27][28][29][30][31][32]). However, other studies have failed to find such an association (e.g., [33][34][35][36]) and some have even found a negative relation [22,37]. ...
... Although several studies have measured the influence of the home environment through general measures of both literacy and numeracy (i.e., the Home Learning Environment; [9,58,59]), little research has investigated the influence of both literacy and numeracy practices on children's math skills. Results from these studies are also mixed [24,32,35,60]. For example, Anders and colleagues [27] found that measures of both home numeracy and literacy practices are related to young children's numerical development. ...
Article
Full-text available
A growing number of studies suggest that the frequency of numeracy experiences that parents provide at home may relate to children’s mathematical development. However, the relation between home numeracy practices and children’s numerical skills is complex and might depend upon both the type and difficulty of activities, as well as the type of math skills. Studies have also argued that this relation may be driven by factors that are not systematically controlled for in the literature, including socio-economic status (SES), parental math skills and children’s IQ. Finally, as most prior studies have focused on preschoolers, it remains unclear to what extent there remains a relation between the home numeracy environment and math skills when children are in elementary school. In the present study, we tested an extensive range of math skills in 66 8-year-olds, including non-symbolic quantity processing, symbolic number understanding, transcoding, counting, and mental arithmetic. We also asked parents to complete a questionnaire about their SES, academic expectations, academic attitudes, and the numeracy practices that they provide at home. Finally, we measured their arithmetic fluency as a proxy for parental math skills. Over and above differences in socio-economic status, parental arithmetic fluency, child’s IQ, and time spent with the child, we found a positive relation between the frequency of formal numeracy practices that were at or above grade level and two separate measures of mental arithmetic. We further found that the frequency of these advanced formal numeracy practices was related to parents’ academic expectations. Therefore, our study shows that home numeracy experiences predict arithmetic skills in elementary school children, but only when those activities are formal and sufficiently challenging for children.
... The frequency of operational activities is positively correlated with children's mathematical performance on several tasks ( del Río et al., 2017 ;Skwarchuk et al., 2014 ;Susperreguy et al., 2020b ). In contrast, when parents have been asked about mapping activities, such as naming digits or quantities, the frequency of reports of these activities are either weakly related to children's performance ( Soto-Calvo et al., 2020 ), or predictive of poorer numeracy skills in subsequent years ( Silinskas et al., 2020 ;Susperreguy et al., 2020b ). ...
Article
We investigated whether home math activities were related to children's math performance in kindergarten and the first three years of primary school. Participants were Chilean parents and their children in kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3 (n s = 101, 95, 87, and 84, respectively). Mothers and fathers independently answered questions about their math activities at home, provided sociodemographic information, and completed an arithmetic fluency task. Children completed measures of applied problem solving, calculation, and arithmetic fluency. For kindergarten children, we found that mothers' (but not fathers') reports of the frequency of operational (e.g., mental arithmetic) activities were positively related to children's math performance, whereas mothers' reports of the frequency of mapping (e.g., counting, number naming) math activities were negatively correlated with performance. For children in Grades 1-3, home math activities were not significant unique predictors of math outcomes. The socioeconomic status of children's schools and maternal math fluency predicted children's math performance in Grades 1-3. The implications of these findings are discussed for understanding how children's home environments are related to their mathematical development.
... Only items relating to home literacy experiences are considered in the current study. The reliability and coherence of the code-and meaning-related subscales were appraised using exploratory factor analysis in a sample of 274 parent-preschool child dyads (254 female parents, 146 female children, child M age = 3:11 years, SD = 3.6 months, including 117 children from the current study) which has been reported previously (Soto-Calvo et al., 2020a). Six items loaded onto a single meaning-related factor. ...
