Jump to content

Menu

Is 5:30pm or later the new standard start time for activities?


Recommended Posts

Did I miss the memo? Is this the new standard?

 

I want to schedule the kid's activities in the late afternoon after school from 3pm-5pm or so, but other than music lessons which are up to the discretion of the teacher, the vast majority of activities around here start only after 5:30pm. Now, our TKD studio is dropping more of their afterschool classes for evening classes due to low attendance.

 

This past year I declared we would be out only 1 evening a week for church activities, but what do you do when everything else is only offered in the evenings? Don't participate in activities and miss experiences? Are we really expected to trade dinner hour for activities on a regular basis? Is this what many families do now?

 

I'm frustrated that there are not more options in the afternoons. We like our quiet evenings at home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My guess would be demand from parents whose kids are in after school tutoring. My kids swim so we are at the pool 4 nights a week. We have dinner hour early at our house.

 

I understand your desire for quiet evening hours. It looks like you will have to decide what you are willing to give up for the experience. The ever popular cost/benefit analysis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never had activities start BEFORE 5p.m. unless it was a specific homeschool activity.

 

If it's a generic kid's activity (ie not just for homeschoolers), they have to cater to the masses. The masses usually are not able to get their children to an activity until 530 due to work/school bus etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is common in areas where both parents tend to work full time. It's hard to get your kids to activities if you don't leave work until 4:30/5:00. Once my oldest was at a certain level in dance there were often classes earlier.

 

Elementary buses drop off between 4 and 4:30 here. We had a couple of practices that ran 5:30 to 6:30 so we just ate a bit late on those nights.

 

These. Our practices are 5:30-7:30 four or five nights a week. Lacrosse is a short season sport, though. If it was a year-round thing, I may lose it with that schedule.

 

Anything else we do is done before dinner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm. I grew up in a small town and nearly all of our activities (even those offered by Parks and Rec or dance/martial arts studios) were afterschool, with the exception of a few sports games, or play performances so I guess my expectations were off.

 

It kind of saddens me though. I'm not sure what this means for our family's choices going forward. We already buck the Saturday sports trend, so if we also don't do evening activities, we will really be outcasts!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with you. When I was a kid all our afterschool activities started around 3.30-4. More SAHM then I guess. I pulled my DD out of her dance class because they wanted to change her class to 5.30. She was 4 at the time - no way. I didn't see the point - she is so tired by then she wouldn't have gotten any fun out of it.

 

I did notice when she had earlier classes it was mostly grandparents bringing the kids - there were less then 5 SAHM dropping their kids off.

 

We go to dance class on Saturday morning now -I don't like classes on Saturday but it beats evening classes for little kids :glare:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing new about a 5:30 start. Anything from right after school until 7 or even 8 are fair game. I know some piano teachers are offering lessons at 7 or 8pm for older children. My son often has rehearsal that run from 5-9pm. He's a 6th grader and I think it is very late, but the parents of high schoolers don't blink at it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is common in areas where both parents tend to work full time. It's hard to get your kids to activities if you don't leave work until 4:30/5:00. Once my oldest was at a certain level in dance there were often classes earlier.

 

Yup - and where we live, many folks have one or more parents commuting an hour each way from work, so even 5:30 is too early for them to get a kid anywhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's pretty standard here. There just aren't a lot of SAHMs or SAHDs. So businesses are going to offer classes when they can get the students. I know music teachers who will give a discount if you take a lesson time before a certain hour. Additionally, rec sports and scouts rely on volunteer adults--many of the volunteer adults are working full time and so the meetings/practices are scheduled at their convenience.

 

If you want to do the activity eat dinner early, have a light snack if needed when you get home from the practice/meeting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I understand what FairProspects is saying, and it isn't JUST about the dinner hour. We use evenings as our family time. DH works all day, we eat supper when he gets home and then often have family time with games or a movie and popcorn. If we are doing something every night at 5:00 or later that means we have to lose the family time. For us, that is unacceptable. I really think too many people give up private time with their spouse and children for all these activities. I see so many kids now that are closer to their friends than their own parents...

 

I want to move to an area that has a higher concentration of homeschoolers. I'm hoping that there will be some class type things offered to a homeschool group during daytime hours, leaving our evenings free. I know that on one Y website, they do a homeschool group thing that meets at maybe 11 am and did things like karate. I WISH we could get to a place that has something like that.

