AIBU to ask a really daft question about what happens re : after school when kids reach secondary age?(141 Posts)
Hello, I know this sounds daft but I really don't know what's meant to happen re: after school care once kids start secondary school.
When I'm at work DD8 is collected by my parents or in laws (my DH usually works away). If they can't collect her I can use the after school club.
But what about at secondary? Do secondary age kids normally get collected? I'm fairly sure secondary schools don't run wrap around care! Surely 11 or 12 is far too young to have house key and be alone until I get home?
I had a key but my DM was at home, and I don't know how it works for working parents.
Please can somebody come and explain it to me? Thanks in advance.
I don't know either, but I suspect there is little available. Unless there are afterschool clubs or homework clubs that can extend the departure time.
After school clubs might be an option? I know other people who have a childcare share arrangement.
TBH If mine could get himself home I'd let him stay home an hour or so - he's only 12. They mature a lot between 8 and secondary school.
They come home by themselves and do homework and chores because they are not babies
At 11, one of mine walked home, had a key and let themselves in. The other caught the school bus then used their key to get in.
What did you do when you were 11?
Not a lot available as far as I know. On the rare occasion I'm not home ds1 (12, year 8) let's himself in and waits for me. Longest was 3 hours due to a bad accident. I've been leaving him home alone to pop to the shop since he was 10 or 11. (Shop is 5 mins away)
He has also been catching the bus across town on his own since year 7 to go to my mums house once per fortnight.
Most secondary age students I know either walk home or catch the bus. Some stay at school for sports or music clubs / homework club etc and then leave school at 4ish. I'm afraid I have no idea what happens when they get home though! I presume someone is there to let them in - at least for Year 7 age anyway.
Not many seem to be collected by parents, and if they are, it mainly seems to be for those that have stayed late for clubs.
11 just seems so young to be home alone til 6pm or whatever time their parents come home.
DS is one of very few who doesn't come home to an empty house at all. They all seem to be coping fine!
11 or 12 really isn't too young to get home and potter alone until you get back (but I absolutely appreciate that when your DC is 8 that must seem hard to believe - they do change so fast). Mine did it - they were mostly glued to the telly or computer when I got in and oblivious to anything. But the youngest has taken to having a cup of tea ready for me when I walk in the door, which is lovely.
They walk home via the library, sweet shop, park, friends house, and then let themselves in and eat the contents of the cupboards and trash the living room until I get home where they demand for food.
Eat, rinse, repeat
I continued with the in laws being at our house when DD got home for the first part of year 7. But they change immensely once they start secondary and are usually fine to let themselves into an empty house and be alone for a few hours by this stage. We dropped the in laws part after xmas of year 7.
3.30-5.30 or 6 isn't really very long, and if they can do an after school club then it's more like 4.30-6. I'd be fine with ds doing that at 11/12.
At the state secondary school I teach at, there are lots of after school clubs. Also, the school library doesn't shut until 5pm, so kids can hang out there doing homework/reading. However, a lot of children are latch key kids from secondary.
I will have the same issue this year and I expect he will either walk or catch the bus. (My baby will be grown up!)
The walk home always takes longer than u would think, so bare that in mind. You will think its a 30 min walk so she would back at 4. She will do as a pp says library sweet shop park mates house saunter dawdle etc and prob rock up at 445 and yes they grow up a lot very quickly in secondary.
Its a tough one, 11/12 seems so young.
My ds has just turned 12, I gave him a house key and mobile phone last year to get him used to it, he had been at a childminder since a year old and I still have her for the holidays.
My mum stays around the corner so if she's in he will go there, otherwise he's under strict instruction to let himself in and then lock the door and not answer it to anyone. He generally gets himself a drink/sandwich and goes to his bedroom and plays on his xbox. He's a sensible boy and i've been through the fire drill etc, I can and do phone him and vice versa. Its tough but what can you do.
There's generally no call for after-school care when they're at secondary school, which is why it is seldom offered I guess. I'm sure you'll equip your daughter to be sensible and resourceful, and ok at home for a couple of hours at the age of 12+ She'll be fine. As others have said, she'll make a snack and do homework/chores.
When my kids were 8 I couldn't imagine it either. I completely understand why you're asking.
But what do kids with SEN do? Ds doesnt even go to the park alone atm. We lost our category admission and so are waiting for general admissions but fear we will get the school that so an hours walk away or 53 minutes swapping between bus and walking or I will have to pick up. But I have younger children to collect at the same time. We have been told we do not qualify for transport under any category (2.8 miles)
Mine is going in September. Children on our estate get the bus and walk up together from bus stop at 4.15. I work from home most days so will be in. The day she finishes early (weds) I'm office based so she will have to have a key and be alone 3-4.30. Seems to be norm to be home alone after school. I'm glad I work from home as Holiday care appears sparse for over 11. Even working pt I'm out of house 8.15. - 4.30. Seems long time to leave 11 yr old home alone but people must do. Luckily grandma can assist.
i was sometimes alone for 2 hours after school when i was 12 , i sometimes went to a friends house or if i did go home just watch tv till my mum came home and fed me lol
Some summer born will be just 11. Mine is winter born so will be older.
Does anyone else's child have a really long journey to school?
My eldest gets the bus to and from school, but it's 15 miles, and if she misses the bus she'd have to wait 2 hours for the next one!
She often stays home alone and can let herself in with her key, and always takes the bus to school, and home if DH or I will be home or not working and nearby, but when we are both working I still make her go to an after school club - DH works 60 miles away from home and although I work 4 miles away I can't "pop" out if she misses the bus (not an office job).
I worry about her missing the bus or missing her stop or losing her key/ leaving it in her locker because of the distances involved and the irregular buses...
She has left her key in her locker and then left me a missed call asking only when I'd get home before - her mobile then "stopped working" and she wasn't answering it nor the land line so I was somewhat frantic internally at work not knowing why she'd called me and trying to decide whether to leave and search for her ... Got home to her sitting on the doorstep, keyless and unworried but I was very cross - she would like to come home when I work but I now won't let her.
If she could walk home or there was a bus every 10 minutes it would be fine I think. Actually my 9 year old gets a school bus and I think I'd feel more confident about him getting home without me there (but no need as he lives his
extortianately expensive after school club.
See if there are any drop-in youth provisions at that time of day; many areas are moving away from a traditional "evening" youth club and have youth cafes and similar to scoop up the teens between school and home to prevent them finding less positive things to do.
Not all teens need it - but it's useful to know it's there even if it's just as an emergency to get help if phone is lost/need a wee/missed the bus - and for some it really is the only place they have to go.
They go home and let themselves in and play on their phones. Walk home with their mates, get the bus, walk into town etc etc.
In the unlikely event that, for whatever reason, their parents or someone else fetches them, they have to stand a good 5 minutes away and not show any sign of recognition of said child and even when walking home must walk at least 200 metres behind to not cause further embarrassment. On no account must eye contact or actual (god forbid) spoken communication take place until in the safety of own home. If at all possible, designated adult should walk on opposite pavement. If a vehicle is used, it must be parked furtively 18 streets away from the school and both parent and child must do a quick reccy of the surrounding area before child gets in car in case an actual friend of child sees him being fetched by mammy.
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