Calendars teach time progress
         Any time is a good time to get your child his own calendar - especially if
you are looking for one sold after the beginning of the calendar year when stores
are selling them at 50% off the original price.

         Spend some time going through the calendar with your child. Depending
on his knowledge of whatís in the calendar, this is a good time to go over
calendar terms such as the names of the days of the week, the months of the
year, the seasons, and such concepts as yesterday, today, tomorrow, next
week, next month, etc.

         If you have a centralized place where you keep such information as the
birthdays of people in your family, anniversaries, school vacations, family trips,
and other events, help your child get these dates noted on his own calendar.
Children often have invitations to lots of their friendsí and classmatesí parties.
These go on their calendar, too.

         Your writing will be neater and more presentable, but your child will have
a greater ownership of the calendar as his tool if the writing on it is his. And if
there are days that he deems as important, let him be the judge of those. After
all, itís his calendar.

         Lead your child to ability in using his calendar by guiding him through
using it, instead of giving the answers outright. If he wants to know how much
more time it will be until a certain event, use what I call sharing your thinking out
loud. For example, if he asks how long it is until Halloween, you would go
through the calendar with him and your comments may be something like this:
ďItís now the middle of January, so until the end of the month is half a month.
Then thereís February, so thatís one and a half; then March, so thatís two and a
half,Ē etc. You continue until you show that Halloween is nine and a half months
away. 

         In so doing, your child gets counting skills, calendar awareness, and gets a
handle on the passage of time.

         This column has been incorporated into Teach Your Children Well: A Teacherís Advice for Parents.

 
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