The importance of being able to tell the time Pupils as young as 6 or 7 can learn to tell time. It is a slow process starting with just learning time to the hour then to half an hour, quarter past and quarter to the hour. It takes a few months to consolidate this, after which you can move forward to teaching pupils to read time in 5 minutes intervals and eventually to the one-minute interval. Parents must realise that learning to tell the time is usually a slow process with lots of repetition. Make it a game and a habit of checking the time with your child as you do your routine household activities. This helps children pick up the skill of telling the time with ease.