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Ideas for getting ready for Yr7

(14 Posts)
RosieBdy Wed 18-Jan-17 11:57:53

Our DS is in Year 6 at the moment and is not very 'streetwise'...

He's started walking to school on his own and walking to friends' houses who are very close but what else can we do to help him 'get ready'?

Once it's lighter after school he can meet up with friends at the park on his own (we live a few minutes walk away) and I thought I'd send him up to the shop (about 10/15 min walk but no busy roads to cross) for a few bits.

A friend with an older DD said she did a few bus journeys with her D. Firstly the 2 of them, then her DD on her own, but was met at the other end.

Is this the point for a mobile phone? We've said no til secondary school at the moment...

I thought the collective wisdom on here might have more suggestions.

I'm want him to be more independent... it seems such a jump to Year 7! We live in a largish village about 10 min drive to the nearest small town if that makes any difference? He will probably catch a bus to school in Sept.

Thank you!

RosieBdy Wed 18-Jan-17 11:59:57

I want not I'm want... I did preview it first too!

golfbuggy Wed 18-Jan-17 12:09:46

We gave our DC basic (calls and texts only) mobile phones when they started walking to school/playing out independently. They came with caveats that they had to prove that they could keep them charged up, manage their credit and use them responsibly before we bought them smart phones.

Worth practicing the route the school and "what if" scenarios (the bus doesn't turn up, you miss the bus, you get detention ...).

Does he make own arrangements with friend (to go out together/meet up etc)? Are there places he and his friends can get to under their own steam (walk/bike/bus)?

RosieBdy Wed 18-Jan-17 14:01:58

Thank you golfbuggy. That's a really good idea about the phone... He's already talking about how so and so at school has an iPhone 6s, but does understand that that won't be happening here! A cheap text/ call phone first would be a good plan for him to understand the responsibility of having one.

We'll do the 'what if' scenarios too - that's really helpful (for my peace of mind as well as his own skills!) Roll on 1st March when we find out places and can think more about that...

At the moment he doesn't really make plans to meet up with friends, other than them coming here/ him going there and that tends to be straight from school. He's starting to walk home from friends' houses on his own though.

He goes to a youth club with a group of boys and the parents all take it in turns to walk them there and back. Once it's lighter in the evenings, the plan is that they can just call for each other and walk there/ back on their own. Starting to be a bit more independent I guess...

Seeline Wed 18-Jan-17 14:09:03

I think you'll be amazed by the amount they grow up between now and September - most are really ready for the challenges of secondary.
Definitely nearer the time do the school journey with him several times so he knows exactly where he is going - even silly things like pointing out safer places to cross the road etc.
Generally encouraging independence - so him making sure he has the right stuff for school the night before etc is a good pattern to get into

RosieBdy Wed 18-Jan-17 18:32:01

Thank you Seeline
He's looking forward to it at the moment and I'm sure he will mature over the next few months... I just want him to have the skills he needs!
Good idea about safer places to cross the road etc, we'll definitely do that.
I'm trying to get him in the habit of doing homework the night it's set (they get 3 lots per week, more as getting used to deadlines etc I think) and he's mostly on board with that one!
Yes, he gets his football etc stuff ready himself (he learned the hard way to double check when he forgot his water bottle this week!) which is helping to be more independent...
Thanks for your ideas smile

OutDamnedWind Wed 18-Jan-17 18:50:30

If he doesn't already know it, learn home phone and address by heart. Ideally your mobile (or Dad's). That way if he loses his phone/runs out of battery he can borrow a mates.

Leeds2 Wed 18-Jan-17 19:48:40

If he is going by bus, make sure he knows how to get back home too! My friend practised the bus to school with her DS and then, on the first day, he caught the bus home from the bus stop he had got off at, rather than the one on the opposite side of the road ...... Ended up miles from home!

Make sure you know what bag/shoes are acceptable.

