Did you notice the pun in the title of my post? LOL. Awwww. Come on. Laugh. Please? It’s been a rough day for me, but in spite of the bumpy spots, I couldn’t wait to get online and tell you about the next product on our review line-up…a clock from Master Innovations.
In October, we were blessed by the timely delivery of a clock manipulative and its accompanying 100 page exercise book called Mastering the World of Telling Time (did you see that one? hee hee…indulge me;-). Let me tell you, the Three Amigos were very excited. Most of our reviews have been solely for Tex (except the one from Corps of Re-Discovery, which we did after this product’s arrival), and the idea of something coming in the mail for them tick-led them pink (gotcha again!).
We immediately set out the items and examined them thoroughly. When I say thoroughly, I really do mean thoroughly. Anything that survives examination by an eager seven, five, and three year old (with perhaps a bit of baby slobber thrown in when it got dropped to the floor and picked up by Boo) is definitely made to last the test of time (okay, I’ll stop pointing out my horrible puns, but I won’t promise to stop finding places to make them).
The Master Innovations Clock is made of very sturdy plastic. It has a heavier white back (which contains the mechanical gears that work the clock), and three clear plastic overlays, one each for hours, minutes, and seconds. These overlays are marked for each of those time divisions in a color that corresponds with the hand that shows that time: red for hours, green for minutes, blue for seconds. Each of these hands is removable, so if your kids aren’t ready to tackle learning about seconds (like mine weren’t), you can take off the blue hand and set it aside for later. There is a faux “digital clock” above the analog timepiece, so your children can practice reading both types of clock faces. I know at our house, like many others, there are mostly digital clocks (on the microwave, telephone, and alarm clock), but many classic watches still use analog (as well as my parent’s antique clock, the clock at our church, and many other places I can think of), and learning to tell time by reading both types of time-pieces was a skill my kids were ready to tackle…I just hadn’t yet found the time.
So anyway, the kids were thrilled with their new “toy” and set about making up scenarios over the next few days that incorporated the use of a clock. They played school, train station, kitchen (think kitchen timers and how long is it until dinner?), and doctor (who hasn’t waited for a looong time in the doctor’s waiting room? Kids are so clever!). They discovered that time flies when you're having fun...okay, I just had to fit that one in somewhere! While they played and familiarized themselves with the workings of the clock, and I fielded quite a few questions (I started hearing, “What time is it, Mom?” much more often over the next week), I checked out the exercise book and was extremely pleased.
The Master Clock Workbook is made of heavy paper and has an answer key in the back. It is written for beginners through fifth grade, so this is a resource that will last you a long time. The worksheets are very easy to use, clear enough in purpose for even a novice teacher to implement without lengthy explanations. The topics vary from written exercises the teacher reads aloud and guides the student through (to introduce a new topic one step at a time) to more complex ones that are mostly word problems (so older students can incorporate some practical use situations into their practice time). In between, are simple fill-in problems for younger hands to draw the hours and minutes in the correct positions, or to write the correct digital version of the analog picture.
I found this resource to be thorough, useful, and my kids really liked every page they completed. They were so proud of their new time-keeping skills, we had to display the pages on the fridge for Daddy to see when he got home, and they talked his ears off about the subject. I was particularly satisfied because the lessons required NO prep for me (other than copying the reproducible sheets for each child), they were simple, and yet they taught the subject well.
For those folks who like more elaborate lessons, the book is not only easy to use, it is extremely thorough. For example, it starts with an overview of what time is and has projects for how to build a water clock and a sand clock as part of a discussion on early time-keeping pieces. It progresses from some exercises on order, to discussing relative time (does it take more or less than an hour to…?), to how long are an hour, half-hour, quarter hour, minute, second, etc. in relation to each other, then it moves along to identifying time by hours, half hours, quarter hours, five minute periods, minutes, and seconds on both the analog and digital clocks. It covers correct time phraseology (like using quarter-to for fifteen minutes until…), A.M and P.M., has graphs to fill out, scheduling charts to read, and word problems to solve. I haven’t seen a more comprehensive book on the subject.
In all, I found this product to be amazing and we enjoyed every minute we put into this review. I am certain we will continue to use it for months and years to come.
I hope you will find the time to stop by the Master Innovations site and check out their products. The clock we reviewed is available for $14.95, and the accompanying workbook is $15.95.
It is well worth the investment, especially if your children are younger and you will have many hands who will make good use of this sturdy teaching tool. The company also offers a Master Ruler, a Master Angle, and a Master Fractions set which you might want to check out if you have slightly older students.
You can even view a video on how the products are used HERE. You can see the TOS Homeschool Crew review and find links to what other reviewers thought of the Master Innovations products we reviewed HERE.
Thanks for reading. I hope you had a fun time. I sure did.
I received the Master Innovations Clock and accompanying workbook free in return for my honest review. Please understand that while I do not expect that everyone’s experience will be the same as my own, I would not recommend a product that I did not like and find useful, and I hope you would, too. If you have any questions concerning this product or this review, please feel free to contact me.