Children do not understand the concept of time. They have a vague idea of time. They may ask you, is 1 minute equals to 10 minutes? Is 1 second longer than 1 minute? For adults, these are silly questions. But we must teach the concept of time to children slowly as time is an important concept.
Children in Singapore learn time from hours to half-an-hour to minutes. It is a stage-by-stage learning and thus will be easily understood by the children.
At home, parents can help the children to reinforce the concept by using time whenever possible. At P1, children learn hours, as in 3 o’ clock, 5 o’clock, etc. If you are having dinner at 7pm, you can tell the child in advance and let him / her tell you when is the time for dinner.
At P2, children learn half-an-hour, as in half past two, half past seven, etc. At this stage, you have more choices to teach the child on time. Is his / her favourite cartoon showing at 7.30pm? Show him / her the time beforehand and give him / her the “authority” to switch on the TV at 7.30pm. By doing so, the child can learn independence and time at the same time.
Another way to learn time is when you are out and about. When we cross the road, we will see the green man and the time counting down in seconds. Teach your children on time and road safety at the same time.
Learn with your children and they will reinforce what they learn at school. Wishing all parents have an enjoyable learning journey with the children.