WWC review of this study

Math at home adds up to achievement in school.

Berkowitz, T., Schaeffer, M. W., Maloney, E. A., Peterson, L., Gregor, C., Levine, S. C., & Beilock, S. L. (2015). Science, 350(6257), 196–198. doi: 10.1126/science.aac7427.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grade

Reviewed: November 2019

No statistically significant positive
Meets WWC standards with reservations
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ-III): Applied Problems subtest

Bedtime Learning Together vs. Bedtime Learning Together

1 Day

Full sample of 1st grade students whose parents responded to the math anxiety survey questions;
422 students





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Female: 51%
    Male: 49%
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The study sample was recruited within 22 Chicago-area schools with first-grade classrooms. The authors recruited public, private, and parochial schools. However, the location of the implementation of the intervention took place outside of school in students’ homes (SC1: p.2).

Study sample

The full sample of was made up of 49 percent male students and 51 percent female students. The sample consisted primarily of children living in households making more than $50,000 per year, with 69 percent of the sample coming from middle- to upper-middle class families. The children in the sample ranged in age from 53 to 92 months, with an average age of 78.5 months. (SC1: p. 2 of Berkowitz supplementary materials).

Intervention Group

The intervention is a math iPad application used by parents with their children at home in the evenings. Parents were given an iPad mini with the math version of the intervention app (Bedtime Learning Together) loaded on it. The math version is based on “Bedtime Math”, which is an application created by the Overdeck Family Foundation. Some changes were made to the original “Bedtime Math” application, including updating the years referenced in the app questions and ensuring that the numbers in the questions were developmentally appropriate for 1st graders. Families were asked to use the iPad app with their children before bedtime, ideally 4 times per week. When the families used the app, each passage came with questions that covered counting skills, arithmetic, fractions, geometry, and patterns. The questions aligned with the Common Core Curriculum. (SC1: pp.6-7 of Berkowitz supplementary materials)

Comparison Group

The comparison group received the same iPad minis but with a reading version of Bedtime Learning Together loaded on them instead of a math version (SC1: pp.6-7 of Berkowitz supplementary materials).

Support for implementation

The authors do not describe any additional support beyond the provision of the iPad minis with the preloaded applications.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Michael C. F. (March 11, 2016). Comment on "Math at home adds up to achievement in school". Science 351 (6278), 1161. https://www.science.org/doi/pdf/10.1126/science.aad8555.

  • Berkowitz, T., Schaeffer, M. W., Rozek, C. S., Maloney, E. A., Levine, S. C., Beilock, S. L. (March 11, 2016). Response to Comment on "Math at home adds up to achievement in school". Science 351 (1161). https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.aad8555?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%20%200pubmed.

  • Marjorie W. Schaeffer, Christopher S. Rozek, Talia Berkowitz, Susan C. Levine, and Sian L. Beilock. (October 4, 2018). Disassociating the Relation Between Parents’ Math Anxiety and Children’s Math Achievement: Long-Term Effects of a Math App Intervention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000490.

Reviewed: December 2015

Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Study sample characteristics were not reported.

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