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Can your 4 yr old tell the time?

(24 Posts)
Gobbledigook Tue 24-May-05 12:16:25

As usual, just wondering! Been trying to teach ds1 (only just 4) in a half-hearted way. He's quite into telling us what time it is, what time we are going somewhere etc but he just makes the time up so I thought I'd have a go and teaching him. He's not that interested though when I get the clock out - he runs off to do something else!

I know it doesn't matter - just interested if anyone else's 4 yr old can do it?

Also - does your child know what day it is? Ds1 knows the days of the week and the order etc but today he asked me what day it is - he's no concept of that yet.

As you can tell, I've nothing better to do today...

Easy Tue 24-May-05 12:19:36

No. My ds is 5 1/2, good at numeracy, with a reading age of 8, bright in lots of ways, but can't get the hang of telling the time, even struggles understanding the time from our digital alarm clock.

I am thinking of buying the 'tell the time' lotto game from Orchard toys to help.

elastamum Tue 24-May-05 12:19:42

Ours cant, 6 year old has got it but I think he learnt it at school as he came home one day and could tell the time!

Gobbledigook Tue 24-May-05 12:22:29

I know some kids find it really tough - my ex-boyfriend told me he just about mastered it as he went into secondary school.

We did the 'o,clock' the other day and he seemed to get that. Might try it again later and see if he's remembered.

foxinsocks Tue 24-May-05 12:22:49

both ds (3 and a half) and dd (5 in August) can do o'clock. Ds can do it because he is obsessed with numbers and loves trying to tell the time.

Dd was taught the days of the week in a song at school. Ds has some idea because he goes to pre-school on certain days of the week (and understands the concept of weekend as that's when dh is at home!)

jane313 Tue 24-May-05 12:23:22

I taught reception aged children and very few had any real concept of time. You would have to tell them then had had their lunch as many would ask or have to say things like its one more play then a story then home time. Days of the week were just names really and I think I started teaching some stuff about clock towards the end of the year of maybe at the start of year one. I'm sure their will be the odd genius at 3 who is already doing quarter pasts and quaters toos!

moondog Tue 24-May-05 12:23:35

Apparently digital watches and clocks have really ballsed things up. A lot of children can therefore tell the time,but don't know what it means.

Gobbledigook Tue 24-May-05 12:23:52

Same here Foxinsocks - ds1 will say 'it's Saturday today because Daddy doesn't have to go to work and I'm going swimming'! Ahh!

starlover Tue 24-May-05 12:24:04

I didn't learn until I was about 10!!! seriously just could NOT get my head round it... one day my teacher went through it again and it all just clicked.
like Easy's ds I was way ahead with reading... and also maths... but telling the time was just completely over my head!

Gobbledigook Tue 24-May-05 12:24:55

MD - I've got a normal clock on the playroom wall and also a wooden one that we can move the handles on for teaching. We do have digital ones by the bed though and I know ds is confused by it!

foxinsocks Tue 24-May-05 12:25:40

aaahhh how sweet!

lima Tue 24-May-05 12:27:26

my ds1 is 6 and is just getting the hang of telling the time - as Moondog said ther is a lot of confusion between analogue and digital - esp if digital is 24 hr clock as well.

Kelly1978 Tue 24-May-05 12:28:12

No, nothing at all. She is nearly 5 and the closest she gets is an understanding that it is bfast time, followed by morning, lunchtime, afternoon etc.

She understands weekdays are for school and saturday and sunday is at home, but she can't get them in any order.

moondog Tue 24-May-05 12:30:16

Yes,the whole concept is a lot more sophisticated than we appreciate. I have a go with dd. Think she sort of 'gets' the 'o clocks but not beyond.
We also work on days of the week. She has a 21 piece jigsaw with some kids doing seven different activities,a description below and the relevant day of the week on top. She will ask me 'On what day do Megan and Huw play in the park?' and so on,as that is what I do with her.

Thinking about your ds knowing what day it is because of the activities.Definite advantage to the routine.There is none in our household (well there is on a micro level) and we come and go so much the poor kid doesn't even know what country we're in. Trying to get her to understand that we're going back home to Wales this weekend.

yoyo Tue 24-May-05 12:33:07

We need repeats of "Playschool" obviously!

dinosaur Tue 24-May-05 12:42:33

My nearly-six year old has only just mastered the more complicated bits as opposed to the hours, quarter hours and half hours.

Easy Tue 24-May-05 12:44:57

But they do the clock thing on Tikkabilla anyway.

I just think that children have no concept of time, so getting them to measure it goes over their heads. To ds 10 minutes is just as long a time to wait for something as an hour (IYSWIM).

It will come if we persist, but don't make a huge issue out of it.

marialuisa Tue 24-May-05 12:51:37

DD can do O'clock, quarter past, half past and quarter to. I'm impressed as I can remember struggling with this at school, pages of my maths book were covered with those rubber clockface stamps! She knows the days of the week cycle and seasons but is a bit unclear about months.

Lonelymum Tue 24-May-05 12:52:31

Dd (5) can not tell the time but has just learnt the order of the days of the week (obviously knew the names earlier).

I can remember being well over 5 and not understanding the time. I knew that sometimes it was 20 to or past a number and I can remember looking at the clock and thinking, how can that be? The numbers only go up to 12!

suedonim Tue 24-May-05 12:56:45

Ds1 could tell the time when he was four and my dd's when they were five. Ds2 was a bit slower, I think.

roisin Tue 24-May-05 12:58:59

I'd love to know more about the theory behind learning to tell the time. It is the one ('academic') thing that ds1 has really struggled with at school, and he was certainly below average in this at the beginning of this year (yr3). Like some of you I tried to teach him when he was about 4, but he didn't really get it. Subsequently I didn't focus on it either, as I thought it was good for him to find something a challenge at school (for once!)

But it does intrigue me as ds2 has picked it up very quickly, and is very quick to correct me if I say there's 'about 10 mins left' and there is actually 12 minutes!

One thing I think is helpful is to have a large clock with a clear face in their bedroom, and also a digital clock as well. Then when they are lying going to sleep they can study the clocks and actually see what is happening, and how the two different clocks relate to each other.

starlover Tue 24-May-05 12:59:19

lonelymum.. that was my problem!

i just didn't get why 5 past meant it pointed to a number 1... all seemed completely arbitrary... until i found out that in essence there was a SECOND set of numbers!!!

Lonelymum Tue 24-May-05 13:01:33

Is there Starlover? Is that why I still get it wrong?

Lonelymum Tue 24-May-05 13:04:18

Sorry, that was unnecessary.

One thing I did which seemed to get my boys started on telling the time was I put a clock on the wall in their bedroom and we got them to recognise the position of the hands when it was 7 o'clock. We then told them that was 7 o'clock and until the hands showed that time, they weren't allowed to get up or make a noise in the morning.

You can then lead it on from there.

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