FancyPantsDelacroixTheFirst Wed 18-Jan-17 19:57:23

Does the youth club have children who will go to the high school that don't go to his primary? If not it might be worth involving him with an after school activity that will broaden his friendship circle. DD's best friend dropped her for most of year 7 and 8 because the Queen Bee decided DD wasn't cool. Having friends from other schools really made a difference and she's formed a really great friendship group who actually share her interests.

RosieBdy Wed 18-Jan-17 22:06:14

Thanks all, some great ideas there.

Oh my! I can just see him catching the bus like your friend's son Leeds2. I'll remember that now!

Good thinking about knowing older children/ children from other schools. Yes, youth club goes up to 14 I think so a few friendly faces from there hopefully. He goes to scouts too and the children there come from lots of different schools. That should help too. Sorry to hear about your daughter FancyPantsDelacroixTheFirst but glad it's worked out in the end...

OutDamnedWind He's fine with address but I do need to reinforce phone numbers. Thanks for that.

Thank you for all the replies - lots of helpful advice. smile

PettsWoodParadise Thu 19-Jan-17 06:45:08

If you have an old smartphone then I would recommend letting them get used to that. We found it key to DD understanding data allowances. She had a very ancient one of mine and a virgin £5pm sim. DD also found on her orientation day in late June that they all joined a WhatsApp group which was invaluable in her getting to know her new classmates. Yes she met up with some in real life too, but this is how they keep in touch now. I would recommend you explain to your DC that you will monitor their social media just to help with the right social cues and as they are new to it - you can back off when you know they are doing well and not accidentally insulting others etc. I know too many parents who just let their children get on with it and it didn't always turn out well.

School bags are the other thing to be ready about - responsibility for packing themselves. If they can do more themselves last term of Y6 the better.

RosieBdy Thu 19-Jan-17 09:17:48

Thanks PettsWoodParadise
We have an old iPhone 4S that he will have at some point. Trying to decide if contract or PAYG will make him more responsible!!

That's interesting about the WhatsApp group. He has Hangouts on his Hudl at the moment, but only really uses it to message family and one friend... he knows that the deal is that I will check up on him. All his emails etc get copied to me (that was the deal, but I'm assuming as he gets older he might want that to change!) but again, it's to the same group of people at the moment...

He has a few games on his Hudl that allow chat within a closed group (friends from school etc) and he knows I will read it every so often to check... We did have an incident last year when someone upset him on the chat, but in a way it was a good learning opportunity!

Thanks again for your help.

Schoolchauffeur Thu 19-Jan-17 09:45:46

I would focus on the organisational aspects like :
1. Responsible for packing own bag
2. Instilling idea that he needs to be more aware of where he is allowed to leave belongings securely at school. In a small primary if you leave an item say on the bench in a classroom, it'll still be there after lunch. Do the same in a big secondary and chances are you won't be seeing that room again for a week.
3. Emphasise the importance of listening to instructions and or checking notice boards for info. DS missed out on football squad in yr 7 as he didn't listen to how/ when where he had to sign up for trials etc
4. Encourage him to develop his own timetable for the week to plan his time e.g. If it's clear there's always a maths test on a Thursday and he has scouts on Wednesday to plan Tuesday as " learn maths".
5. Will he have to manage money for lunch? DS went to a school in yr7 with very limited on site lunch so everyone left for the local village so had to buy lunch. Maybe let him practice for a couple of weeks in summer to see how far the money goes! (DS learnt this one the hard way... )

RosieBdy Thu 19-Jan-17 21:21:31

Some great things to think about. Thank you Schoolchauffeur
I'm trying to get him to be more independent... With school setting homework 3 times a week at the moment he's getting better at organising when he does things. He's out most of Tues after school and eve, so knows he has to do his homework on Monday when gets it...
I think both our first and second choices have a fob system for lunch money, where we pre -load it. I think we can set a limit per day! He's had pocket money (not loads!) for years and is very good at saving up for big things that he wants, but could definitely be more 'aware' of having to spend a certain amount to make dinner money last if you see what I mean!
Thank again.

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