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Learning to tell time is a vital skill in early childhood, but it doesn’t always come naturally. Here’s what we thought of Kumon’s My Book of Easy Telling Time.
Kumon’s My Book of Easy Telling Time is a colorful workbook recommended for ages 4, 5, and 6. It focuses on teaching children how to identify hours and half-hours.
A special thanks to Timberdoodle Co. for graciously sending us a complimentary copy of My Book of Easy Telling Time in exchange for our honest review.
Easy Telling Time
Depending on your child’s age and ability, learning to tell time may or may not be “easy”, but Kumon does an excellent job in laying out the concepts in a continual manner with lots of practice.
The workbook begins with large pictures of clocks and asks students to trace the numbers. It moves very quickly to having them write the numbers in blank spaces, but there are tracing opportunities throughout the book.
The pages progress to teach each hour on the clock (taught as “o’clock”), starting with one large clock on a page, and slowly moving to smaller clocks until there are 6 clocks on each review page. The student begins with tracing the hour number, then is required to identify the time and write the number on their own.
Next, the student learns to draw the long hand on the clock, and the short hands. The process for teaching the hours are repeated with teaching half-hours (taught as “half past”).
Near the end of the workbook, the concept of writing “1:00” for 1 o’clock, and “1:30” for half past 1 is introduced. Throughout the book there are a few fun pages following paths, and following the day of a bear, a baker, and the student from waking to bedtime to enhance the concept of passing time during a day.
What We Thought
My five-year-old easily understood the first few pages of tracing and writing numbers. Because the pages can become repetitive, we only work on 1-2 pages in a sitting, which helps to keep her attention.
When it came to drawing the long and short hands herself, the concept didn’t click as well, so we skipped to the next section and will revisit it later after more daily practice.
The concept of “half past” is important, but for young children who aren’t used to hearing that term, it seemed like a lot of different information swirling around. I was attempting to explain to my daughter that half past meant 30 minutes, but since she doesn’t understand addition and subtraction she looked at me with glazed eyes.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the workbook isn’t effective, it just means my child isn’t fully ready to ingest that concept yet. The best thing about this workbook is that it has a lot of clock practice in various manners. The one thing I would change would be adding a little more instruction about the concept of time.
Depending on what exposure your child already has to time concepts, this workbook may be all they need, or they may need some more supplementation, whether it’s just working one-on-one in daily life, or with other books and lessons.
I do believe that as we continue to do this workbook, page by page, over the next school year (Kindergarten), she will begin to understand the concepts in a more concrete way.
Final Thoughts on Easy Telling Time
Overall, I think My Book of Easy Telling Time is valuable. I wouldn’t necessarily call it “easy”, as that will depend on your child’s ability. This isn’t something we are able to fly through and complete quickly, but rather, adding in a page each week to build on her growing knowledge of time.
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