Long school day - is this too much for a 12 year old?

(43 Posts)
UsernameNeverAvailable Mon 28-Sep-20 20:35:34

My DS is 12 and really struggling with the long school day. They start at 8:25 and finish at 6 apart from Fridays when they finish at 5. He’s often feeling unwell and exhausted.

He won a full fees paid scholarship, I wouldn’t be able to afford it but I see it as a great opportunity for him.

I don’t know if I’d be a fool to move him this early on, the school day seems to work For the pupils as it’s always been this long...

OP’s posts: |
Flipflopfoodle Mon 28-Sep-20 20:39:06

My kids do this length school day, and at age 13 also a Saturday. They are fine BUT I don't do any extra activities out of school like karate or ballet and they have quite an early bed time compared to my friends kids of same age.

Otterhound Mon 28-Sep-20 21:09:05

I think its standard. Ds is out of the house at 7.20am and sometimes is back at 6.30 them then gets 90 minutes homework and he is year 9.

In year 7 and 8 hours were the same but a bit less homework. Basically prepares them in the event they have a demanding career with 15 hour days!!

I’d give it a year - it’s probably a culture shock compared with his previous school. Does he get 2 weeks half term and month long holidays - something to look forward too!!

Prettybluepigeons Mon 28-Sep-20 21:10:29

I wouldn't be happy for my children to do days like this.

borageforager Mon 28-Sep-20 21:11:37

Did he just start this term? I would leave it till at least Christmas before I thought of moving him (& I wouldn’t move him personally).

My Y8 DD in a bog standard comp leaves at 7.50, gets home at 4pm, with homework & activities still to do in the evenings (swimming, riding, piano, life saving) so unless you don’t do any extra curriculars it makes for a long day anyway.

BuffaloCauliflower Mon 28-Sep-20 21:13:50

Finish at 6 or get home at 6? Either way that’s a long day for a 12 year old (8.30-6 is longer than my work day as an adult) but if they don’t even finish until 6 that is hard going and I’d think pretty unusual even for a private school. None of the private schools I’ve known have gone that late.

celestebellman Mon 28-Sep-20 21:14:01

That seems excessive- my dd in year seven at local good comprehensive starts at 8.25 and finishes at 1425 (bit earlier than usual due to staggered finishing!)
It’s a bit depressing to be preparing 11 year olds for long days at the office...
That said if it is the norm for private schools it’s a great opportunity to have a scholarship so I’d probably give it a bit longer and see if he adjusts.


mindutopia Mon 28-Sep-20 21:14:46

What does he actually do in that time? At that age, for me, school started at 8:20 and finished at 3:20, then we did 1-2 hours of either sports or clubs. It wasn't unusual to not be home until 6 or even later every night except Friday, but it wasn't all sitting in a classroom having to pay attention. It was sports and photography club and a little bit of study time, etc. When I did theatre, it was normal to not finish until 9-10pm a couple nights a week on top of that. I found that bit tiring (but it was my choice to do it). I think it just means keeping out of school life low key, at home on weeknights, not running around to a million activities on the weekend.

TheLastStarfighter Mon 28-Sep-20 21:22:02

Bloody hell, where does he go to school?!

Mine are 8:45 to 3:45 at the local high school, plus an hour of homework, and are are already shattered.

Private school under consideration is the same, but we’d have to add on nearly an hour each way commute so probably won’t do it.

category12 Mon 28-Sep-20 21:23:14

I'd give it at least until Christmas, see how he's handling it then.

Otterhound Mon 28-Sep-20 21:26:14

I would add ds lessons finish around 4.15 then its sport or clubs which he loves so its not like its wall to wall lessons

MJMG2015 Mon 28-Sep-20 21:30:15

I wouldn't make any hasty decisions. DC are used to long days but are exhausted at the minute. I think school after lockdown and autumn having arrived are hitting lots of kids hard.

Gwynfluff Mon 28-Sep-20 21:30:22

Basically prepares them in the event they have a demanding career with 15 hour days!!

