Year 7 - activities outside school

(14 Posts)
sydenhamhiller Fri 08-May-15 15:08:47

I'm hoping MN can give me its usual sage advice.

DC1 moves to secondary school this September, and involves just one 20 min train journey (not as appalling as it may sound, in London) - probably getting home at 4.30 if no extra curricular stuff, or 5.30 if there is a club. He has been swimming with a swimming club for an hour every Sunday, but it was mid-Afternoon and really impacted on the whole family's weekend plans for one hour of swimming. He enjoyed the swimming but not the timing of it, so after about 4 months of deliberating, we've just handed in our notice.

So. I've found another swimming club, Monday for an hour and Thursday for 30 minutes. Great, no weekend impact, DC1 thrilled. But just as I was about to contact the swimming coach to sign us up, I've just remembered reading something about how tired Y7 are in 1st term. Should I hold fire and wait until December? October half term?

I know every child is different - but just wondered what everyone else's experiences had been, and would love some wise words!


bruffin Fri 08-May-15 15:30:44

My dc carried on their clubs when they started year 7, but they were worn out by half term, but that first half term of autumn always takes it out of them for some reason. My 2 were also inundated with homework when they started year 7 as well, dont think they ever had as much in the rest of the school days until they got to gcse and A levels
It may be worth waiting until half term.

Can I give you a wave as am an exsydenhamhiller myself, used to live in WP Road, Sydenham Hill end grin

yellowdaisies Fri 08-May-15 16:10:17

My DD found the first term at secondary pretty tough. She wanted to join loads of new school clubs and found she had too much on. So I think it depends whether swimming is your DS's one love in life. Of he wants space to try out new activities at secondary then you might be best to wait til half term

Chasingsquirrels Fri 08-May-15 16:47:35

Wouldn't cross my mind not to tbh. An hours exercise a couple of times a week is great for them, plenty of time left for homework.
Ds1 (y7) does a swimming lesson Monday's, jogging club Tuesday's and Thursday's and scouts on Wednesdays.
But then he is rarely tired, I know people say about YRec tiredness but I've never heard of Y7 tiredness.

Millymollymama Fri 08-May-15 17:13:04

Mine did loads of clubs after school, rehearsals for plays, orchestra, dance, (they were not very sporty), choir.... They were not tired and homework was scheduled for about 1 hour to 1 hr 20 mins per evening and more at weekends. If your child is used to being busy and is lively they will be fine. Is 30 minutes worth the effort?

takeallday Sat 09-May-15 00:25:03

My yr7 dc does gymnastics on sat, youth club Fri, swimming one weekday. I rather she s kept busy with constructive activities than she spent too much time on watching YouTube....grin

takeallday Sat 09-May-15 00:29:27

DC also used to attend girl guides but gave up because couldn't get on with the leader.

PastSellByDate Sat 09-May-15 08:28:47

Hi sydenhamhiller;

My DD1 has carried on with her out of school clubs and also joined a lot of school clubs. The obvious advantage is having a wide circle of friends - and not all from your school. It also has helped her stay in contact with old primary friends.

My advice is give it a try - if it isn't working you can let them know that your DS is finding it too tiring. But if your DS is like my DD1 - they may be happier when out and about being busy/ active than around the house.

The first term is more tiring emotionally than physically IME, so going off and blowing of some steam (nerves, tension, etc....) can be really helpful.

IME end of half-term/ term is always very tiring - for everybody - so that may be the day when it's swimming and then dinner/ straight to bed, catch up on the homework at the weekend kind of thing.

DD1 has sometimes found homework and after school activities can put her under pressure - but she's learned to do two things:

schedule her work so that it isn't all panic at the last minute/ do work in breaks or at lunch to get it out of the way and/ or ask for an extension if there's a clash.

In general though most homeworks aren't due the next day - but maybe that's how her school schedules classes.

It can be a juggle - but that's probably a good life skill.


GentlyBenevolent Sat 09-May-15 10:01:58

My Y 7 does music dance or drama every day after school. And on Sunday afternoons. She's fine. But then, music dance and drama are her life. We did suggest dropping one class and she was outraged. Every kid is different. If your DS wants to do it, got for it. If not, then not.

gronwyn Sat 09-May-15 13:21:29

DD was exhausted during her first term at secondary school. She suddenly had to get up a whole hour earlier, and then have a 45 minute bus ride into the next town. She's at a grammar so there was roughly 1.5 hours of homework to be completed every night.

By the time she'd got home, done homework and eaten dinner she was actually asking to go to bed before 8pm shock

She has a tennis lesson, followed by a match every week. But she missed a few sessions during the first term because she was just too shattered.

She also plays county cricket for, but luckily winter nets didn't start until the end of October by which time she had acclimatised a bit more. Though there were some Saturday mornings where she had to drag herself out of bed. But once she was up and in her kit she was raring to go.

What we've found harder to deal with are the damned sleepovers. Her school has no real catchment area, basically if you can pass the 11+ then you get a place. So lots of her new friends live 15-20 miles away from us. So if she goes back to a friend's house after school it's generally always a sleepover.

And we've learned from bitter experience that travelling 90 miles to play a county cricket match, when the athlete has only had 3 hours sleep and 6 bags of Haribo does not make for a very pleasant experience.

ealingwestmum Sat 09-May-15 18:15:22

I think for some DC, it's the mental adjustment of new school that can be more tiring, it's such a different environment to junior. My daughter does way too much - swims 12 hours a week (in school and local club), then ballet, violin, piano and cricket, on top of school fixtures. The higher the level, the more that's expected. The only reason she can manage it is very little current homework, which will change in Y7, alongside the earlier commute, before/after school squads etc and the continued impact on our weekends. I'm a bit embarrassed to actually read it back, as muggings here runs around supporting all of this...but she's quite driven and all of her own choosing, which she does to a reasonably good level.

However, I have only one. Which makes a big difference, and she will be the one that has to make decisions on what gives from Y7. with siblings, there is more impact on family life and supporting wider interests (or forcing them all to do the same against their will!)

As you say OP, all children are different - mine does not know any different and has always been active, and we've supported it so far as the wider interaction with friendship groups does have value, and doing 'stuff' may keep her out of mischief a little longer in the senior years grin

It's not difficult to serve notice on activities if things don't work out due to Y7 changes so go for it!

ealingwestmum Sat 09-May-15 18:40:25

Love the haribo experience gronwyn, mine asked me to turn down sleep over invites during Y6 as she couldn't cope with no sleep after the first few!

Davros Sat 09-May-15 20:08:03

DD's school Offers a lot of clubs. You may want to see what the school offers.

BackforGood Sun 10-May-15 23:25:54

My ds in particular was much better for going swimming 3 times a week in Yr7 - something where he wasn't having to think, but was getting lots of exercise was a real bonus. He was also doing Scouts at the time on another night.
I certainly don't think that would be detrimental, but would say it's a great idea. I also think it makes a lot of sense to be doing something - whatever it might be - where dc have friends other than their school friends.
I've had 3 dc all go through Yr7, and all were doing considerably more than that in terms of hobbies / activities.

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