 

ETA: I hope that doesn't come across as inflammatory to someone who DOES participate in evening sports/classes. I don't mean it that way. I'm just frustrated and saddened that I don't have other options in my area (and that when someone asks why we don't do x,y, or z and I point out that doing that would cut into our time as a family, they look at me like I sprouted a second head.)

Edited by Gingerbread Mama
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live in an area with a lot of homeschool offerings. Businesses like using what is normally their down time so a lot of places will offer something if you call and inquire. At a casual look we have homeschool-specific, daytime classes for: gymnastics, bowling, art classes at art museum, Minecraft, martial arts, horseback riding, archery, frisbee golf and 4-H. I know there are additional things for kids older than mine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm. I grew up in a small town and nearly all of our activities (even those offered by Parks and Rec or dance/martial arts studios) were afterschool, with the exception of a few sports games, or play performances so I guess my expectations were off.

 

It kind of saddens me though. I'm not sure what this means for our family's choices going forward. We already buck the Saturday sports trend, so if we also don't do evening activities, we will really be outcasts!

 

It's ok to be an outcast. :001_smile: We have 5 kiddos and this is the first year we had anyone enrolled in sports. . . didn't like it at all. Games starting at 6:30 and out of town. I don't know how the kids who had to get up for PS the next morning did it. A few of the days we had oldest dd needing to be at work or her art class. . . what a juggling act. Not sure we'll do anything again. It's not all it's hyped up to be. BTW. Apart from oldest dd only 1 kid was doing anything (baseball) which was chosen because it only lasted a total of 6 weeks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I understand what FairProspects is saying, and it isn't JUST about the dinner hour. We use evenings as our family time. DH works all day, we eat supper when he gets home and then often have family time with games or a movie and popcorn. If we are doing something every night at 5:00 or later that means we have to lose the family time. For us, that is unacceptable. I really think too many people give up private time with their spouse and children for all these activities. I see so many kids now that are closer to their friends than their own parents...

 

I want to move to an area that has a higher concentration of homeschoolers. I'm hoping that there will be some class type things offered to a homeschool group during daytime hours, leaving our evenings free. I know that on one Y website, they do a homeschool group thing that meets at maybe 11 am and did things like karate. I WISH we could get to a place that has something like that.

 

ETA: I hope that doesn't come across as inflammatory to someone who DOES participate in evening sports/classes. I don't mean it that way. I'm just frustrated and saddened that I don't have other options in my area (and that when someone asks why we don't do x,y, or z and I point out that doing that would cut into our time as a family, they look at me like I sprouted a second head.)

 

:iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was totally the norm when I was growing up. 5:30 would be on the early side. I grew up fairly rural, most kids had to be bussed home and the busses didn't get there until at least 3:30/4. Then most kids wouldn't be able to get anywhere until someone gets home from work - usually 5 or later. The only after school activities were clubs and sports that were held at the school directly afterward. M parents worked, so this was how it worked for us, too. My brother used to have hockey practice starting at 9pm in middle school (ice time). My lessons or activities usually started 5:30-7pm.

 

That said, we were limited to one or two activities each, so we did still eat a lot of meals together as a family. Not EVERY night, but at least half of them. I feel that it was a good compromise. My brother did hockey (practice once or twice a week, game once a week) and I did band (mostly met during school, private lessons once a week). Even with no overlap we were all together 3 nights a week. This was with only two children, of course. More kids definitely makes it trickier.

 

If you live in an area with any kind of homeschool population, I'd consider asking local businesses for a homeschool specific activity during the weekdays. They might be happy for the off-hours business. The worst they can do is say no!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Look at is this way: If you own a dance studio, for example, you have to make your money, for the most part, when kids are out of school. You only have so much space, so you can't offer the 4:00 slot to everyone! You will make your living by holding classes from 3 or 4:30 until 9:ish, plus Saturday and maybe even Sunday afternoon. You do the best you can to make it work for everyone, but you've got to spread things out if you are to fill your studio enough to make a living.

 

It's nice to have that before-dinner spot, but as kids get older they typically move to later time slots in the studio's schedule. So if your goal is to have your child take only those nice after-school slots, you're going to miss out on a lot.

