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Teaching Children to Tell the Time – Will We Lose It?

tell the time

When I was younger I remember so clearly being taught how to tell the time. I had a game or possibly jigsaw that I used to play with my Mum and we used to go over it constantly. I loved it! I think by the time I was in reception at school, I was confident with telling the time and I was bought a watch for one of my birthdays, that I could wear for school. Being able to tell the time was just something I could do and I guess I didn’t think much about it really.

But I’m going to sound old now. I’m going to show my age. Remember when you were a kid and one of your family members would tell you how something was so much better in their day? And you would smile and nod and swiftly move on, as their day it was 50 million years ago and they hadn’t really got a clue what they are on about?

I am now that family member. I am now that older person.

I listened to my eldest upstairs in the not so distant past, call out to her Amazon Alexa, “Alexa, what’s the time?”. This slightly horrified me, yet made me feel proud at the same time. On one hand, this girl was showing initiative! On the other hand, she was being a lazy bag and not actually looking at a clock to tell the time herself. Or should I say, I hadn’t really sat down and finished the job.

Will kids be able to tell the time properly with so many new devices being able to do it for them? Will people still be able to read an analogue clock?! This was a sobering thought. I mean, we can comfortably ask a plastic dot in the corner of the room to switch the light on for us, play music, set an alarm, the list is endless! It is so easy to take a shortcut and this makes me worry a little about telling the time.

After the Alexa incident, I vowed to my husband, I would teach my eldest to properly tell the time and we did it. Using a book with a clock attached to it and a work book my Mum bought, she quickly picked it up and now she is after a watch for Christmas. We have been looking at lots of designs for her, including waterproof watches for kids, as she swims and this would be perfect for holidays.

I was relieved my eldest picked it up so quickly but I do wonder if the good old analogue clock will become redundant one day, in favour of digital only or being able to ask a device the time for you! Will it be like the slow loss of a CD player or will the analogue stay in fashion, as a watch is a fashion piece or a clock is part of your house decor?

I really do wonder!! Alexa, do you know?

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