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I'm really worried about dd doing too much

(43 Posts)
Dancergirl Tue 16-Oct-12 22:22:44

She's in year 7 at a lovely girls indie. She's happy and is settling in and making friends etc but in worried about the amount of after school things she's doing. She's a keen ballet dancer and this takes up a lot of time.

Her current weekly timetable looks like this:

Monday - long day. I meet her at the coach stop and take her to ballet. 2 classes with a 50 min break in between. Then I meet her at 7.15 and take her to Guides. Home at 9.30pm. I make her a packed dinner and snacks.

Tuesday - free

Wednesday - free

Thursday - home for a short while and dinner, then 3 ballet classes. Home at 8.30pm.

Friday - youth ballet rehearsal after school. Home by 7pm for dinner.

She'd missed guides for a few weeks to settle into the new routine. But yesterday she did the lot, ballet then guides and was exhausted afterwards. She refuses to drop any of the ballet and says if necessary she will drop guides for a while. She also plays the flute but finds it hard to find the time to practice.

I'm a big believer in children having some down time and time to chill at home but the ballet is v important to her. The current timetable isn't forever, the youth ballet finishes in March and I imagine by next September she won't have any classes on Monday.

But I'm torn between letting her take the lead or making the decision to cut down for her.

How do your dc all cope?

annh Tue 16-Oct-12 22:51:33

Drop the guides, that Monday is way too long, I'm not surprised she's exhausted. If she's that keen on ballet however, won't the Monday classes just end up being replaced by other classes and once one youth ballet is finished she'll probably be moving on to another production. At least, that's the way it seems to work here! Otherwise, she does have two free week evenings and also weekends (unless you haven't mentioned classes there) so there should still be time to play flute then?

seeker Tue 16-Oct-12 22:55:21

It depends. Is she an incredibly talented potential prima ballerina? If so, possibly drop guides if she's just a normal dancy girl, then drop a bit of ballet- guides is more important than a 5th ballet class!

islandofsodor Tue 16-Oct-12 22:59:20

It doesn't sound too bad. Dd is in year 6 and has a similar schedule except her dance school us 5 mins walk from her school ( though held an hour away from where we live.

Monday - Free
Tuesday - ballet, tap & modern from 4.15. - 7.15. Home by 8pm
Wednesday - free
Thursday - Street dance at school 4.00-4.30pm
Friday travel for 45 mins to stagecoach 4.30-7.30. Home by 8.30pm
Sat - either 1 hour ballet or dance troupe rehearsal
Sun - currently free was show rehearsals & may soon be monthly RAD associate class both involved an hours travel

She has piano lessons at school and singing lessons at home.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Tue 16-Oct-12 23:00:12

She has Tuesday and Wednesday free. If your DD is like mine she would be fine. What are your weekends like?

I find it easier to have some solid chunks of time at home rather than something everynight.

DD in Y7 last year had various music bands, dancing and cheerleading etc which meant Tuesday - home 7.30 pm. Wednesday home 8.15 pm, Thursday home 9.30 and Friday home 6.30. She also had to fit in practise for 3 instruments. Four nights was too much and we cut back on Wednesday a bit, but as you say things are changing anyway.

Dancergirl Tue 16-Oct-12 23:02:00

Sort of in between the two seeker!

Weekends are generally free-ish. Normally a short (30 min) rehearsal for festivals. And the festivals themselves but only a few of those a year thankfully.

I would love her to carry on with guides but even without the ballet it's a late night (finishes at 9). Her guider is v understanding though and says dd can come back at a later date if she wants.

schoolchauffeur Tue 16-Oct-12 23:14:26

When does she find time to do her homework? My DD at that age had some homework to do pretty much every night? What happens on a Monday if she gets something which has to be ready for the next day?

Groovee Tue 16-Oct-12 23:19:38

Dd is 12 and first year at high school

Her time table til last week was

Monday hockey
Tuesday lunchtime drama evening drama
Wednesday girls fitness, brownies as help
Thursday free
Friday gymnastics bowling guides
Saturday bowling ballet

Ballet has been dropped after 9 years and she won't always do bowling

Groovee Tue 16-Oct-12 23:20:54

Oh meant to say Edinburgh state schools finish by 12.30pm on a Friday. Hence why she can fit so much in

RaspberryLemonPavlova Tue 16-Oct-12 23:26:46

DDs school very rarely, if ever, gets next day homework. They have a policy of home learning being planned so DD could manage her time effectively.

9.00 seems a fairly standard time for Scouts/Guides to finish, DDs scouts finishes at that time too. She does a school wind band that night, gets home at 5, we leave at 5.45 and she plays in another band from 6 - 8, although she leaves early to go to Scouts next door from 7.30 til 9.

We did find four nights in a row too much though for fitting in the homework which is why she cut back on Weds.

islandofsodor Tue 16-Oct-12 23:49:59

Next day homework just isn't done for us. School know dd's dance comes first.

