We start by pulling out our teaching clock (you could use a watch or handmade clock). We discuss the hands on the clock. We talk about how the little hand is always the number we look at first (because you start out little and then grow big). Just like when you turn 5. You are 5 until you turn 6, the little hand isn't called by a number until it gets there. So if a number is in between the 10 and 11, we still say 10 because it hasn't grown to 11 yet. We practice by moving the little hand all around the clock face and saying the number it would be.
We look at the minute marks between each number and count them all around until we get to 60. I make a circle and draw a line down the middle to represent 30 minutes. We talk about it being half of the clock and half of sixty minutes. I ask if the kids know what half of 60 minutes makes. (I once had one of the girls respond that 3 was half of 6 so it would be 30.) This is a good time to start using the language half past. I point out that the big hand on the 12 make o'clock (because the big hand has made a circle or an "o" around the clock). Using just the hour and half hour, I write out different times and the kids match up those times. Then I build times on the clock and have the kids write out what the times look like written down. Then I let me write their own and I build them; and they build them and I write them down.
At this stage, your child needs to be able to count by 5's (and we relate it to counting nickels). We start by counting out the minutes from one number to the next. They are all 5 of course, so we agree to count them by 5's. I tell the kids that the big hand is counted differently than the small hand because the big hand counts all of the small ticks between and the numbers. We practice building and writing times with this new information.
Finally, we practice counting by fives and adding on the ticks. I start off by telling them that sometimes the big hand is between two numbers. When that happens, we count by fives and then simply add one more tick until we get to where the big hand is sitting. To demonstrate, we take some time counting from the 12 to where the big hand is and then I show them that counting by 5's makes it much quicker.
At this point, you can get your child a watch and ask him/her to tell the time off and on throughout the day.
Wishing you homeschool blessings,
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