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AIBU to think there must be a simple way to teach kids to tell the time?

(25 Posts)
meladeso Tue 20-Jun-17 16:38:08

someone was talking yesterday about how they'd been working on it for months with their 4yo and still finding it hard.

somebody please tell me there is a magical, easy method that works quicker than that!?

Sirzy Tue 20-Jun-17 16:39:31

At 4 I just wouldn't bother. It's not a skill that I would class as key at 4.

Plenty of 4 years olds haven't even grasped the numbers 1-12 let alone being close to ready to tell the time!

RatOnnaStick Tue 20-Jun-17 16:41:34

My 6yr old seems to have just got it. I do the think they teach it at school til year 2 so don't worry.

happy2bhomely Tue 20-Jun-17 16:47:37

Mine have all been able to tell the time by the time they were between 7 and 9. I don't see any benefit to them learning it sooner.

It's not something I would worry about.

With my 7 year old (we home ed) we just do the o'clock times. Might start half past after the summer. We do things like timing him running around, or 30 minutes of tv etc so he gets the idea of how long. So I might say how long to get to the beach? 2 minutes, 2 hours or 2 days? How many hours in a day? How many minutes in an hour?

I can't imagine many 4 year olds can tell the time.

meladeso Tue 20-Jun-17 16:48:31

oh right! maybe she was hugely premature then and i shall not worry after all

Urubu Tue 20-Jun-17 17:03:55

When they can tell the time you can't trick them by anouncing it's bedtime / it is still nighttime when it isn't......

noimaginationatall Tue 20-Jun-17 17:07:16

No easy way I'm afraid.

Best to build it in as part of routine and talk about the hands on the clock.

Some kids really really struggle with time!

UsernameInvalid66 Tue 20-Jun-17 17:09:13

i think my DC got really confident at it at around 6 or 7. 4 seems very early.

Heratnumber7 Tue 20-Jun-17 17:11:08

I don't remember my DDs having much of a problem picking up how to tell Tyne time.
Tying shoe laces was more difficult.

escapetheinsanity Tue 20-Jun-17 17:13:16

You have to use it. Even at 7, a lot of children don't have to use the time because their life is organised for them so, even when it's taught, it's forgotten. I've been teaching Y2 the last couple of years and start simply with what happens in the morning, the afternoon, the evening and at night and ordering their daily routine. Then how long is a minute (this is a suprisingly difficult concept). Then we recap on the hour and half hour.

One of the problems of modern life is the use of digital; they don't see analogue as much!

claraschu Tue 20-Jun-17 17:16:19

I had one child who learned very early- he was fascinated by numbers and symbols.

He just seemed to get the idea of a "five-minutes" as a unit. I showed him that the long hand told you how many "five-minuteses" after the hour it was. So he would say: "Mummy it is 2 'five-minuteses' past 12," (for example). Very soon after this he understood the multiplying by 5 and put it all together.

Most kids aren't that interested when they are 4, though.

Groupie123 Tue 20-Jun-17 17:17:11

Fractions, cooking/serving, and time telling often go hand. If you're already encouraging your child to cook/serve/cut things into 'quarters, halves, thirds' etc then time telling becomes instinctive. All of mine could do it by three-three and a half.

2014newme Tue 20-Jun-17 17:17:47

4 is too young that's why they can't grasp it!
Counting in fives at four is unusual

samalamaloo Tue 20-Jun-17 17:26:14

my little one is 7 and she still can't do it, we've tried all different ways of teaching but its something she just can't pick up sad

2014newme Tue 20-Jun-17 17:28:44

It's actually quite a nebulous concept plus it requires a range of maths skills. It's tricky.

Jellymuffin Tue 20-Jun-17 17:28:58

They teach time to the hour and half past in year 1 and a basic understanding of the concept of time is required to achieve expected in reception.

brokenshoes Tue 20-Jun-17 18:17:48

Dave Allen on teaching your children how to tell the time.

BunsOfAnarchy Tue 20-Jun-17 18:27:25

4 is a little young I would say. But get them a time teacher clock in their bedroom. Before thwy go to bed, ask them what the face says. Or wherw the big hand and small hand are pointing. Then tell them the answer. But dont make a big deal out of it or ask more than once.
When they wake up ask them what the face says. They will get it wrong most the time. But one day they will start to pick it up.
That's how I picked it up as a child. Plus I was in bed same time every night lol.
It may take months or longer. Everyone is different

Datun Tue 20-Jun-17 18:31:42

We had one of those cardboard clocks, but it still took ages.

It seems so bloody obvious to an adult, but to a child I think it's tricky.

Perhaps it's the numbers. And knowing that between one and two on the face, is actually five minutes.

I like the previous poster's suggestion about cutting things in quarters and halves. That would help.

And yes to just learning the o'clock's. That's far more straightforward.

But yes, it takes ages!

Pestilentialone Tue 20-Jun-17 18:33:31

And a sensible watch.
I agree with PPs about seven seems right.
DSD was 16 when I taught her to tell the time. She had a grade A GCSE maths before she could manage 4:42pm confused.
Don't just leave it to school, work on it at home as well, one day they will come home and say how brilliant the teacher is for teaching them. Grin, it is all team work.

Jellymuffin Tue 20-Jun-17 18:34:56

My child could tell the time to the hour at 3 - only by not moving the minute hand and the hour hand points to the hour obviously. As long as your child can recognise numbers to 12 they can do this. Just get them to add o'clock after they say the hour. Really simple wooden baby toy clocks with removable numbers are good as there are no minutes in increments of 5 to worry about confusing them. Past and to on the other hand hmm

user1472334322 Tue 20-Jun-17 18:40:33

As a teacher of junior aged children I can tell you that time is the last concept that many children grasp. Most of them have it by 7-8 but some struggle for longer. Even children who are very good at other parts of maths struggle with time. 4 is very early to be trying to teach time and I wouldn't worry about whether they understand it or not at that age.

MrsKoala Tue 20-Jun-17 18:44:05

I couldn't tell the time till I was 11. No big deal. I remember my my parents getting really stressed about it and me being completely confused by it all. It just made no sense to me at all (I still struggle with things others find simple despite trying very hard to learn them - took 18 years and 5 tests to learn to drive--in an automatic-- ).

What made me eventually get it was mum and dad just buying me a Mickey Mouse watch and wearing it every day.

ClashCityRocker Tue 20-Jun-17 18:44:56

I got taught to tell the time by my German uncle. It took a long while to get the UK half past rather than half to.

BunsOfAnarchy Tue 20-Jun-17 18:54:15

Let's face it. Half of Southern Rail haven't learned how to tell the time. But 11 sounds about right?

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