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year 7 home alone after school

(29 Posts)
sleepwouldbenice Wed 05-Feb-14 00:52:55


so my DD1 goes to secondary school this September. Twice a week grandparents will collect her. Once a week I will be off. So two days a week she will need to walk home (half an hour?) and get in about 3.45. Then alone in house for couple of hours before either myself or DH will be home after picking DD2 up from kids club at primary school.

Does this sound okay.....? I expect her to have a relax and a snack for an hour then do homework for an hour.

I also plan to let her leave kids club an hour early from the Easter to practice being alone (she currently does the odd bit here and there)

(I know sorting the holidays is worse....)


ThreeBeeOneGee Wed 05-Feb-14 07:07:53

DS2 (Y7) has to do this a couple of times a month. He has been fine. We rehearsed a few "what if" scenarios, and he demonstrated that he knew how to phone my mobile using our landline (his mobile battery is often flat). He also knows which neighbours' doors to knock on if he needs them. He has a few ground rules: not answering the door to anyone except a police officer or family member, not using the oven.

ThreeBeeOneGee Wed 05-Feb-14 07:09:32

It really depends on the child. Some 11 year olds are more sensible than some 14 year olds. You know your DD best.

JeanSeberg Wed 05-Feb-14 07:09:37

Yes it's fine. Just get her to text you when she gets in.

JeanSeberg Wed 05-Feb-14 07:10:11

I presume she is happy with the arrangement?

Ragwort Wed 05-Feb-14 07:12:40

I think it is a good step towards independence - but any tips on getting a Y7 do to 'homework for an hour' would be greatly appreciated grin.

Newyearchanger Wed 05-Feb-14 07:21:00

Dh recently attended seminar on child protection and said they said 14 was the recommended age to be left alone at home, and at age 12 not to be home alone at all.

Onlyconnect Wed 05-Feb-14 07:24:03

I think this is fine. In fact I'm considering something similar with my DD who is younger.

monkeymax58 Wed 05-Feb-14 07:24:12

My 11 year old is more than capable of doing this and does get on with his homework.

My friend's 11 year old cannot be left for 10 minutes!

17leftfeet Wed 05-Feb-14 07:25:40

My dd never had an hour of homework to do in yr 7

MrsBright Wed 05-Feb-14 07:34:00

Just set the ground rules re. strangers at door, which neighbours to use for help and things he is not allowed to do whilst on his own.

Our DD had this scenario once a week in Year 7 and it was actually really good for her. She coped one winters night with coming home to a dark house with no power - and had the sense to just lock the house and go to a neighbours, who was also in the dark but at least she wasnt doing that 12 year old thing of trying to fix it!

CouthyMow Wed 05-Feb-14 07:38:37

Depends on how sensible the child is. I would be fine leaving DS1 alone in this situation, he is 11yo, in Y7. However, I highly doubt that I could do the same with 10yo DS2 when he is in Y7. You ne ed to make an informed decision based upon THAT child's capabilities.

DS1 was classed as Fraser competent in a Family Court at 9yo, though, has an IQ of 134, and is VERY sensible - without being asked, it occurs to him to text me if his bus home from school is running more than 10 minutes late. He can use a microwave and the oven to cook himself a snack, he knows my mobile number off by heart, and he can quickly respond to even emergency situations. (He has had to in the past due to my epilepsy).

DS2 is silly, jumps around and ends up hurting himself, can't make himself a sandwich at 10yo, and often answers the door despite being told not to when I'm IN the house. Goodness knows what he would do if he was on his own!

So it is really down to each individual child. If you feel uneasy about it, then chances are that you aren't SURE that your DC is 'ready' to be left alone. I had terrible misgivings about leaving my DD when she was 13, I had no such misgivings about leaving DS1 at 11.

In fact, due to appointments, the only time I can food shop this week is this morning. DS1 is off school with D&V. He will have the home phone and mobile in his bedroom, and will text me if he feels any worse. I can trust him to take the correct dose of medicine if he has a temperature, which he checks carefully with a thermometer first, and texts me for advice... It is down to the fact that DS1 was born with a cardigan and slippers that I feel safe trusting him at home alone.

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 05-Feb-14 08:04:28

I have one like that couthy, more responsible at 11 than dd was at 13. grin
I was happy for him to come home alone in year 7. Dd took a bit more coaching tbh but she managed it, ds2 will be fine next year to be at home first for about an hour.

