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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:36 pm 
Hi - I am new to the forum so hope I am posting in the right place? Although I am not really an 11-plus parent yet (my children are only five and eight) I would be interested in how much extra-curricular stuff your primary age children do (or did). I am aware that I do a LOT less at home than the other parents at our school - my children read to me every night, do weekly spellings and weekly numeracy homework. I know that other parents do workbooks, have private tuition etc. and am beginning to feel that my laid back approach might not be the right one! Our primary school is very academic, and I have been resisting the competitive parenting thing but am beginning to think that I may be doing it all wrong - as borne out by one of my children being relegated to the second set from the top set this week!!!!! Would love some advice.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:35 pm 
Trust your instincts. You know your children best. If they are doing well, without your extra help (you already state they read to you and have homework), then let them have a life other than the constant workbooks and private tuition. Also, speak to the teacher re your child moving down a set, perhaps there are some weaknesses that need attention. Otherwise, let them enjoy being children. Besides, it has been said before, that children who need a lot of extra tuition to get into grammar aren't always the ones that actually do well once they get there!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
Extra curricular stuff. Hmm.

Scheduled items

Daughter 1 (Y4, age 9): Mondays (occasionally, and if not too tired) - morris dancing 07:45 - 9:15 (it's meant to be adult time!); Tuesday - school orchestra 08:20 - 9:20, dance club at school 3:15 - 4:15; Wednesday - Art club at school 3:15 - 4:15; Thursday - Ballet 6:45 - 7:30 (about to give up as no longer enjoys it); Friday - flute lesson 4:30 - 5:00; Saturday - music centre 09:00 - 12:20 (choir, theory, junior orchestra, socialising).

Daughter 2 (Y2, age 7): Cake shop visits on Tuesday & Wednesday (3:15 - 4:15); Thursday - Piano Lesson 4:30 - 5:00; Saturday - music centre 09:00 - 12:20 (crotchets class, recorder lesson & percussion lesson (when teacher is there), socialising). Has no desire to go to any dance or other after school club and that's fine by us.

Then Daughter 1 is in the National Youth Folklore Troupe of England (aka NYFTE), with a 1 week residential at Easter, a couple of over-night workshops, and 3 or 4 festival weekends per year (and overseas trips every other year or so) - at the festivals, not a great deal of time is spent performing, so they go off in groups of 3 or more to play, shop, dance at ceilidhs... or sit in tent reading.

We also go off for other festivals that I perform at (although 1/2 the time I go on my own).

Other weekend activities: weekend before last, visited local ruined stately home & all tried stone carving; last weekend, went to mediaeval fayre (& shopping) in Gloucester on Saturday, then spent Sunday as extras on a film set.

We did used to spend weekends at home, but the children became **** - we need metal stimulation for them as well as physical.

Last week at school was 'creative arts week' - so no normal lessons. We really noticed it in the evenings - children would just not settle and needed their brains working before they would settle down to bed.

I should point out that I regularly check if each child wants to carry on doing what they do, and am happy for them to stop - there really is no pressure on them -- success is being happy & enjoying themselves. D1 wanted to join NYFTE after we 'dumped' her in a 1 hour workshop they were teaching last year whilst I performed outside - she insisted I take her back to the festival the following day so she could do the following workshop. Her request, unprompted.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:25 pm 
Lisa
They are 5 and 8. Relax. You sound as if you are doing more than I am doing with my similar aged children. Mine are in a laid-back state primary mind you, with no regular homework. Their elder sister just did very well in both the eleven plus and private scholarship exams on a diet of ballet, riding etc. I did some eleven plus work with her at home in year 6 but was quite glad that she never had much homework (about 15 mins a week on average by year 6). Unless your children begin to struggle I think play and relaxation are the most important things in the evening. If you are really worried, however, how about getting them journals and having them write a short entry from time to time? More use than most workbooks in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:27 pm 
Monday - older son does Taekwon Do + piano at home for both boys
Tuedsay - Younger son does dancing, older son swimming + piano for both boys
Wednesday - Rest day for all, park in the evening of weather is good
Thursday - Swimming younger son + piano for both at home
Friday - Rest day, dvds etc,
Saturday - Piano lessons for both
Sunday - homework

both boys are in primary school, older son is going to King Edwards Fiveways after successful 11+ results.

In between the above they both read, draw, paint, play in the garden and behave like normal children.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:08 am 
Thanks for all of your advice, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. I must be sooo lazy, I don't know how some of you keep up the pace! I think I will talk to the teacher about why my child has moved down a set, and try to address any issues arising from this. Will also talk to the children about any extra-curricular activities they might like to start doing. Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:37 am 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
Pace? I just said what the children do... If you knew my schedule of practices, performances and the like, you'd wonder how I fit work in. I just happen to have a very tolerant boss.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:38 am 
hi, lisa your children are so young, let them play like they should at that age, i never made my son do any extra work, until 3 months before the 11+! he passed with flying colours, and i know its nice(and in todays society) for kids to excell in out of school activities, but so very very expensive, find a cheap activity they like, mine love karate held in the school hall once a week and wow has their confidence grown.....i have also noticed how well behaved they now are since joining! as they really have to respect others.


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