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Do secondary school kids mind themselves?

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  • 25-05-2016 12:47am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,695 ✭✭✭


    I've two children in primary at the moment and in Creche during holidays, mid terms and after and before school.

    I'm doing a long term budget, and want to know what are the childcare options for teenagers / secondary school students? Or is there none and do the kids just look after themselves?

    Both parents work full time and it's likely won't be home until 6.30.

    What do you do about dinner and homework?

    I presume school finishes about 3, and I don't know yet if they have a homework club (btw this won't be a real concern for 4 years at least!)


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,707 ✭✭✭BeardySi


    I'd image a lot would depend on the kids themselves. I've known 12 year olds who could run a house on their own and others who you wouldn't want to leave in a room by themselves...


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,382 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz


    It's something we have to think about ourselves for next year, himself will be started secondary school Sept 17. While there's a gap of 1.5 hours from when he finishes school to when I finish work, and the school is within walking/cycling distance away, I just wouldn't like him coming home after a tough day in school to a cold house with no dinner ready and him on his own.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,555 ✭✭✭✭freshpopcorn


    I'm in my twenties now and I think one guy had a minder at the start of secondary school and he felt embarrassed because of it. After a while he was aloud by himself.
    Unless things have changed a lot on the last decade or so most people I knew liked having a bit of time to themselves in the afternoons.
    However it all depends on the child being able to look after thsemeselves!


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    I think most secondary school students would mind themselves. I finished school 3 years ago and I don't think anyone would have had a minder/gone to someone else's house. Usually my mam would leave something (usually leftovers so not requiring much effort) for my dinner or I would put something in the oven or just wait until someone came home. He could also just have a small snack and wait to eat dinner when everyone is home later. Alternatively could he go to a library if there is one close by?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,729 ✭✭✭Millem


    OP some students might do sports or after school study. Others may go to grandparents. My own nephew stays in his house for a few hours by himself no bother.
    In my school we finish at 3.45 but 1.10 on a Wednesday.

    From 2017 you may see a few schools change start and finish times as there will be no class shorter than 40 minutes allowed. We will be deciding in the next school year on how to manage this. Some teachers are asking for hour long classes, some are asking for earlier starting times. Also from 2017 all teachers who teach JC will teacher 1 less period. I would guess in my school (and probably the majority of schools who have accepting new JC) will be taking last class off on a Friday so finish at 3.05. Again we will be voting in the next school year.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,252 ✭✭✭echo beach


    Millem wrote: »
    From 2017 you may see a few schools change start and finish times as there will be no class shorter than 40 minutes allowed. We will be deciding in the next school year on how to manage this. Some teachers are asking for hour long classes, some are asking for earlier starting times.

    Off topic but why the change? Most experts say 25-35 minutes is the longest even an adult can concentrate on a topic without a break so allowing for a while to get going and finish up I would have thought 40 mins a reasonable class duration. Keeping a class engaged for an hour sounds like a big ask.
    Earlier starting times for teenagers aren't a good idea either. It may suit teachers who want to get home early but adolescents have a different body clock and wake up much later so can't work well before 10 am. Schools in the States who have switched to later start times have seen improved results.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,729 ✭✭✭Millem


    echo beach wrote: »
    Off topic but why the change? Most experts say 25-35 minutes is the longest even an adult can concentrate on a topic without a break so allowing for a while to get going and finish up I would have thought 40 mins a reasonable class duration. Keeping a class engaged for an hour sounds like a big ask.
    Earlier starting times for teenagers aren't a good idea either. It may suit teachers who want to get home early but adolescents have a different body clock and wake up much later so can't work well before 10 am. Schools in the States who have switched to later start times have seen improved results.

    Dept of ed have made the decision in relation to the less than 40min classes.
    1 hour class times would be a disaster in my subject. We have to make up the time to make the classes 40 mins +.

    options so far were to start earlier, cut break time or cut lunch time. Break time 20 mins, lunch time is 40 mins. I would not be in favour of cutting either of them.
    We start at 8.40 as it is. Primary schools start at 8.50. I don't think we can start later because of traffic. A later start would suit me as I will have to pay before care when my toddler goes to school.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,382 ✭✭✭✭rainbowtrout


    Sunny Dayz wrote: »
    It's something we have to think about ourselves for next year, himself will be started secondary school Sept 17. While there's a gap of 1.5 hours from when he finishes school to when I finish work, and the school is within walking/cycling distance away, I just wouldn't like him coming home after a tough day in school to a cold house with no dinner ready and him on his own.

    Why? Kids of secondary school age do not have to be wrapped in cotton wool. He should be capable of coming home, turning on the heating if the house is cold, and making himself something basic like tea and toast if he is hungry while he waits for dinner. Most kids that age will be able to amuse themselves, watching tv, listening to music, computer games, but he should have homework he can be getting on with.

    You could teach him a few valuable life lessons for that 90 mins and give him a few chores to do as part of his routine when he gets home: lay a table for dinner, peel and chop some vegetables, or turn on the oven if you had something prepared that morning so the dinner is ready when you get home.


  • Registered Users Posts: 288 ✭✭DSN


    Agree for 90Mins / 2 hours sec school kids could be left on their own - longer as they get older. Sure at 15 some are babysitting themselves! He/she should be able to turn on heat (if you don't have a timer), make a sandwich/toast (my almost 9 year old does this already & he'd be left on his own if he was let!) & get on with their homework (now this would be the tricky bit making sure they do this first before xbox/tv etc!) & as others said maybe turn on oven / pot & stick on something we had pre-prepared for dinner for the family.
    Most teenagers love having the house to themselves.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Hyphy


    I dunno if it is different here, but in the states there were a lot of us who came home on their own. We were called 'latch key kids'. It is pretty common for kids to do once they get to an age they can make a peanut butter sandwich and not burn **** down. My brother and I were left to walk home and fend for our own from the time I was in 5th grade (age ten). My brother stayed in after school care until I was deemed responsible enough to make sure he didn't die or whatever, and came home too when he was in 3rd grade (age 8) and I was 12 (considered baby-sitting age back then). We were both very responsible kids and we also knew that if we messed anything up there would be hell to pay. We were expected to go straight home, phone mom, then do our homework and just stay in the damn house till mom and dad got home. Mind you, this was also the era where if it wasn't dumping rain we were told to go outside and would often hike across a big field to a park by ourselves and roam fairly freely within a 5 block radius, so there is that.

    Like others have said, it depends on the kids. If you trust them to mind themselves and check in, then you should be ok. Myself and all the kids in our neighborhood got on fine. It helped too that there was a gaggle of us, and we all sorta looked out for one another. It helps if they have friends or siblings to walk home with and watch out for each other.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,012 ✭✭✭2RockMountain


    Teenagers can get up to all kinds of things on their own. You'd want to have fairly strict rules about not bringing friends back to the house when there are no adults there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 478 ✭✭tina1040


    They shouldn't get up to much straight after school especially if homework is to be started and dinner to be put on or prepped before you get home.


  • Registered Users Posts: 348 ✭✭hearmehearye


    I was often left at home for about 3 hrs most evenings back when I was in first year (am 21 now). I'd have the dinner cooked, kitchen cleaned, fire lit and maybe a small snack (toasted sandwich or something) prepared for myself until the family were home. I was a very independent kid, a brilliant cook and sensible too. Depends on the kid. My brother is in 5th year now and he'll happily sit in a freezing cold house absolutely starving out of sheer laziness.


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