Telling the time is not the favorite part of elementary school children. It’s also quite conceivable, because naming the times and mastering an analog clock is like learning a new language. When should a child actually be able to tell the time? And how can you help as a parent?
“In groups 3 and 4, children learn to master half hours and quarters, in groups 5 and 6 everything in between, and in group 8 a child must be able to read an analogue and digital clock well and be able to do calculations. Some children do not follow along so easily on this line of learning, which may have to do with different things,’ says Marije Turel, children’s coach and former elementary school teacher.
Before children start telling time in primary school, it is also important that they develop a sense of time. As a parent, you can help your child with this at an early age, for example by often mentioning how many minutes something still takes, and talking about concepts such as tomorrow, today and yesterday.
According to Gerard Bel, education advisor at Wij-leren.nl, this is useful for your child. “Then a child in group 2 could already have an idea of what ten minutes is. From about five years of age they can then start to learn to tell the time. Around the age of ten or eleven, a child can usually easily tell the time and count the times. “
Watching the clock in family life
According to Bel, children in elementary school often find it difficult to tell the time. Seeing analog time is especially challenging because of the complicated language involved.
“In addition, you will find a clear analog clock in few homes. They master a digital clock much faster. Parents also often tell when children ask what time it is, instead of challenging their child to read the clock themselves,” Turel added.
If your child asks what time it is, it’s worth letting your child figure it out for himself. If the time is 2.55 pm and a child in group 4 answers with “almost 3 hours”, then that is perfectly fine and they have still practiced well, says Turel.
Have analog clocks in your home
Bel sees that children who grow up in an environment where a rich vocabulary is used have an easier time learning to tell the time.
It is also a good idea to get some analogue clocks for your home, says Turel. Bel: “Make sure they are clocks with numbers, and with a clear small and large hand. Learning to tell the time analogue is more difficult than digital, but it shows in a nice way how quickly time passes.”
As a parent, be careful not to treat telling the time as something special. “Sitting down with your child to specifically learn to tell the time is not that effective. In everyday life you have much better opportunities to integrate telling the time with your child. Your child learns best when he comes into contact with times and time.much says Bell.
Visual thinking, dyslexia and dyscalculia
Children who often think in pictures can have a particularly difficult time, says Turel. “They prefer to learn everything in a visual way, but they are also often very sensitive and busy in the head, and have an eye for detail. It is not seen as a separate disorder, but visual thinking has a lot of overlap with giftedness, ADHD and hypersensitivity. “
“In my practice, I have often taught visual thinkers who have trouble telling the time all the steps within an hour. For this group, it is necessary to see the big picture first. So first I explain the whole clock, including the difficult parts like for example, like the times with ‘half past five’. Then it’s important to break it all down into quarter ‘penes’. Using such increments, they can tell the time quite quickly,” says Turel.
Dyslexia and dyscalculia can also make it more difficult to master time reading. “With these two disorders, children have difficulty automatizing concepts,” says Bel. “Dyslexics also often have problems learning the analog clock.”
Unfortunately, this content cannot be displayedWe do not have permission for the necessary cookies. Accept cookies to view this content.