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What extras does a child get in private education reception year?

(44 Posts)
MrsNouveauRichards Mon 26-Nov-12 17:32:36

We can't afford to send our dcs to private school, and we are close to a good primary school, DD has just started reception there.

DD loves school and is relatively bright and has managed everything they have done with ease (according to her teacher) I don't want her to do more school work, but feel she needs more something

She has expressed a wish to start recorder club, but they can't start until year one, there are no school clubs available to reception at all.

My DH was educated privately, and has said he remembers being very busy at 5 with extra clubs (music, sports etc) as well as fairly packed days in school.

Is there anything I can do with her myself that would have the same effect? We already read together, go to the park, swimming, play games etc.

take3 Wed 28-Nov-12 14:25:04

Swimming...drama...bollywood club.... the list can go ON and ON....
Ok, I'm going to be radical here and say you don't need those things... your daughter (OP) is at school all day, that is a long time to be away from you and out of the house... so why opt for MORE out of home activities? You may think it is giving them opportunities to do new things and become 'more rounded', but it has a downsides too:
- firstly if children roll from one activity to another all day, they just learn to depend on these activities for their entertainment - it is all so instant and they therefore don't need to use their imaginations to create or learn how to spend time alone, entertaining themselves. This is so important for children - especially in a culture where everything is very immediate.
- secondly, if your daughter is out all day from 8.30 until 3.20 ish at school and then goes to a club after that, there is just enough time for supper, story and bed - not only is this reducing the time she has to create her own games but also it is really reducing the amount of time she is in the HOME - and children need HOMES. We all agree on that, but often clubs etc prevent children from really spending quality time with their parent (s) or siblings. Doing fun things at home, mean time to chat, to play together, to really talk about school, life, friends, things that are important - whilst creating a nurturing culture in the home environment.
This doesn't mean no activities - what about a different thing to do every day after school - perhaps a 45 minute activity (cooking together, something creative, making hot chocolate and snuggling up with some good books, puzzles, singing to a cd or piano etc, then she would have at least 45 mins of play before supper and bath.

Just an idea but I think it is all too easy to think that sending our children out to activities every day is the best for them. Yes, some clubs are fun and good, but not totally necessary.

Chestnutx3 Wed 28-Nov-12 14:51:45

Sorry I think it is very difficult to replicate the sport squads, doing after school activities with just your class mates, orchestras etc... that private schools offer. Are they essential for a happy childhood of course not, some of my DCs classmates I'm sure would swap all this stuff for more time with their parents.

take3 Wed 28-Nov-12 15:09:07

I agree - it is impossible to replicate them... not saying parents can, but I do think the tendency is to fill a child's day with as many activities as possible and not think about the precious years we have with them. I don't think I will look back and wish I had given them the chance to do bollywood dancing or cheer-leading club, but I think I may look back and wish I had spent more time talking to them and laughing together.
Some clubs are great - especially sporty ones and musical ones but let's not forget they don't need a whole range of clubs and they do need parents who spend time with them.

MrsNouveauRichards Wed 28-Nov-12 16:22:31

Thanks for all the fab replies!

I think this is it, I want her to do more, but I don't really like the idea of taking her to a million different clubs and activities after school. I wish the school had more varied activities within the school day which is wishful thinking! (or wanting the moon on a stick grin )

She is going to a French taster session next week with a view to start after Christmas, and swimming lessons or crash course too.

We try to play a lot of games with her - snap, dominoes, pairs etc which she loves.

Xenia Thu 29-Nov-12 11:02:13

Interesting issue is why did your husband who was educated privately end up unable to afford school fees for his children? Perhaps he really would prefer to pay school fees and may be you could both get better full time jobs to pay the fees?

APMF Thu 29-Nov-12 12:27:52

@take3 - I say again, why do some people have an either/or mentality? We have clubs AND what you described above. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

APMF Thu 29-Nov-12 12:30:48

@Xenia - Come on dudette. There are enough arseholes out there who think WE are the arseholes. Why play to their stereotype?

Tgger Thu 29-Nov-12 12:55:21

I'm with take3. Hence my post. Does she want to be busy all day, every hour of every day? I'm a great believer in space, time to chill out, play, do your own thing, chat, play games, annoy your sibling etc etc.

