Telling Time: When did it make sense for your kid? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 13 Old 08-04-2011, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd, almost 7, is still confused by time. When did your kid get it? My oldest, 9, got time by around age 8, but we were dealing with some vision concerns and I was never sure if her delay was due to getting it or seeing it.

 

What did you use to help them understand time?


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#2 of 13 Old 08-05-2011, 06:36 AM
 
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DS is 6yo and has a better grasp of time now than he did a year ago, but he's not mastered it yet.  Most of the clocks in our house are digital, and he still calls out each single digit instead of combining the last two.

 

I found a little cardboard clock with movable hands that actually has little numbers 1-60 on it, which he spent a few weeks playing with (trying to synch it with the real time).  It cost $1 at Michael's craft store.  That has helped him the most.

 

We haven't gotten into multiplication yet, so I'd imagine that when we do, telling time on an analog clock will be much easier for him.

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#3 of 13 Old 08-05-2011, 08:33 AM
 
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Are you asking about an understanding of time (as in, "it'll take about 30 seconds" and "about two hours long" and "at 7 this evening") or about telling time by reading an analog clock? My kids were beginning to understand time pretty well in the former sense by age 3 or 4. Telling time with an analog clock came a couple of years later. Some of the "clock math" stuff took a little longer, the things like "the movie is 104 minutes long, so if we start now, at ten to 8, will we be able to watch the whole thing before 9:30 bedtime rolls around?"

 

Having one's own analog clock to play with, use, set, refer to ... that was the best learning strategy for my kids. You can buy a simple clockworks for $3 or $4 and use a paper plate or cardboard box to make your own clock. That's pretty awesome fun for crafty kids.

 

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#4 of 13 Old 08-05-2011, 09:05 AM
 
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My 6.5yo is telling time well now, except for right before the hour when the hour hand looks like it's pointing to the next hour.  I grew up with the classic Golden book "How to Tell Time" and I found a copy at the thrift store, though my then-toddler pried the clock hands off the book and I didn't notice until back at home.

    We have a cheap clock on the wall, so if she wants to see it closer, I'll pull it down off the wall. We also have some old broken clocks that they can play with the hands.  I don't know how we ever got started, maybe the book came first?  But we regularly have spontaneous clock-reading lessons.  Getting their curiosity revved up is extremely helpful.


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#5 of 13 Old 08-05-2011, 09:49 AM
 
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Able to tell the time?  6-8, depending on the child.

 

The best tools have been playing with real or playclocks and tracing circles on paper, and having them draw in the numbers and hands.  

 

Making sure they can count by 5's is good for telling time.

 

Doing a bit of fractions while learning to tell time helps as well.  Understanding what half a circle is, and that half covers 12-6 (12 is the starting point), they can easily understanding that half past 8  means 8 plus half...or 8:30.

 

1/4 are also important - I would do it after they have 1/2 down.

 

 

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#6 of 13 Old 08-05-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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My dd is 7.5 and has been really improving on her time telling skills for the last couple fo months.  One thing that helped a lot is that we bought her a watch of her own and started using time more.  Stuff like "At 5:30 we will go to the YMCA".  It sounds simple, but that's how she learned.

 

No amount of worksheets or pretend clocks ever made it click for her.  She had to start using time in a very concrete way with her own watch to really grasp it.


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#7 of 13 Old 08-05-2011, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have plastic clocks to practice time with, but yes, our main application is by having to tell what time our activities start.

We also work on the fraction portion, which she gets.

 

Oddly enough, I found out yesterday that she still isn't counting by 5's by memory but can count by ten and 20. She is my visual/spatial kid, so I often don't know she has grasped a concept until much later. We tend to tackle ideas/content from many different angles, which works well for her.

 

I guess I was wondering what an average age was for kids to really get what time is, when they understand how time works and when reading a clock makes sense.


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#8 of 13 Old 08-05-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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We learned to count by 5's by doing "high 100's".  Some things are worth more than just a "high 5" so I taught her how to do "high 100's".  Sometimes we'd do them by 5's (one hand) or 10's (two).  While I realized what this was teaching her, this was not my intention at all but to express joy at an awesome accomplishment. Yes, counting by 5's makes telling time easier.


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#9 of 13 Old 08-05-2011, 08:21 PM
 
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My son is 8 and he can't tell time. He had some "developmental delays", and his grades in school are all over the place. As far as the tests that they give them in school, he didn't fall below average in any subject. Vocabulary is a strong point. Visual motor integration is the only area where he scored low, so that could be where the time telling confusion comes from. Also a lot of ADD kids have trouble with the concept of time. He scored in the moderate range on ADD test, so that could be another reason for the delay in learning to tell time.

 

They didn't focus much on telling time this past school year (2nd grade), but they did do some counting with money. I was worried about counting money too, as he didn't seem to get it at all, but sure enough, it finally started to click one day. I am starting to go over time a bit with him now so he isn't completely lost at school. 

 

 

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#10 of 13 Old 08-06-2011, 08:45 AM
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There are many concepts to "understanding time".  However, I would say that around 6 for my oldest and 8 for my second child.  That includes all the main topics including reading both types of clocks, having a good idea of how long a half-hour, hour, etc is, simple math with clocks, and more.  However, telling the time with a regular (non-digital) clock, was hardest for my second dd (this last skill wasn't really solid until shortly after she turned 8).  Like someone else mentioned, when the hour hand is really close to the next hour--that is tough (like 1:45-1:59 ran the risk of being called 2:45-2:59).  But then, I found a little plastic clock (unlike our others) in which the two hands did not move independently.  As my dd moved the minute hand, the hour had would move appropriately.  I would call out times to her and have her "set the clock".  She caught on really quickly with that clock.  (And it was only $2.00!)

 

My youngest is 5 and can read a digital clock.  She understands that there is an 8:00 in the morning as well as an 8:00 in the evening, though she doesn't yet refer to them as AM/PM.  She still refers to "nightime" as anytime it is dark outside and "daytime" as anytime it is light outside.  She does grasp how long 10 min, 30 min, and an hour is.  But, I think that anything beyond an hour is simply thought of as a "really long time".  

 

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#11 of 13 Old 08-11-2011, 01:00 PM
 
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my almost 6 yr old can tell time pretty well....but that is because we spent the last year going over it in his math program, with flash cards, with a play clock, etc.  i made sure he could count by 5s first. first we learned hours, then half hours, then time in 5 minute incriments.  i never even showed him a digital clock until a few months ago, after he mastered telling time using the hands of a clock.

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#12 of 13 Old 08-13-2011, 07:56 AM
 
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My almost 6 year old is really wanting to learn to tell time.  He can tell what hour it is and I have worked on getting him to master counting by 5s.  I have just found a watch that I think might help.  I ordered it for his birthday and haven't received it yet, so I can't tell you if it actually will help, but here it is:  http://www.amazon.com/Timex-T89022-Teacher-Flowers-Stretch/dp/B0000TIKK8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1313243323&sr=8-3   The "minutes" are written in next to the hour, for example, right next to the big 3 is a very small 15.  It seems like a good idea to me!


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#13 of 13 Old 08-14-2011, 06:32 PM
 
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DS is 6 1/2 and still struggling.  He has a better grasp on it now than he did a year ago but it still hasn't "clicked" yet.

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