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To think this is the most frustrating thing anybody ever had to teach a child!!

(94 Posts)
Lunar1 Thu 28-Jul-16 20:35:43

Teaching DS1 to tell the time! We'd got o'clock, half past and the quarters. He was consistent so we moved on to twenty past and to. Again really good, and this was over the last year so not all crammed into a week. 3 weeks ago we started looking at minutes.

He has lost all concept of the time, says bizarre things when I ask what time it is. Even when it's an o'clock! I know it will just be processing the new information, but it's worse than toilet training!!

AIBU to think this is the most frustrating thing on earth. No ds1 it's not 80.1 o clock!! Maybe this is one I should leave to the school blush.

Pestilence13610 Thu 28-Jul-16 20:38:44

Please carry on, it may take year of practise (it does) buy him a watch and persevere.
I have met far too many 18yo who can not tell the time on an analogue clock.

yougetme Thu 28-Jul-16 20:42:11

I wouldnt bother about the minutes apart from what youve covered so far. If he knows hours ,quarter past ,half past and quarter to that will do for now. Introduce 'almost' (quarter past ) and 'just gone' (half past for example.) that will do for most applications.

Like my DS ,as a child of the digital age he will most likely rely on digital time anyway.

Euphemia Thu 28-Jul-16 20:43:18

How old is he?

FATEdestiny Thu 28-Jul-16 20:43:18

Does he know his 5 times tables up to 60?

You need to teach that first

Lunar1 Thu 28-Jul-16 20:46:11

He's 7 will be 8 just after they go back and is going into year 3. He knows (and understands) his times tables and divides to the 12's thoroughly.

LuchiMangsho Thu 28-Jul-16 20:48:38

I was a very bright kid. Top of my class year after year. I now have a PhD and work as an academic. I say all this to then say that I struggled to tell the time. I was well past the age of 8- closer to 9 before I learned how to tell the time accurately. Who knows why I found it hard to grasp.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Thu 28-Jul-16 21:02:09

Children learn to tell the time in different ways. DD1 took forever, and even now she's at university I'm not always confident she's got it right - train times etc. DD2 announced one afternoon when she was nearly 5 that she wanted to learn to tell the time and by teatime she was brilliant at it, both analogue and digital.

Keep going with your DS, he will get it eventually.

Shallishanti Thu 28-Jul-16 21:08:25

shoelaces are worse
do you have plenty of analogue clocks around? I think digital clocks confuse the issue greatly
we used to have a teaching clock where the hands were geared, so you could easily tell that one complete turn of the minute hand made the hour had go forward 1. That was useful.

scrappydappydoo Thu 28-Jul-16 21:09:06

Nope nothing is worse than toilet training a child who doesn't get it. Tying shoelaces comes a close second though...

ShoeEatingMonster Thu 28-Jul-16 21:16:47

As a teacher, telling the time is one of those things children either get easily or they don't. Sometimes children who are very mathematically minded just don't get it! Others who find some areas of maths difficult just get time.
If he's mastered o'clock, half past and quarter past/to then move onto 5 minute intervals. I find it easier to use a clock without numbers like one with Roman numerals. This way children get used to the fact that the numbers have no baring on the minutes they only tell you the hours. I often just use the minute hand without the hour hand until they get to grips with it. Good luck it can be frustrating! It's ridiculous that now by the end of Y3 children should be able to tell the time to the minute angry

YorkieDorkie Thu 28-Jul-16 21:18:44

Imagine being spun around until you're so dizzy you can't stand and then try to read the time. That's what I imagine it's like for kids looking at the hands. The difference in the length of the hands is quite slight and as adults we're used to it but to a child it's all very abstract. I teach Y1 and hands down it's the hardest concept all year in maths. I would focus on o'clock until he's absolutely rock solid with it. Then try half past. Don't push beyond until the confidence and application is there e.g. Look mummy the bus is here because it's 3 o'clock.

There are so many concepts necessary to understand time that it's no wonder it takes years of repetition and application!

Doyouthinktheysaurus Thu 28-Jul-16 21:19:33

I was going to say, wait until you get to shoelaces but I got beaten to itgrin

Imthought I'd got through most of the childhood challenges but shoelaces almost beat me and the dses!

Sleeperandthespindle Thu 28-Jul-16 21:19:48

It's awful when they can tell the time! Don't teach him! You can't trick them into early bedtimes anymore...

TerribleTwentyTwos Thu 28-Jul-16 21:26:57

Lunar1 Thu 28-Jul-16 21:30:06

He got shoe laces and doing his tie in year 1, he's miles ahead in maths an would be a good contender for King of the nerds.

It's really random things he doesn't get. He is great at chess and even did an inter school competition, yet ludo baffles him!

I will keep going, we are going to do a timeline of our day tomorrow to add some context for him. I agree with the poster who said I'll regret it once he can check himself.

andthedog Thu 28-Jul-16 21:31:29

Keep asking ds to tell the time over the summer it will all come together but needs lots of practise. So much to think about concept of half, quarter,counting in 5s, to past length of hand, which hour is it past etc.. Can only be done with practice not conquered in taught maths lessons.

Lunar1 Thu 28-Jul-16 21:37:56

I've almost wet myself watching that video, it's spot on.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Thu 28-Jul-16 21:38:46

I watched someone trying to play cricket with a group of 6-7 year olds. Couldn't bowl, couldn't connect bat and ball, couldn't catch, couldn't throw the ball back to the bowler. Agony to watch never mind be part of!

FeelingSmurfy Thu 28-Jul-16 21:42:17

sleeper you can if you change the time on the clock wink

Believeitornot Thu 28-Jul-16 21:43:01

Not sure that telling the time I.e reading a clock is a mathematical concept (apart from dividing an hour into quarters and halves etc).
It's translating one thing in to another.

Mentally I imagine the clock to be in four quarters and that helps. Plus if the big hand is between 12 and 6, it's something past the hour and if between 6 and 12, it's something to the (next) hour.

Meltingrocks Thu 28-Jul-16 21:44:48

My first ever placement lesson I taught when I was doing my PGCE was time which sounds like it should be a lovely lesson if you're a naive novice, which I was. It was dreadful. 5 years on and I still shudder at the thought.

dementedma Thu 28-Jul-16 21:47:23

This reminds me of when Ds was about 9 and a play date with a friend had fallen through as friend( lovely lad bug not that bright) had messed up the time. I was irritated as it had thrown other plans out and Ds defended his friend saying "It's not his fault. He can't tell the time. Only the o clocks and half pasts"
"Great" said I, sarcastically. " And what does he do for the rest of the time?".
Ds looked at me witheringly and said" For the rest of the time, he has me".
I was suitably chastened.

TerribleTwentyTwos Thu 28-Jul-16 21:49:57

I have seen that video loads of times and I still cry laughing at it. Telling the time with a clock really makes no sense. grin

heatherwithapee Thu 28-Jul-16 21:50:19

Ooh I know. I have the same struggle with my 6 year old. My 4 year old has cracked it already though; he'd sat through my many attempts to teach the 6 year old and he picked it up easily!

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