I've been trying to get through to one of my younger children the concepts of the months of the year and days of the week, how they are ongoing and continuous. She seems to grasp the continuous part okay but if asked, "What day is four days after Friday?" or the like, she has had a little difficulty. She was also confusing days or months that come before
each other. This has been a little struggle for a couple of months so I made this simple chart, the Year/Week Wheel, to help her visualize these concepts. Hope you can find it useful if you are experiencing some of the same issues.
To use the Year/Week Wheel print the file above "Year/Week Wheel". Use the following guidelines:
- Show and explain, using the wheel, the concept of the year, how that the months are a continuous cycle as are the days of the week.
- At first you might leave out
that January is the first month of the new year and Sunday is the first day of the new week. Introduce that concept later.
- Start with the days of the week (these names are easier for beginner readers to make sense of).
- Say the days of the week pointing with your finger (and child's also) going around and around the chart saying each day without emphasizing a starting or finish point.
- Explain that going with
the arrow shows after
and going against
the arrow or backward shows before.
- Begin asking questions, easier ones at first, such as:
"What day comes after
"What day comes before
- As the child is grasping the concepts work up to more difficult questions such as:
"What day is four days after
"What day is seven days before
- Use your creativity in your questions. Try to ask questions that make the child think but not get exasperated. When you know that the child is getting a good understanding you might ask questions such as:
"On Wednesday, Caroline asked her mother how many days it would be until her birthday. Mother answered that it would be five more days. On what day of the week would Caroline's birthday be?"
Teach the months of the year using the same basic system.