Article
Full-text available
Aspects of the preschool home learning environment which may foster reading development have been identified, although their relationships with spelling and writing remain unclear. The present study explored associations between the preschool home literacy environment (HLE), language and nonverbal abilities and children’s spelling and writing skills measured two years later. A parental questionnaire recorded the reported frequency of pre-schoolers’ code- and meaning-related home literacy experiences, alongside an index of book exposure. One hundred and twenty one children (60 female, M age = 6:7, SD = 3.67 months) contributed data assessing their transcription skills, indexed by handwriting fluency and word spelling, and translation abilities, indexed by sentence generation and the ability to produce more extended text. Exploratory factor analyses confirmed distinct factors relating to the productivity and complexity of writing samples. Regression analyses revealed that the frequency of preschool code-related, letter-sound interactions explained significant variance in children’s transcription skills at school, independently of earlier language and nonverbal abilities. In contrast, experiences in the preschool HLE were not related to the higher level writing skills of translation and text production. The implications of the findings for our understanding of the cognitive and environmental factors associated with children’s early writing development are discussed.
Article
Mathematics takes place in a major part of human life and mathematical concepts are used in every part of daily life, starting from the age of infancy. The present study concentrates on the age of 11 months to two years, during nursery education, when formal, informal and non-formal activities enable infants to have experiences related to mathematical concepts. Nursery teachers are expected to include play-based activities at every stage of the teaching process, while parents are recognized as young children’s first educators. We examined nursery teachers’ and parents’ beliefs and practices about the development of the infants’ mathematical skills through the use of play-based activities and their respective roles. The present study was conducted in Cyprus, where obligatory preschool education is only one year before primary education. Questionnaires, interviews and shared diaries with home activities were used for quantitative and qualitative data. Results indicated that both groups of participants expressed positive conceptions on the value of daily life play-based activities which could support mathematical learning. However, it seemed that in the case of parents there was a lack of relevant knowledge about the use of attractive and creative activities which could relate to plenty of mathematical concepts. Parents recognize the vital role of teachers and they asked for further guidance and support. We discuss how we can ensure the quality of early mathematics informal teaching and nonformal learning experiences can be offered for all infants. We discuss the role of the Curriculum in Mathematics at nursery school under a play-based context and the guided parental involvement.
Article
Existing studies have shown mixed evidence for the role of the home numeracy environment (HNE) in supporting children’s early numeracy skills. To address some of the limitations of the existing literature, the present study used a multi-method approach to assess the parent-led HNE. Parents of children aged 3–5 years completed a questionnaire to assess the frequency of engagement in home numeracy activities and parent and child number talk was coded from play-based observations to assess the quality of engagement. This study also assessed the role of child-led home numeracy activities, including child number talk and Spontaneous Focusing on Numerosity (SFON) on early numeracy skills. Children (n = 164) were assessed on six early number skills (counting, cardinal knowledge, ordering skills, digit naming, arithmetic and symbolic to non-symbolic number mapping). Parent-led activities (questionnaire-assessed HNE activities and parent number talk) were not significantly associated with the composite of these six numeracy skills. There was also no significant association between parent-reported frequency of engagement in HNE activities and parent number talk. Child-led skills (SFON and child number talk) were not significantly associated with the composite numeracy score. Children’s and parents’ use of cardinal number talk was associated with children’s performance on the cardinality task, although associations were small (rs =.22 to.31). This study adds further moderate evidence that parent-led home numeracy activities may not be associated with overall early numeracy skills, and we consider next steps for researchers seeking to understand the role of the HNE.
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to examine the role of different types of home learning activities, such as reading, singing, painting, playing games, and letters and numbers (ABCs and 123 s), in the development of nonverbal reasoning skills in young children. Although much previous research has focused on the role of the home learning environment in the development of language and numeracy skills, few studies have explored other aspects of cognitive development such as nonverbal reasoning. The data were drawn from the Growing Up in Ireland study, a nationally representative longitudinal birth cohort study. We examined whether learning activities were associated with scores on standardized nonverbal reasoning and vocabulary tests of the British Ability Scales in a sample of 9793 3-year-old children. The regression models also controlled for other factors that potentially influence cognitive development such as the parent–child relationship and maternal education. The findings indicate that activities such as reading, games, and painting/drawing have a small but statistically significant association with nonverbal reasoning scores, as well as with vocabulary scores, even after controlling for other factors in the model. Teaching the alphabet or numbers did not make significant contributions to the model. The findings of the study highlight the importance of considering the role of different types of home learning activities, as well as other environmental factors, in different aspects of cognitive development. We consider the implications of the findings for theories of cognitive development and for supporting cognitive development in young children.
