Teaching the Concept of Time to a Child

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Teaching the Concept of Time to a Child
Time is naturally an indefinite flowing process. It is very difficult for the human mind to grasp an eternal and eternal process. In fact, most of us are feeling that challenge better these days.

Child’s perception of time
We lost our sense of time while “staying at home”. It became difficult to grasp the time because we did not have timed works, appointments, “this time will be done”, “I should be there today”, that is, we did not have time markings. Most of us find out what day we are on by thinking about the date of the day. That’s where our little kids are all the time. For them, there are no concepts such as yesterday, today, tomorrow, a little later, just before…. What do you mean a little later? Which is the complaint of many parents. They say, “After a while, he does not wait, he asks again and again”. With our adult minds, we know this is vaguely but very soon, whereas for the child it has no meaning. Because it is concrete for the child; Everything that is not tangible or visible is meaningless. Show the clock and watch this long stick, it is moving and it can be understood when we say we will do it when it hits three. Or when we draw seven boxes instead of next week and say, “We will go to bed and wake up for so many days, we will paint a box every time we wake up, we go on vacation when there is no box left to paint, etc.” is now understandable.

Man has divided time into parts to make it more understandable, looking at the repetitive movements of nature and dividing it into days, weeks, months, seasons and years according to the movements of the sun and moon. Of course, after going through a lot of changes, the schedule we call the calendar we use today has emerged. It is as if the calendar has made time visible and perceptible. Thus, an objective, chronological, linear perception of time that we all agree on and comprehend in a common way has been formed.

When does the perception of time begin in children?
It is emphasized that the perception of time in children begins around the age of 4 years. Of course, it is not the perception of time or calendar perception that the adult understands. For example, the child may somehow know that that day is Sunday, but this does not mean that he knows that yesterday will be Saturday, tomorrow will be Monday, or the date of that day, etc. He may know that it is Sunday only because his father is at home. Similarly, knowing that he is 5 years old does not mean that a 3-year-old knows that he is younger. He knows how old he is because it has been repeated and repeated many times. But if you say what it means to be 5 years old, he will probably repeat that he is only 5 years old. A 7-year-old can name the months in the correct order, and even sort them by season, but “What month comes after December?” When you say “it’s over” he may say.

Making time understandable for the child
As it is seen, although it may feel as if it is perfectly natural for an adult who has known, learned and used all these concepts, it is not easy for children to grasp the time scales. In addition, various studies show that the concept of time does not arise spontaneously, but can be acquired with a well-organized education depending on the mental competence and experiential accumulation of the child.

On the other hand, today’s parents are fast-paced for various reasons, and this results in summary speech. Extended families shrank. Neighborhoods and relationships dwindled. Therefore, children’s learning from the environment, from people talking to each other, even if it is not directed at them, has also disappeared. On top of that, the negative effects of technology in this sense were added.

So, do we have time-based conversations with our child, such as what you did yesterday, what you plan to wear tomorrow, we will go on a picnic this weekend? Or do they hear our conversations with others about this content?

For example, “Now it’s time to sleep, we’ll go to bed and tomorrow when we wake up it will be Friday, and tonight April ends and tomorrow May begins. Are we talking by emphasizing time, such as “We will go to May on the calendar with you tomorrow”?

Is there a calendar use at home or does everyone deal with this issue quietly from their own screen?

How is the emphasis on time in the common conversations of the household?

Considering the answers to these questions and making changes in them will be beneficial in terms of providing the child’s relationship with time. On the other hand, we have a suggestion that we think you can easily do in these days when we “stay at home” and can spend more time alone with the child.

Let’s make a calendar
Prepare this calendar, which consists of cardboard and adhesive papers, as we present in the image, together with your child. Spend a little more time, especially on month and season changes. Children can decorate their calendar as they wish. It can also mark important days. Or, he can paint and paint the days he cares about, as he wishes, so he will experience that the calendar can be used as a time organizer, reminder and diary at the same time.

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