It’s pretty well researched that humans have about 6 productive hours in them a day. You get outliers but at a certain point many people tip into being counter productive.

We really need to get away from this sort of thinking.

MitziK Mon 28-Sep-20 21:39:39

He will adjust to it, just like Reception children may crash out by 6pm in the first half term, by the end of term, they're wide awake until 8.

As long as his room and bed is comfortable and he can come straight in, eat when he gets in rather than wait for hours and doesn't have to dash around doing other activities every day, he'll be fine.

We have kids doing shorter days than that, some with longer ones when you take into account travelling and most find the first few weeks hard going (especially this year when a lot are far more unfit and out of practice with getting up at the same time every day, so their sleep is out of sync with what they need to do) they adapt very quickly; even staff find it hard going in September.

It sounds as though he's got an amazing opportunity there; don't give it up so soon - the six foot 15 year old he may grow into won't be the same as the knackered just 12 year old you've got right now.

pippiphooray1 Mon 28-Sep-20 23:25:21

@UsernameNeverAvailable is this dc’s first experience of public school? It’s fairly normal, but the training of prep school means that they usually know no different. But I would suggest as much sleep as you can encourage because it is exhausting for them. My ds is well used to it and he slept until 10:30 this morning on his exeat. He will get used it

UsernameNeverAvailable Tue 29-Sep-20 07:02:19

Thanks all. He’s in year 8 so did six months last year.
He leaves the house at 8:50 and doesn’t get home until 6:30, they do homework and clubs after school so he has nothing extra to do at home.
He’s just so exhausted though.

OP’s posts: |
CherryPavlova Tue 29-Sep-20 07:08:18

Mine all did longer days in either a state school with extracurricular activities or boarding. They developed strong work ethics and high fitness levels,
At state they were on the bus at 6.45 in the morning and were rarely home before 6:30pm to have supper and do homework. As they grew older the after school activities became later so they sometimes went out again.
Boarding meant they were out of the house from 8:00 and whilst they returned for brief spells, prep etc they had structured time until 9pm.

MrsSchadenfreude Tue 29-Sep-20 07:11:43

I think that’s fine if it includes homework time and he’s done with school work by the time he gets home. Better that than still slogging away at 2100 because he got home at 1600 and spent a few hours gaming or watching TV before setting down to homework.

loveyoutothemoon Tue 29-Sep-20 07:11:45

Poor child.

Oblomov20 Tue 29-Sep-20 07:21:30

Goodness. Independent or private I assume.
Ds2 just started at excellent catholic. Gets up 7.15. Leaves 8.15. Walks. School 8.45-3.10
Home by 3.30
1 hour of homework. Dinner and tv. Ds2 is loving it and so happy.

olympicsrock Tue 29-Sep-20 07:25:27

He will be fine . My 8 year old does 8:15 til 5 every day ( which includes play and prep) . So much better to have nothing to do when he gets home

Seeline Tue 29-Sep-20 07:27:38

If that includes clubs and homework then I think that is fine, and fairly normal for private school.

I think most kids have found going back to school fairly exhausting after doing so little for so long.

Toomboom Tue 29-Sep-20 07:29:11

Two schools here do the same hours, including prep school. It usually means that they don't get homework as all work is done in school [ not coming up to exams though ].

HattonsMustard Tue 29-Sep-20 07:37:58

He needs more time to adjust. The benefits of winning that scholarship outweigh his tiredness at the minute. I would give him till Christmas.

Ds2 is very tired for the first 2 weeks of any term and he attends a local state school a 20 minute walk away grin. Now with covid he starts school at 8.45 (having to get there at 8.15) and due to a booster class (year 10) he finishes at 3.45 so is doing a 7 hour day 3 days a week.

Musmerian Tue 29-Sep-20 07:40:19

Not the norm for independent day schools. We finish at 3.50 although there are lots (or were pre COVID) of co curricular activities. I’d think this was ok if prep all done within that time.

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