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What do I need to be doing now to get 10y/o DS ready for secondary(9 Posts)
We don't know where he will end up, but locally. We live in a leafy village, he will be going to the local town.
He is fairly organised, but poss a bit young for his years, as an oldest child:
he turns 11 at Easter. (We will get him a smart phone then to get him used to it)
He does a little bit of walking to school alone, and coming back, but because his siblings are at the same school and I'm there anyway, there are fewer opps to get that independence.
I often send him to the shop for things.
I was also thinking about maybe booking a family holiday nearer the end of the summer to avoid feeling nervous as the new (poss scary) transition begins
Any thoughts welcomed
We are in the same boat, so would be interested in hearing any ideas.
As with you OP, DS is 11 in April. He walks to school on his own, but not home yet, as there is a good after school club and I can pick him up from there easily when I finish work.
He is an only, and his cousins are both younger so this is a whole
scary new world for us!
Travel to school
Packing his own stuff for school
Looking after his belongings
Front door key
They grow up massively between now and the end of the summer term, and again from then to October half term.
Getting into the habit of packing his bag the night before, checking hte timetable for any 'extras' - PE kit, homework, musical instrument etc.
Yes to front door key - my DD really struggled to use hers (quite small, and stiff lock!)
How will he travel to school - school transport or public bus? If it is public transport, make sure you do lots of trips to get him used to it, before letting him loose on his own!
Useful apps on phone - eg bus timetable. Make sure it has your contact numbers stored as well as a contact for school.
Get him used to taking responsibility for his possessions - just check around himself before he leaves anywhere to make sure he has picked up everything - saves hours waiting at bus depots and rummaging through school lost property
Working independently. Both of my boys struggled with being given homework that was open ended. They'd been spoon fed and hot housed through SATs and then the foot was taken off the pedal for the Summer term.. Speaking to other parents, this was a common problem.
So, things like 'make a poster' or 'revise' would send them into a bit of a spin. This was a huge surprise for me as we had always done 'project / open ended independent work' at primary. It may be different for your son, of course!
Over the Summer, walk/bus the route to the new school a few times if they will be going on their on. Make sure they are safe. One of mine is a complete dreamer and I was pleased I had as I was a bit horrified!
Yes, we've started DD walking to and from school/park alone sometimes (she's usually with her younger brother, but there are times she needs to go back separately), as she will have to make her own way to secondary
In summer before her 11th birthday, we'll probably get her an oyster card so she can go two tube stops to and from her Guides group (once the evenings are light) sometimes. She probably won't be using the tube for school, but should get used to that anyway.
Will also probably get her first phone for her 11th so she has the summer to get used to it and being responsible with it (or at least trying to be!)
As it happens she's started making her own arrangements with friends a bit, which is good, as it's something I want to encourage her to do at secondary.
She's already quite self-starting with homework, thank God (takes after her mum!)
Independence is the key and ideally at lot of this would be starting before Year 6. I was amazed (for example) how many parent still laid out their DC's clothes and made their breakfast even when they were 10/11.
Explicitly for school
- packing own bag including remembering PE kit on PE days and any homework due
- writing down homework (though may not be applicable if your secondary school has everything on line)
- an element of time management i.e. don't tell him to do his homework, let him work out how long he needs and when he can/should fit it in
- going to places on his own (e.g. the shop, school, friend's house, park)
- using his phone (we started with a brick) e.g. it is charged up, has credit, he lets you know where he is if he's going to be late home
- knowing how to get into a locked house
- (if applicable) how to lock up
- specific route to his school
- working out when he needs to get up and leave and getting himself ready independently in the morning (i.e. without you shouting "get up, we're going in 5 minutes, 20 times)
- being at home on his own
I'm pleased from reading these replies that we seem to be heading in the right direction already.
He already walks to school and goes to the shop on his own etc.
What we really need to work on is his ability to organise himself, it turns out he seems to have inherited my scattiness! And also to try and do something about his homework aversion, I have repeatedly warned him there will be much more homework and secondary and he should really get in the habit of doing what he's being set now, but so far it seems to be falling on deaf ears!
I was going to say own front door key too - it is amazing how many locks / doors have a 'knack' to them, so one more little thing sto be used to doing.
Too early yet, but over the Summer, practising the route / journey.
If he walks now and will have to presumably get a bus or train to the town, then being used to traveling on it (with you at first) is good.
Have lots of conversations about "What would you do if ......" and present with different scenarios - bus didn't arrive / friend invites you back to his after school / bus gets diverted (as happened to my dd in Sept on her first day at new school ) / you got back and I wasn't in / friend asks if he can come home with you / teachers ask if you can stay behind for a practice / you get half way there and realise you've left your homework in your bedroom (or PE kit, or planner or whatever).
Definitely packing own bag - although I'd have assumed they are already doing that, you never know.
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