Telling the time can be a tricky concept and one that is not uniquely reserved for primary school children. In May this year, telling the time made the national and international headlines when it was revealed that some teenagers can’t tell the time on an analogue clock. Whilst we were a little surprised the problem was this widespread, it highlighted how many children struggle to tell the time, leaving parents wondering where to turn.
So, how do you know if your child is having difficulties telling the time?
If the issue hasn’t been raised in a parent’s evening or you’re not aware that your child is struggling with their time related work in school, here are a few tell-tale signs to look out for:
- They can’t count easily from 1 to 60 – if your child is having trouble with numbers in sequences, recognising them from a random set or perhaps counting them backwards, they will find it difficult to read the numbers on a clock.
- They struggle to count in blocks of 5 or 10 – this is another skill that really helps with reading the time as it enables children to recognise and count the minutes on a clock face.
- They don’t understand the principle of time – it is true to say that we all experience time differently and that children in particular, have a very different notion of time to adults, however if your child struggles with the concept of time in day to day activities, this may be a sign they need a little extra help when trying to apply the concept to an actual clock.
- They’re not used to seeing clocks – we live in an increasingly digital age, so if yours is a house without any analogue clocks, your child may find it more difficult to tell the time as they are not familiar with the traditional clock face.
What can you do to help?
There are many ways in which you can help your child if they are struggling to tell the time, but probably the most important is to talk to your children about the time and involve them in time related tasks. Maybe you could get them to tell you when it is their bedtime by reading the time on the clock, or speak about everyday tasks in terms of how long they might take? By making time a big part of everything you do, it can help your child to become familiar with the concept.
If you do not currently own an analogue clock, now might be the perfect time to invest in one. If you don’t want a traditional timepiece to ruin your modern interiors, why not buy a clock for your child’s bedroom or playroom wall? Our EasyRead Time Teacher clocks are colourful yet practical and feature our unique 3-step time teaching system, that will have your child mastering the skill in no time!
No room on the wall? No worries, we’ve also got a range of alarm clocks and watches also featuring our 3-step time teaching system, so your child can practice telling the time until it becomes second nature.
If you’re worried that your child is falling behind in this essential skill, and you don’t want them to struggle next year at school when time teaching pops up on the agenda, consider buying one of our products today and you’ll be amazed at how quickly their ability develops.