Year 7 out of school activities

(41 Posts)
lisson Tue 23-Apr-13 12:40:08

Ds is in year 6 at primary right now so he is due to move up to secondary school in September. He does a few after school things (Sunday league football team, scouts etc) which mean that he really only gets 1 night off a week. Fitting in the homework at primary school hasn't been a problem.

I don't know if its a coincidence or not but recently the football coach etc have each asked me to commit to next year. I've asked him if he'd like to give something up but he doesn't want to. However, a couple of other mums who already have a child at secondary say that the most year 7 children can fit in is one extra curricular activity.

I need to make some decisions because its not fair to say he will continue and then drop out. So, MN jury what do you think?!

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 27-Apr-13 16:13:45

Dd is due to go to a selective secondary in September

She currently has activities 6 days a week out of school ( mostly related) plus she has piano lessons at school and has to practice

Mondays is 45 mins dance
Tuesdays is 2 and a half hours dance
Thursdays is half an hour dance
Friday is 3 hours drama, singing, dance
Saturday is 1 hour dance group rehears
Sundays is anything from 2-6 hours show rehearsal

She won't be giving anything up.

Areyoumadorisitme Sat 27-Apr-13 16:03:22

I would be surprised if my yr7 DS does more than two hours homework a week, usually less.
I'd like some more to be honest but they started them off with loads for the first month then really slackened off.
I think out of school activities are really important and wish DS did more, he just does scouts and cricket.

MMollyMum2 Sat 27-Apr-13 15:23:37

My niece started secondary school in september, and does and always did far more than 6.5 hours of clubs. In total we reckon she does about (with getting ready etc) 15-16 hours of clubs a week. ( sport and music) She was when she started secondary school, and managed perfectly well, with time to do homework and see friends. they do get quite a lot of homework, and sometimes it catches up on her, but normally she can get it done. orgonisation is the key, and doing it when it's given, but she manages fine and they get her to bed by half 9 every night with half an hour of winding down time before. She is a very quick writer though, and finds school work relativly easy. If your ds is good academically, he should be absoultly fine in year 7.

needanewnickname Fri 26-Apr-13 11:38:56

On the wider issue of the OP being asked to commit her son to continuing with activities in Yr7, I think it is perfectly reasonable to say, "Yes we do plan to continue, but as the move up to secondary school will be a big change we cannot give an absolute guarantee that we'll continue. We'll need to play things by ear a bit."

Bonsoir Fri 26-Apr-13 08:26:06

I'm actually pretty happy that DD can start Spanish (at school, 4x 30 mins per week with native speakers taught direct method) in Y5 and Debate Club (3 hours on Wednesday morning in English ) in Y6 and not wait until Y7 when she will need to get to grips with much more independence. There is no comparison between the horizon broadening opportunities at her school and any school I have ever come across in the UK Her school wins hands down!

Ragwort Fri 26-Apr-13 08:24:48

Totally depends on the school and the child. My Y7 son does lots of after school activities, Scouts/Sports/Youth Club etc, only has one 'free' evening a week. He seems to get very little homework despite our complaint to the school. grin Agree with seeker out of school activities are essential for meeting new friends, team spirit, new experiences, getting along with adults etc etc

BackforGood Fri 26-Apr-13 08:23:35

Like Seeker I think it's really valuable that my dc do things that are in no way connected with school, and therefore have friends from across the City (indeed, Country, and World, in ds's case) that they've met through Scouts, etc.

seeker Fri 26-Apr-13 08:20:49

And for some of us,(like me) the out of school activities are essential for providing a broad education. Or what some of us (like me) think of as a broad education!

wordfactory Fri 26-Apr-13 07:50:46

I think the difference is Bonsoir has to access extra stuff outside school, so adding those in at year 7 might be too much. But for most of us in the UK, secondary schools offer lots of new and exciting activities within school (lunch clubs, after school clubs) and its a fabulous opportunity to widen horizons, get to know the school better, make new friends (highly important in year7) etc and none of it involves parents! Win win!

Bonsoir Fri 26-Apr-13 07:01:16

I don't think it's sad that DC can start extra-curricular activities much younger than 11, no!

Startail Fri 26-Apr-13 00:10:19

DD2 has done 3 and is dropping Scouts not due to HW, but because she keeps having to miss Scout stuff on Saturday as it clashes with ballet.

DD1 (Y10) does 3, but all are relatively flexible, she's been known to go to rangers over the web.

She's not one to make a meal out of HW, she does what's needed to an acceptable standard. Perfectionism and dyslexia don't mix, except on an external exam paper. (Both she and I spend our lives training our teachers to accept just because we haven't written millions of words doesn't mean we don't understand).

BackforGood Thu 25-Apr-13 23:51:40

Neither of my 2 older ones had anywhere near an hour a night in Yr7. It's unusual to get something that has to be done by the next day either, so plenty of room for managing time if they want to do the activities.
My dc are home by 4 (except on nights if they stay to something after school) so that gives plenty of hours to do homework, to eat, to go out to things, and to just chill.
Some people are "do-ers" or "joiners" and thrive on having lots to do, others aren't. Some children need more sleep than others. Some children fret and worry about homework more than others (dd1 and her longstanding friend, both pretty capable girls moved up to same secondary school together, and whenever I saw her Mum in the Jnr school playground - waiting for siblings - in the first year, she'd say about how much homework her dd was doing and how the French {or insert maths or English or Geography or whatever} last night had taken over an hour, but my dd never took more than 20mins and is doing fine.) Some schools put more emphasis on homework. Some children just get on with it (dd1) some children faff around spending hours on homework avoiding tasks (ds).

teacherwith2kids Thu 25-Apr-13 22:04:49

Bonsoir - so the secondary school has no clubs etc that are not offered at primary? How sad.

