Much before Christmas trees adorned the shopping malls and other public spaces this year, my 4 year old son has been asking me “When is Santa going to come?” Like every other kid of his age group he has been eagerly waiting for his surprise gift. While I tried explaining “this is the month of October/ November and Santa comes in December and there are X number of days left for him to come,” he continued to ask the same question again and again. One fine morning when he was getting ready for school and asked the same question for the nth time, it struck me that the concept of time maybe still alien to him. He does not understand the significance of days or months and Monday/ Tuesday or November/December are merely words to him.
I decided to pick up a small calendar, which he loves scribbling on, to teach him the lesson of time. I first pointed out the different months and asked him to read the letters with their phonics to also help him read on his own. Next I pointed out the days of the week,such as MON, TUE, and told him that these are short forms of days. I also encouraged him to read the numbers under each day and explained that the days of month are divided across days of weeks. I also pointed at Dec 25th and asked him to count the number of days left to the date pointing at each day.
It’s three weeks to Christmas now and we have decorated our tree. My son has been patiently counting the number of days left for Christmas every single day since the last two weeks on the calendar.While he just wants to know the number of days left for Christmas, I am hoping by the time his next favourite festival- Holi- arrives in March, he will understand the difference between dates, days, and months by gazing at the calendar again and again.
– Mother of a 4 year old boy