Article
Full-text available
There is intense public interest in questions surrounding how children learn to read and how they can best be taught. Research in psychological science has provided answers to many of these questions but, somewhat surprisingly, this research has been slow to make inroads into educational policy and practice. Instead, the field has been plagued by decades of “reading wars.” Even now, there remains a wide gap between the state of research knowledge about learning to read and the state of public understanding. The aim of this article is to fill this gap. We present a comprehensive tutorial review of the science of learning to read, spanning from children’s earliest alphabetic skills through to the fluent word recognition and skilled text comprehension characteristic of expert readers. We explain why phonics instruction is so central to learning in a writing system such as English. But we also move beyond phonics, reviewing research on what else children need to learn to become expert readers and considering how this might be translated into effective classroom practice. We call for an end to the reading wars and recommend an agenda for instruction and research in reading acquisition that is balanced, developmentally informed, and based on a deep understanding of how language and writing systems work.
Article
Full-text available
The home literacy environment is a well-established predictor of children’s language and literacy development. We investigated whether formal, informal, and indirect measures of the home literacy environment predict children’s reading and language skills once maternal language abilities are taken into account. Data come from a longitudinal study of children at high risk of dyslexia (N = 251) followed from preschool years. Latent factors describing maternal language were significant predictors of storybook exposure but not of direct literacy instruction. Maternal language and phonological skills respectively predicted children’s language and reading/spelling skills. However, after accounting for variations in maternal language, storybook exposure was not a significant predictor of children’s outcomes. In contrast, direct literacy instruction remained a predictor of children’s reading/spelling skills. We argue that the relationship between early informal home literacy activities and children’s language and reading skills is largely accounted for by maternal skills and may reflect genetic influences.
Article
There is a growing body of evidence indicating that home literacy and numeracy environments are predictive of children's literacy and numeracy skills within their respective domains. However, there is limited research on the relations between the home literacy environment and numeracy outcomes and between the home numeracy environment and literacy outcomes. Specifically, there is limited information on relations between the home numeracy environment and specific literacy outcomes (e.g., vocabulary). The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relations of the home literacy and numeracy environments to children's literacy and numeracy outcomes both within and across domains. Participants were 114 preschool children and their parents. Children ranged in age from 3.01 to 5.17 years (M = 4.09 years) and were 54% female and 72% Caucasian. Parents reported the frequency of parent-child literacy (code-related practices and storybook reading) and numeracy practices. Children were assessed in the fall and spring of their preschool year on their literacy (definitional vocabulary, phonological awareness, and print knowledge) and numeracy skills. Four mixed-effects regression analyses were conducted to predict each of the child outcomes. Results indicate that although code-related literacy practices and storybook reading were not broadly predictive of children's literacy and numeracy outcomes, the home numeracy environment was predictive of numeracy and definitional vocabulary outcomes. These findings demonstrate a relation between the home numeracy environment and children's language development and contribute to the growing body of research indicating the important relations between early numeracy and language development.
Article
The Effective Pre-school Provision in Northern Ireland (EPPNI) project is a longitudinal study of child development from 3 to 11 years. It is one of the first large-scale UK projects to investigate the effects of different kinds of preschool provision, and to relate experience in preschool to child development. In EPPNI, 683 children were randomly selected from 80 preschools, and 151 children were recruited without preschool experience. Progress was then followed from age 3 to age 11. Preschool experience was related to age 11 performance in English and mathematics. High-quality preschools show consistent effects that are reflected not only in improved attainment in Key Stage 2 English and mathematics but also in improved progress in mathematics over primary school. Children who attended high-quality preschools were 2.4 times more likely in English, and 3.4 times more likely in mathematics, to attain Level 5 than children without preschool experience.