 

It's just a logistical issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I notice the same thing here, and it is a change since I was a child. After school activities then started from three to about four-thirty, and kids were home for supper. I don't remember any kids having after supper activities until they were getting old enough to take themselves. But at that time most kids walked to a neighbourhood school.

 

I do find it a drag, and I really wonder how the school kids make out. My dd7 attends a choir practice from six until seven, and when they are doing a concert they sometimes practice until eight. By the end she is exhausted, and she sleeps in until eight most mornings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is common in areas where both parents tend to work full time. It's hard to get your kids to activities if you don't leave work until 4:30/5:00. Once my oldest was at a certain level in dance there were often classes earlier.

 

This is the reason our soccer league gives for not starting practices earlier than 5:30. I understand the necessity, but it gets frustrating trying to figure out dinner without resorting to fast food and trying to get the kids to bed at a reasonable time. I don't think we could do it if I worked and the boys were in PS.

Edited by Kirch
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, our monthly 4-H general meetings started at 7. All of dds ballet classes began at 4:30 or later (mostly later); HIghland dance classes also started 5:30 or later; marching band started at 6.

 

We ate dinner at 4:30, so activities which started after 5:30 wouldn't have been a problem for us. And I preferred those to classes for homeschoolers which were in the morning...well, any time before 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Those suck the life out of our homeschool time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:grouphug:

 

I feel your pain. We do soccer and basketball here, and the practices are always 5:30 or later. (Although, the Hoopsters class at the YMCA for my 6 yr old has a 4:30 class. We're all over that!) We have purposely chosen leagues that play games on Saturday rather than during the week. I don't mind giving a Saturday morning to games, but those weeknight evenings can be hectic with four children. We don't want practices AND games during the week, especially when more than one child is playing. I can't stand being on the go all the time. This coming fall we'll have three playing soccer. I really hope the practices will be streamlined.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our scout troop has always met at 6:30, but we had a ton of girls show up late every time. Either they have other activities and then eat dinner before they come or their parents are at work until 5:30 or 6. So, we are starting at 7 next year.

 

Our scouts has always been at 7:00, and it makes for a late night. On the other hand, it allows a lot of the dads (and working moms) to be more involved and to get their kids there.

 

I can't think of one activity we have had that started before 5:30. Even our VBS is a night one for working parents. We just eat early on those nights. I can make a casserole at lunch, pop it in at 4:15 and we can eat by 5:00 most of the time. Or make a sandwich.. We have never given in to the fast food habit at least, not that we are against it once in awhile.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is the reason our soccer league gives for not starting practices earlier than 5:30. I understand the necessity, but it gets frustrating trying to figure out dinner without resorting to fast food and trying to get the kids to bed at a reasonable time. I don't think we could do it if I worked and the boys were in PS.

 

We just do dinner earlier. Our usual dinnertime is 5pm, and on the nights that DD has swimming at 5:30, we eat at 4:30. That means DW usually eats after swim instead of before (she gets home about 5:15), but that is not a huge deal to us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More and more activities are after 5pm now that my daughter is school-aged. For parent-scheduled activities it is usually driven by working parent schedules and for park district activities it appears to be because preschool and kindergarten classes are in the afternoon and age 6+ start around 5pm. It is frustrating for us b/c the 3YOs go to bed by 7 and it's been a priority to have dinner together. So far the compromise has been to have 1 late activity a week with a free-for-all dinner but I'm not sure what to do when all 3 kids are in the 5pm and later group.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I understand what FairProspects is saying, and it isn't JUST about the dinner hour. We use evenings as our family time. DH works all day, we eat supper when he gets home and then often have family time with games or a movie and popcorn. If we are doing something every night at 5:00 or later that means we have to lose the family time. For us, that is unacceptable. I really think too many people give up private time with their spouse and children for all these activities. I see so many kids now that are closer to their friends than their own parents...

 

I want to move to an area that has a higher concentration of homeschoolers. I'm hoping that there will be some class type things offered to a homeschool group during daytime hours, leaving our evenings free. I know that on one Y website, they do a homeschool group thing that meets at maybe 11 am and did things like karate. I WISH we could get to a place that has something like that.