DS plays table tennis (daily in school, at a school club and outside school), does archery and plays in the school orchestra, as well as his usual diet of team sports, music lessons and county jazz. The first 3 were not available in his primary, but are things he has chosen to take up at secondary and has been able to pursue to a high level.

pointythings Thu 25-Apr-13 21:40:20

The other reason I'm happy DD1 is so involved in after school activities is that secondary age is when a lot of girls particularly get turned off sport. DD doesn't like PE much (unless she is doing netball, basketball or other stuff involving competition) but she really loves training with her team and playing the fixtures. I want her to continue to be physically active and enjoy it.

Bonsoir Thu 25-Apr-13 21:40:06

Where we live no special new activities start on Y7 - I just hope DD will find time to keep up her art / music / theatre etc when the time comes. For now (Y4) we try to keep to one big new thing a year - this year it was music theory and piano, next year will be Spanish.

cece Thu 25-Apr-13 21:33:34

Oh and forgot to say she has pretty much stopped the activities she did before Y7 (that I had to pay for) as the school runs after school clubs for free. She does these 3 days per week. Plus Guides and she is a Guide helper at Rainbows.

cece Thu 25-Apr-13 21:32:06

My DD is in Yr7. She tends to only have MFL and Maths homework to do during the week - takes about an hour max. She tends to do the rest of her homework at the weekend. Sometimes she can be doing it for a few hours doing it this way but this is how she prefers to do it.

teacherwith2kids Thu 25-Apr-13 21:26:40

Experience very similar to pointy's - DS's range of activities has increased hugely in Year 7 due to a wide range of new opportunities in e.g. minority sports, music that were not available to him in primary (2 have also led to participation in out of school clubs in different places to take those interest further)

To prevent him from taking those on 'because it is a transition year' sees bizarre - surely the whole point of Year 7 is to take advantage of those much wider horizons?

pointythings Thu 25-Apr-13 21:20:06

But Bonsoir the activities DD1 is doing were not on offer in her primary. I agree it does depend on the DC - mine saw Yr7 as an opening up of new horizons with lots of new opportunities, and she chose to make the absolute most of it. I certainly wouldn't have pushed it on her. DD2 is a very different character, not interested in sport (but she is in a reading club) and she will find her own way when she hits Yr7.

I wouldn't push anything in a big transition year, but I wouldn't discourage it either.

Bonsoir Thu 25-Apr-13 19:11:52

I don't think that Y7 is the right year to embark on new extra-curricular activities - there are some years where DC are very settled and in a good routine with school/activities and stuff can be added on, but not the year they move up to secondary.

Some DC manage to do a lot on top of school, and some don't. You need to make a judgement call as a parent as to your own DC's capacity.

pointythings Thu 25-Apr-13 18:50:57

DD gets a bit more homework than most of her peers, but she gets through the standard stuff very fast, it's quite easy. She's not a prodigy, but she is very bright, has passed a GCSE science paper she tried (but not brilliantly, just a C). I still don't think she needs more, she's got good study habits already and as seeker said, she has to have somewhere to go from here.

So I'm going to encourage her in her out of school activities, I think they're good for her and will help her be a more rounded person.

teacherwith2kids Thu 25-Apr-13 18:31:58

So far - DS is bright - usually homework is done quickly [luckily, as he has a very hectic life of sport after school, sport at clubs out of school, music in school, music outside school...]. His after school activities have naturally built up over the year, and while he is now v. busy - 2 activities per night and at 2 lunchtimes, with 1 night off and Saturdays (but not Sundays) free - he still manages the same 'get it done oin the night it is given for all short homework, spend Saturday as well on it if it's a long one' routine.

lisson Thu 25-Apr-13 11:17:03

Even now, in year 6, Ds (ok me!) has to think ahead so that all the homework can be fitted in.

For example he got about 2 hours of homework to do for Monday but I've realised that he either needs to do it tonight (before he goes out to one of his activities) or on Sunday night. However, if he leaves it until Sunday, then he won't have any available time if he gets any more home work for Monday.

how does it work at secondary school if you are quite bright - does it mean extra homework so more time on homework or less time because you can get through it faster??

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 10:35:04

I would think the football would be fine - my year 7 at the moment really just does dancing one night a week, and activities at lunchtime. She does at least some homework the vast majority of nights, but as yet she doesn't tend to get a big back-log of lots of subjects which must all be done at once.

She's learnt from experience to get it done sooner rather than later - and she will spend all Sunday on something if she's enjoying it. But it is only now that it's started to click for her (as opposed to me saying it and being scorned) that if she has homework to be in on Thursday, she needs to accept and plan round the fact that she's unlikely to have time on Wednesday when she goes to dancing, so had better do it on Tuesday, for example.

At year 7 stage, I think the planning and organizing is key - the actual workload shouldn't deter from actitvities, but it can get tricky if the planning isn't in place.

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 10:31:01

2.5 hours a night is a lot for a year 7- does the school expect her to do this? I only ask because it doesn't give her anywhere much to go when the pace speeds up in later years.

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