Article
Identifying the factors that foster math learning during early childhood is crucial given strong associations between these early skills and later school success. Despite theoretical arguments that the home environment and parents’ practices could support children's math abilities, little research addresses this possibility, especially compared to the breadth of research addressing literacy practices in the home. In this article, we review the literature on how the home numeracy environment may relate to children's math skills and argue that more methodological rigor is needed in these measures. Specifically, we highlight potential alternative dimensions of parents’ math practices beyond the conventional distinction between formal and informal activities, and we discuss directions for investigation. We argue that improving measures of the home numeracy environment may help resolve the mixed pattern of findings in the literature and further support the development of math skills in early childhood.
Article
The current study analyzed maternal and paternal differential influences on numeracy performance in kindergarten children. Participants were 180 Chilean children from backgrounds of low and high socioeconomic status (SES), their mothers, and their fathers. A path analysis was used to explore the influences of both maternal and paternal numeracy practices on children’s numeracy performance and the influences of maternal and paternal expectations and anxiety on those activities. Research Findings: Results showed that mothers and fathers who endorse higher numeracy expectations for their children and who report lower levels of math anxiety also report engaging more frequently in advanced numeracy practices with their children. Mothers’—but not fathers’—engagement in numeracy practices at home predicted children’s numeracy performance. Also, low-SES mothers engaged more frequently in numeracy practices with their children, and mothers in general engaged more often in numeracy activities with girls than with boys. Practice or Policy: These findings improve understanding of how maternal and paternal processes relate differently to numeracy performance in kindergarten children. Moreover, these results highlight the need to take into account parents’ numeracy attitudes and practices, as well as their SES, when designing interventions directed at increasing family support for math achievement.
Article
The home numeracy environment (HNE) is often predictive of children's early mathematics skills, though the findings are mixed. Overall, research on kindergarten‐aged children demonstrates a relation between the HNE and early numeracy skills, whereas findings for preschool‐aged children are more equivocal. One potential reason for equivocality of these findings is that previous studies have not accounted for the way different practices may relate to children's mathematics skills at different ages. The purpose of the present study was to explore a potential reason for discrepancies in findings of the relation between the HNE and mathematics skills in preschool. Reports of HNE practices were collected from parents of 184 preschool children (71 three year olds and 113 four year olds) and children were assessed on their numeracy skills. Parents of 4‐year‐olds engaged in HNE activities more frequently than parents of 3‐year‐olds. Furthermore, more advanced HNE activities were correlated with numeracy performance of older children, but more basic HNE activities were not correlated with numeracy performance of either age group after accounting for parental education. These findings suggest that nuanced approaches in the way the HNE is measured at different ages may be needed in order to accurately assess relations between developmentally appropriate HNE activities and children's outcomes. Highlights • The relation between specific home numeracy environment practices and children's numeracy skills were compared across preschool aged children (3 and 4 years old). Complex home numeracy environment practices were related to numeracy skills of older children, but basic home numeracy environment practices were only related to numeracy skills with younger children until controlling for parental education. More targeted measurement
Article
This paper examines the relationships among the quality and quantity of parent–child shared book reading (SBR) engagements and children's reading and mathematics outcomes in preschool. Additionally, we explore how child and family characteristics predict the quality and quantity of SBR. Quantity was measured using parental reports of the frequency of SBR. Quality was measured by observational protocols evaluating for questioning, vocabulary, and discussion depth. A structural equation model was estimated using data from a nationally representative sample of 700 children living in the United States from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Birth cohort. Results indicated that the quality of book reading was associated with children's mathematics outcomes, and the quantity was associated with reading outcomes controlling for contextual variables. Socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity, and children's age predicted the quality and quantity of book reading experiences. These findings indicate that frequent exposure to high‐quality book reading may positively impact children's mathematics and reading development, but that variation in SBR exists. SBR is a common practice among many parents; helping parents understand the multiple benefits of the practice may further increase the frequency and quality of the engagement. Implications for research and practice are addressed. Highlights • This paper describes the relationship between parental book reading practices, mathematics, and reading outcomes. • Structural equation models reveal relationships between the quantity of book reading and children's reading outcomes, as well as the quality of book reading and children's mathematics outcomes. • High‐quality book reading may positively impact academic achievement in multiple domains, but results may vary based on contextual factors.