The other night at dinner, my husband asked randomly, “What’s today’s date?” I didn’t know. Without even lifting her head from looking at her plate, my preschooler said, “March 11th.” We were both floored.
Homeschoolers don’t need a colorful text book exercise to practice calendar skills. They can just use a real calendar that applies to their real lives and learn calendar skills as they practice them in real situations. All parents need to do is provide their child with a calendar on their bedroom wall or hang one in a room (like the kitchen) where the kids will have access to it. Then discuss with them how to use a calendar on a day to day basis, as often the topics come up.
Days of the week
“What’s today?” or “When do we go to church?” or “How long till my birthday?”
Months of the year
“Find this month. January, February, March… That’s right. It’s March.” then ask “What is next month?”
“What number is in today’s box?” “4” “So it’s March the forth.”
“How many days until Saturday?”
Instead of using Xs to mark the days, let your kids color the boxes in a pattern when the day begins or ends. Then ask them, “What will we color the box today?”
“What will we color the box for tomorrow?”
“Today is the 1st, 2nd, 3rd… 12th. That’s right.”
Saying the Date
“Today is Thursday, March the 12th. What is the year? …2009. So, today’s full date is Thursday, March the 12th, 2009.”
This type of consistent practice really works! No need for a textbook!