There's no magic age that they become able to cope with these things tbh, it's really dependent on the child themselves.

TamerB Wed 05-Feb-14 08:08:23

As long as she is happy it is fine. I imagine that most children that age would prefer it to any alternatives.

Sheldonswhiteboard Wed 05-Feb-14 08:14:22

Really does depend on the child. My DD let herself in from school from yr 7 and did homework etc until we got in, she's sensible knows the rules about answering the door, where to go in an emergency and keep her phone charged. You may find that your school runs after school activities or they can go to the library to do homework, at least 3 days a week my daughter does this.

I'm not sure what the rules of your kids club are but if you intend allowing her to leave a bit early to get used to being alone, they would still want an adult to sign her out, every club I've ever used wouldn't let an unaccompanied child leave.

WhichNameShouldIUseForThis Wed 05-Feb-14 11:21:11

I wouldn't be happy with this for my dc but I agree that it depends on the child. You'll also need to set some rules for her having friends coming home with her (or not), will she be allowed to use the internet or only tv, will she have to ring you (landline) to confirm she's got home ok - things like that.

Crowler Wed 05-Feb-14 11:42:01

It's absolutely fine.

hottiebottie Wed 05-Feb-14 12:12:52

My Y6 is fine for a short while when I go to pick up older siblings. The rules are clear: no microwaves/ovens/kettles, no friends around until I'm back, no answering the door, and if the phone rings, unless it's someone she knows, mum's in the bath! grin

ItsRainingOutside Wed 05-Feb-14 12:33:09

Depends on the maturity of the child and how much you prepare her for the unknown. I'd be comfortable with it as long as I knew I could get back home relatively quickly in an emergency. My DDs best-friend's sister is in Year 6 and she can't be left alone for more than 2 minutes so it wouldn't be an option for her.

Madmog Wed 05-Feb-14 14:12:44

Year 7 seems to be a big turning point for leaving them on their own. Firstly, is she happy to be on her own? I'm a bit paranoid, but I'd want my daughter to give me a quick call to say she had arrived home safely and locked the door.

CouthyMow Wed 05-Feb-14 16:24:28

DS1 made himself a ham sandwich as he was starving. He rang me to tell me so. He also rang me 10 minutes later to inform me that the ham sandwich had bought a return ticket...

He made himself some diyoralyte and went back to bed!

CouthyMow Wed 05-Feb-14 16:25:36

And that's why I trust him - he is sensible , informs me if anything changes, and can be sensible about his own health even.

sleepwouldbenice Wed 05-Feb-14 22:18:50

Thanks to all for your comments

I do trust her very much she is a sensible child in terms of danger and rules like opening the door etc. I guess I am thinking about loneliness etc. She says she is quite happy, is actually quite proud of the idea

I only work 20 mins away. I may move jobs but grandparents are only 20 mins as well and there would be 2 or 3 neighbours she knows well enough around most times

I had thought about her staying the in library or after school clubs but assume she would get kicked out sooner or later and for oct to feb at least that would mean walking home in the dark?

And yes to her texting me to say she is in. (probably every two mins after that as she has just got her new phone so its a novelty to her!)

First thing we have had to teach her is to unlock the door - she found it too stiff to open...!

As for homework - well maybe just a little and play her flute or something.....

Thinking about it, same thoughts may not apply to DD2.....

(good point about the primary school kids club, my friend did it with her son who lives elsewhere but hadn't thought of that)

Thanks again smile

cory Thu 06-Feb-14 12:54:31

This all sounds like a good plan.

These child protection schemes are always totally unrealistic. They make you suspect the organisers have either never known any teenagers at all or have only known unusually vulnerable teenagers (e.g. in foster care).

If no child under 14 is to be left alone ever, how do we account for the fact that there is no childcare provision for secondary school children in most of the country? That secondary schools expect children to make their way to and from school unsupervised? That on field trips secondary schools expect children to be able to move around independently? That most secondary school children would be expected to go to the shops and cinemas on their own?

My 13yo went to Belgium in the autumn. Part of the trip involved moving around the town centre in a Belgian town in small groups; the school specifically explained that this was part of their learning. How could that possibly be safer than sitting in your own home watching the telly?

PollyPutTheKettle Fri 07-Feb-14 22:29:54

It obviously depends on the child but I think we are all a bit paranoid about this. Most 11 year olds should be fine. I can' t be the only 80's latch key kid. wink

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