After school care for High school children. There is none!!

(29 Posts)
Shybairns Mon 07-Jul-14 10:27:15

Hi my step son is due to start high school this September and as both his Dad and I work we are wondering what folk do with their 11 yr old after school hours. We are not home till 5: 30 - 6pm and we feel that he is too young to be walking home and letting himself in.
Any suggestions or experience of this welcome.

Passamaquoddy Mon 07-Jul-14 10:29:57

When I was at sixth form I helped a single mum and earned a bit of extra cash by being there when her kids got home from school and putting dinner on etc until she got home. Do you know any sensible teens that you could employ?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 07-Jul-14 10:31:49

Have you asked any local Childminders? I know one or two who have mindees who take the school bus to the cms and stay for tea. They dont factor into their ratios so it can be a good extra earner.

GretchenWiener Mon 07-Jul-14 10:32:12

you let him stay at home
he is 11

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 07-Jul-14 10:32:59

Another option is for him to stay behind to do homework in the school library til, say, 4.30, then make his way home. There is also the likelihood that he may join a couple of school clubs which run after school too.

Skina Mon 07-Jul-14 10:36:01

He's 11. Plenty old enough to be at home for a couple of hours.

Cockadoodledooo Mon 07-Jul-14 10:58:50

What does he do after school now?

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 07-Jul-14 11:04:00

Leave a sandwich in the fridge and let him stay home confused

It's only a couple of hours

ChocolateWombat Mon 07-Jul-14 11:11:32

First question - can he stay at school for a while? Some schools kick out and lock up and 3.30 but many have a library open until around 5. He can go there and do homework.

Second question - how long are you prepared for him to be at home alone. At this age, he should be a ble to manage some time. You can practice this over the summer if you haven't done so already.

Third question - are there good reasons why he cannot be at home alone? Or is it just a case that you and him need to adapt to this part of growing independence?

Hard to give good answers until we know these things.

Shybairns Mon 07-Jul-14 18:42:35

I am worried that with nearly 3 hours between finishing school and us getting home he could potentially get up to anything and we would never know. He may fall in with a bad crowd and start hanging around the park potentially making a nuisance of himself and not going home until 10 mins before we do.

Will look at childminders. At least for year 7.

GretchenWiener Mon 07-Jul-14 18:46:14

its hardly like he is going to re- enact the Sharks and the Jets from West Side Story.
Methinks you need to let him go-o let him go-o a bit

GretchenWiener Mon 07-Jul-14 18:46:28

plus his mates will RIP THE PISS out of him going to a childminder

mummytime Mon 07-Jul-14 18:49:45

A Lot of those issues you can reassure yourself by phoning to check what he is doing. When I had to leave my eldest two, I would phone to check in about 10 minutes after they should have been home from school.

How long is his journey home? How does he feel about being home alone? What would he like to do? Has he got a friend whose house he could go to regularily? Could you and his father adapt your work hours a bit - some days going in earlier and leaving earlier? Is there any after school provision at school (mine can work in the library until 5 pm or so).

I would strongly suggest looking for a flexible solution, so he can take part in after school clubs.

Llareggub Mon 07-Jul-14 18:50:02

Blimey I was at home alone from year 6. I used to cook myself something to eat, do homework and watch The Sound of Music.

He is plenty old enough to stay home alone. Wouldn't he be making his own way to school and back anyway?

DurhamDurham Mon 07-Jul-14 18:50:56

Both of my children walked home and let themselves in once they got to secondary school. I didn't just expect them to do it over night. We spent time in the summer holidays spending time in the house without an adult and walking to the local shops to get bread/milk etc. by the time they started secondary school they were fine with it and and weren't fazed at all. It does depend on the child, however you say he's not ready to be left, but you could start to build up to it over the next few months.

BertieBotts Mon 07-Jul-14 18:51:36

Phoning the house phone is a good idea, then he has to be in to answer it and he can't stay out.

headlesslambrini Mon 07-Jul-14 18:52:26

You are going to knock his self confidence if you send him to a child minder as well as making him look like a fool in front of his friends. Age 11 is time to start trusting him and to give him a bit of responsibility. Make him ring you from your house phone when he gets home.

AuntieStella Mon 07-Jul-14 18:52:51

"He may fall in with a bad crowd and start hanging around the park potentially making a nuisance of himself and not going home until 10 mins before we do."

He may do this at any age, though. I'm not sure that waiting until older is in any way protective against that scenario. And unless you/DH drops work hours, you simply cannot stop him going off with his mates after school should he be minded so to do. I'd actually see it totally the other way round. Trust him now and he may well rise to the expectation. And when the dodgier teen years hit, there is at least some prior experience of being competently home alone.

ChocolateWombat Mon 07-Jul-14 19:15:09

OP, you didn't answer the questions about if it is possible for him to remain at school a bit longer,doing homework etc. Does it have to be 3 hours?
How long do you leave him for by himself now?
If it's not at all, you need to start building it up gradually.
Fair enough if you feel 3 hours is too much, but what about an hour? What about him doing after school clubs once or twice a week?

You don't sound like you are prepared to give him any independence. Is there a reason why he shouldn't have it?

ChocolateWombat Mon 07-Jul-14 19:20:45

Regarding the idea that he will go to the park and hang about......does he have a history of being disobedient and not trustworthy.
Most parents spell out very clearly what the expectation is.....ie straight home and they then ring you from the landline to say they are home. Spelled out clearly that they are not allowed to bring friends home unless adult is present etc etc. Most children, esp I. Year 7 don't have any problem following these kind of rules. They need to be spelled out clearly and there needs to practice the school run alone and being alone in the house. You need clear expectations about what they are allowed to do in the kitchen, answering the phone and door etc and what to do in an emergency.

Once all this is spelled out, agreed and practised, there shouldn't be any major problems and it is usually possible to reduce the length of time by booking into after school clubs, doing homework in the library etc.

Is your son such that theses kind of rules would not work for him and he needs closer supervision?

goats Mon 07-Jul-14 19:27:10

I feel your pain, dd has sen is 11 and not safe to be home alone. I am having to send her to local library near school which is a village one and luckily staff know her so she can use computer and a toilet if she needs to.

magpiegin Mon 07-Jul-14 19:30:39

In my experience the vast majority of 11 year olds make their own way to school and back and a good number have an hour or two by themselves at home. Is he particularly naughty or have any extra needs that might make this difficult?

Shybairns Mon 07-Jul-14 20:22:56

OK so by the sounds of things I am being over protective and worrying about things that haven't happened yet and may never happen.

We will look at leaving him for periods of time and getting him to go to the local shops etc.

He can stay in the library after school and if he's interested he could go to after school clubs which are run.

He's sensible enough. Just easily lead and desperate to be cool. Like most 11 year olds I imagine.

Calling from the land line is a great idea.

He's currently going to afterschool club until 6 every night

cece Mon 07-Jul-14 20:25:28

My DH and I both work and my D walks home on her own and stays at home on her own till we get back abut 6pm. Some days she stays at school for an extra so that she can go to a club. Then she goes home and waits about an hour or so for us to arrive home. Very unusual for a secondary aged child to have childcare.

girliefriend Mon 07-Jul-14 20:32:08

You will not do his street cred any favours, if he is desperate to be cool, by booking him in to a cm!!

He should be able to get himself to and from school independently aged 11. I can understand you feeling anxious though - I am already worrying about this and my dd is only 8yo!

I would spend the summer though encouraging some independence, is he not allowed down to the shops yet on his own? That is overprotective!!

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