The Family Maths-Science Literacy (FMSL)
The Family Maths (FM) was started in California (University of Berkeley) and is currently part of the mathematics scene across the United States and beyond. Family Science (FS) was initiated in Oregon (University of Portland). These two programmes were designed to specifically address the widespread underperformance of minority groups and girl learners in maths and science at school.
FM and FS programmes were merged into Family Maths Science and Literacy (FMSL) when designed for South Africa in the late 90s to early 2000s. COUNT (numeracy/mathematics training agency) and Woz’obona (ECD agency) implemented the FMSLL pilot over a four-year period, from 2001 to 2004 working together in collaboration with 20 other diverse partner organisations dealing with Orphaned and Vulnerable Children, HIV/Aids, Pre-schools, crèches that work in prisons, community based organisations and ECD centres. In 2002 to 2003, 354 FMSLL workshops were run and 1 640 children and adults (parent & child) were reached.
In South Africa, approximately 40% of children are in families who can’t afford or access early childhood education. Alternative models such as FMSL can close the affordability and access gap by primarily, providing an early learning home-based and parent oriented approach. FMSL is also implemented in ECD centres and schools to create an interactive and entertaining way to get families involved in mainstream education.
The target age group in homes and ECD centres are 0-5-year-olds. Children being reached at home are the ones that are not able to attend ECD centres due to access, affordability and any other socio-economic dynamics. However, the desired outcome is that the children and parents that we reach through ECD centres and schools also continue with FMSL activities at home in their own time.