Tick Tock: Teaching Kids About Time
Teaching our children to understand the value of managing their time is one of the most imprtant skills we should pass on to them.
Learning to be ready for school, doing homework, or going to bed on time, can be done without us having to constantly remind our children of the time. We can teach them to become independently punctual.
Remember to approach this process in a fun way, so that the kids would not think of “time” as a scary concept, but rather as a way to make like easier.
I have some tips and tools that are time-tested to help children manage their time more efficiently.
To help your child understand the notion of time, you can begin at a young age to illustrate its measurement tools.
1. Start by teaching your children the concept of “day, week, month, year”, by playing the game of sun, earth, moon.
Now teach them that one day starts when we wake up with the sun, and finishes when we go to sleep with the sun.
Make a list of favorite activities and then place them in the appropriate category: Jumping takes one second, let’s sing for one minute, we will take a shower for 5 minutes, it takes us one hour to drive to the zoo, and so on.
2. Buy a calendar and let them mark the important dates to them on it: school days, weekends, birthdays, holidays, grandparents visits, toy-buying days, etc.
Make a habit of making them mark each day as soon as they wake up.
3. Provide your child a digital watch, and let them have a big analogue clock in their sight at home. (don’t worry about them not being able to tell the time immediately, because it’s a gardual process)
4. Sometimes you may use a timer/ alarm clock and some music. Make sure that the sound of the alarm clock is not annoying to them. Choose a tune of their favorite song for example.
Next, you are going to work with them to decide how much time they will need to perform specific tasks.
5. Make a chart with daily schedules: “At 8:00 we go to school. At 12:00 we’ll have lunch, at 6:00 we do the homework, at 8:00 we go to bed.”
Make a to-do-list and assign an amount of time for each of the things they need to do. Hang it in the central place in the house. So, write down what time it starts and what time it finishes.
getting ready for school?
You can break up the big task into smaller ones
making their bed time is 2 min.
Taking a shower, 10 min.
eating breakfast, 20 min.
brushing teeth, 3 min.
getting dressed, 10 min.
Make boring tasks fun with music. Music makes them more motivated. So, by saying: By the end of this 5-minute song we will have finished tidying up the room. Ready, steady, GO! And you start the music.
6. Show them how to operate the alarm clock. They should be able to set the time then turn off the alarm when it sounds. Of course you will need to double check this yourself, but it is important to allow them to feel that they are in charge of their own time.
The key is to be sure they understand that it is very important to begin their day at the asigned time, and stick to the schedule according to the list and the time on their watches.
Remember to make it fun and not stressful
This process will take some guidance for a while until they become familiar with it. Remember to reward them by complimenting their manners or with small presents sometimes. Tip: keep the presensts small and symbolic, so that they wouldn’t be expecting a trip to Disneyland each time they make their bed!
Through repetition of the process your children will learn the “feel” of time and from this phase on, they will start to develop the skills of time management.
Best of luck with teaching your children the good habits!