How to teach a child to tell the time.

>>  Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This week's Gallery is Hands:

I'm going to share with you a truly rubbish picture but there is a reason. That black line at the top is the hand of a clock. Part of my kitchen was given over to time telling, a pair of clock hands a metre in size and a plethitude of stickers. They had the twelve numbers on. They had all the words like 'half past', 'twenty five past', 'quarter to' 'o'clock' etc. They also had 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 etc.

If you are interested it is the Little Big Time clock, but that's a by-the-by, the point is that children learn if it is fun and different.  For a while my whole house was 'labelled'. Can you see the word 'light' under the light switch and the colours written in their appropriate colours.  On her bed was a label 'bed', on a wall somewhere was the label 'wall' - it was endless, when she started to write I let her do her own labels, it was not pretty but hey, children are only lent to us, blink and they have grown up and left home and then you shop at the White Company!

So I would often say something like "we need to leave at quarter past, where will the big hand be?  Can you keep an eye on the time for me and tell me when we have to go?" or "the cakes are ready in 10 minutes, do you know where the hand will be?"   You need to be doing this regularly, talking through it and applying it as a part of other things that are happening - not a 'today we are going to learn to tell the time'.

I've struggled to find a photo of it because she was telling the time properly very young (pre-digital camera) and my wall became a school art gallery instead!

She now is so teen-clever (in her opinion) that she can live her life by the procrastinators clock.

Why do something in plenty of time when you can run around in a panic at the last minute shouting about lost homework, or needing a pack-up and how she has to do everything around here and don't forget about how unfair everything in her life is right now.
Pass me the patience bucket - I think I need it again. 


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