BeckAndCall Wed 17-Oct-12 07:32:38

It depends what time she leaves the house in the morning, to be honest.

If its 8.15 it's a bit different from 7.15 and an hour on the coach.....

But subject to that, it doesn't look too bad to me - it's early days, and it takes a while to settle down.

If she's a serious dancer, you won't want to give anything up.

FWIW, in my DDs class (now 6th form) there are girls who are up at 5 for swimming practice or out til 10 every night dancing or training, plus weekends. And they've been doing it since they were tiny. That is what it takes to be at national level in a sport or activity

But it's different if it's a hobby which you can take or leave....

seeker Wed 17-Oct-12 08:48:16

"Next day homework just isn't done for us. School know dd's dance comes first."

You are ready to rethink this in secondary, aren't you?

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 17-Oct-12 08:57:07

Yes I don't think that the school will actually understand that dance comes before homework.
It's rare that ds1 in year 9 gets next day homework but it does happen.
He has football training 4 nights a week and swimming practice twice a week but the school work comes first.
He may like to think he will succeed in having a career in football, but if he has next day homework or a lot of work to do he has to miss a training session. It's that simple. Because however good he is at football, it will never take precedence over schoolwork.

picturesinthefirelight Wed 17-Oct-12 09:24:12

We never miss a class - Ive told the school that next day homework is not always possible. Saying that we do try and play by the rules becasue of the time off that dd sometimes needs for performances.

But the head of the senior school she will proably go to has given a speech to parents about how children are over schooled but under educated and he feels extra curriculr is just as important

Two girls in the upper 6th form were allowed almost a month off school to do panto last year (alternate days from mid december to end of jan)

Ragwort Wed 17-Oct-12 09:29:05

I think it sounds alright, my DS does more than that as he plays sport for the county plus scouts and youth club. Personally I would rather he was busy and occupied that loafing around watching crap TV grin. He manages to fit all his homework in.

If your daughter enjoys the activities and isn't feeling too stressed then it should be fine. I personally think it is good to do other activities to balance out all the ballet.

islandofsodor Wed 17-Oct-12 09:38:58

Cant see whi it would need to change for secondary but it is a school with high level sport eople and musicians etc

Children shouldn;t be expected to miss already paid for activities or other commitments becasue teachers can't organise homework better.

If it became a problem then I'd reconsider whether the school was right for her.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Wed 17-Oct-12 10:44:33

Next day homework wouldn't get done in our house either if it clashed.

In fact I went to a parent's talk on home learning last year, and they said co-operation was a two way thing. The teachers had to set proper home learning to the timetable set, and always provide feedback. They actually said they realised that students have lives outside school also, and it was perfectly acceptable as an occasional one off to write in their planner an explanation of family and other commitments resulting in homework being delayed. Obviously if the homework is being planned this shouldn't happen, but if teachers have set it late not being able to get it in next day is acceptable if there is a reason.

For what its worth, this is a state school with outstanding pupil achievement.

imnotmymum Wed 17-Oct-12 10:46:39

Sounds Ok is she OK my DCs do not get a night off at all !! We always book Sunday out for nothing day.

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 17-Oct-12 11:07:18

Can I ask why next day homework would not be done?

My DS very rarely, maybe once a month will get next day homework. It is never a long piece of homework, usually something to do online which will take 20-30 minutes.

I'm just curious, is it a blanket no to next day homework or just if it clashes with a practice or class.

Also in response to the point about children not missing out on paid for activities, what will you do when they, like my DCs now, go into GCSE years?
Because the homework will increase massively and revision also has to be done?
So would you still stand by the opinion that DCs shouldn't miss out on extra curricular activities?

I only ask because I have a different opinion, and even though there is a strong possibility that my DS could take his chosen sport far and make a career from it, IMHO it's not comparable to school work.

He missed training once last week as his workload for school is heavy and to me it is more important that the work is completed to a high standard.
So I am just curious, where would you draw the line in terms of activities/practices/training coming before schoolwork?

picturesinthefirelight Wed 17-Oct-12 11:17:05

Only if it clashes (often dd can do half an hour or so at dance unless it involves technology/Internet

She would miss class for an actual exam but not revision.

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 17-Oct-12 11:22:30

So in her GCSE years, you would prioritise dance over revision?

Do you mind if I ask why?

picturesinthefirelight Wed 17-Oct-12 11:46:36

She will hopefully revise if course she will and if she has decided by then she wants to try for a levels or university then she may decide to drop some classes but at the moment her choice if post 16 education depends entirely on auditions.

picturesinthefirelight Wed 17-Oct-12 11:48:01

The head teacher also says that statistically children who are busiest in terms of extra curricular also tend to do better academically. After a long day at school 9-4pm you need some down time.

picturesinthefirelight Wed 17-Oct-12 11:50:50

The two girls who missed school for panto during their a levels (one girl had to swop shows to sit an exam) 1 is now at med school & the other doing music at a good uni.

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