I'm all for passions, but less is more sometimes. DS (6) will often write stuff/put on shows/dress up etc etc. Wouldn't have time for that if he was out like a lot of his peers. I think as he gets to about 8 he might want to do more, but I am taking his lead and I love it that both DS and DD still have lots of creativity (kids tend to lose it as they get older, by 7/8 it is reduced a lot, part of child development but also part of fitting into today's society), and do all sorts of mad things.

Tgger Thu 29-Nov-12 12:57:01

He does swimming after school and a sports club at lunchtime that we pay for- that was an easier way of me saying yes to that than after school when i need to pick up DD too...

APMF Thu 29-Nov-12 13:21:43

I assure you that DS has plenty of time to annoy his younger sister smile

MrsNouveauRichards Fri 30-Nov-12 15:59:36

Xenia, without giving too much info away, DH's parents were both in the same job as DH is in, but at a better time. DH hasn't had the promotions that he should have due to the recession. Things may change in the future hopefully. As for me, I am not qualified to do anything so my earnings would just about cover childcare at this point in time!

SunflowersSmile Fri 30-Nov-12 16:14:48

'Leave them kids alone'...
Why so busy, busy at age 4- 5?
Let them rest and recharge for their full days of school at such tender ages.
Do believe most activities at this age are led by pushy parents...

Elibean Fri 30-Nov-12 16:23:17

I was educated privately: I finished school at 3pm, then played and had friends over. It was great, I have wonderful memories of being that sort of age.

Our (state) primary has a few clubs for Reception children - sports, story club, that kind of thing. French (if you pay). But in Y1 (when most are still 5) they have a huge variety of clubs to choose from - all sorts of sports, science, recorder, music, story, etc.

It was parents asking (and fundraising, and offering to help) that got some of the new clubs started - along with a Head who listens - so might that be a way to go, OP? Even if its for KS1, and not Reception?

For the time being, I would keep doing what you're doing, and remember that this is a great time for building on social interactions, friendships...invite kids over, be invited back....when they start all the clubs, there isn't the time anymore smile

cansu Fri 30-Nov-12 18:14:31

I think it's a shame you see your dd as having a kind of second best basic education. I actually don't think this is true. I really wouldn't wear yourself out rushing around to different clubs. Your dd needs your time and attention and it sounds like she is getting that. She needs to start to develop friendships with her peers at school. I would focus on this rather than feeling she is missing out. I honestly doubt this is true. As she gets older she will start to ask to do certain activities as her interests develop. I think that age 5 she will probably be quite tired after the school day.

MrsNouveauRichards Fri 30-Nov-12 20:22:47

It is not that I think there is anything wrong with the school/her education as such, more that I think she is already starting to find it dull. I appreciate that reception year is more about school prep, but their maths is currently learning to count to 10. I don't think I am being precious by thinking she actually needs more than this.

Of course I want her to have time to play and develop in her own time, but that doesn't mean she can't do other things too.

Houseworkprocrastinator Fri 30-Nov-12 21:31:27

is there any conservation/ forest areas near you that have a junior explorer or nature club? you mentioned her being outside all weekend so i am guessing she likes the outdoors. there is a group by us who learn all about nature and take the children pond dipping and on wood walks etc. educational and fun i would say.

Newbizmum Sat 01-Dec-12 02:52:59

Clubs are from Year 1 in my school, not from reception. That said, we had our youngest in 4 different classes in reception; swimming, gymnastics, ballet, theatre group and she dropped ballet and gymnastics from choice after a couple of terms. School now has added clubs and she takes sports and art after school and thus is back to 4 after school activities a week.

MrsNouveauRichards Sat 01-Dec-12 07:12:45

I'm not sure if there are any nature clubs, but we have quite a few country parks/national trust parks around here. Our plan is to get NT membership with Christmas money, so that we can go a bit more.

dixiechick1975 Sat 01-Dec-12 10:21:53

Your local park may have a 'friends of' group.

Ours does with a young friends section that meets once a month. DD enjoys that. We stumbled across them in the park one day but there is info on the local council website.

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