 

ETA: I hope that doesn't come across as inflammatory to someone who DOES participate in evening sports/classes. I don't mean it that way. I'm just frustrated and saddened that I don't have other options in my area (and that when someone asks why we don't do x,y, or z and I point out that doing that would cut into our time as a family, they look at me like I sprouted a second head.)

 

I do live in a very home-school-friendly community and things still start late. Shoot, our monthly home-school family get-together starts at 6:30. That doesn't bother me so much because it is for the whole family. But, like you, I want as much family time as we can get and it just doesn't feel right to start our activities so late.

 

The other issue for us is that we have to be pretty consistent with bedtimes. When we started dropping out of everything, from praise team rehearsals (for me) and AWANA and dance and sports, everyone kept telling me to push bedtimes later, then they'd sleep in. Nope. My kids just don't. And then my daughter started with the night-terrors and sleep-walking, along with separation anxiety and loss of potty training... all traced to late night activities. No social benefits or diverse interests are worth that.

 

I get that, for some families, making the times later actually makes it more family oriented, as dads getting off work can be coaches or whatnot. But for us, it just doesn't work right now. I'm hoping things will change as my kids get older. But, like mentioned before, we're on the road to isolation here...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always known it to be that way.

Mostly because coaches/etc have jobs they work during the day - most people just aren't free in the after-school hours. Not to mention that around here, the kids who go to school and ride the bus home don't get home til 4 much of the time... and their parents work, too.

I think it has just become the standard since so many homes are two income.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We just do dinner earlier. Our usual dinnertime is 5pm, and on the nights that DD has swimming at 5:30, we eat at 4:30. That means DW usually eats after swim instead of before (she gets home about 5:15), but that is not a huge deal to us.

 

Part of our issue too is that we live 20 minutes away, so the extra drive time doesn't help. This past season was actually better because the boys' practices were at the same time in the same area, so dh usually handled practices and I'd have dinner on the table when they got home. I hope it works out htat way next season. I enjoyed not being on soccer duty!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well we don't do anything but Tao Kwon Do right now and the times are driving me batty truthfully. The classes are either 4 or 5 so I'm gone 2.5 hours every day and we just simply can't eat dinner at 3:30. Coupled with the fact that I'm not home to cook dinner this is an issue. I'm not sure what to do about it because I'm not sure I'd like the 6 or later classes every night either. I don't want to be gone 4 nights a week. Thank goodness their classes are only an hour long each.

 

:ack2:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most extracurrics start at 630pm here. That gives people a chance to get home from work and eat dinner before heading out to do activities. For myself I work until 6 and could not do earlier. Most of the kids in the kids activities are in the same boat. When we have an evening activity starting at 630 and I work right until 6 pm we literally jump in the car and leave asap because everything we attend it 20 minutes away in the next town, which means sometimes I am pulling away from my house before my daycare child is driving away. We eat a snack in the car (can't eat dinner earlier because daycare child is there), and run into our activity. This past year girl guides was at 6 pm and we were always late for it.

Edited by swellmomma
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Public elementary school doesn't get out until 3:50 here. I see the bus go down our street everyday at 4:30 dropping kids back off at home. Kids who live even further out in the county can be on the bus much longer. Frankly, even a 5:00 or 5:30 start time can be pushing it for us. 6-7:00 is much more doable, IMO, especially if the kids ever want their father to go to their events.

 

And really, who leaves work at 4:30? Isn't that the very small minority? Dh's last employer required that ALL employees stay until 6:00. His new job is much more flexible, but even so it's exceedingly rare for him to leave before 5/5:30.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4:30 is the absolute earliest possible time around here because kids get out of school way too late to have it earlier. And I think 4:30 is actually quite a hardship for working parents.

 

They recently changed the dismissal time in my district, but it used to be 4. There is no way to even make it to a class that starts at 4:30.

 

Yes - here the buses (for kids who need them, which is most of them) can take up to an hour to get kids home. High school buses show up here to drop off kids between 3:45 and 4.....since middle school gets out last (3:30) their buses are even later. Activities either have to take place immediately after school at the school. or much later when kids can get home and a parent can get home to take them somewhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Girl Scouts and and many Park and Rec classes like Lego Robotics, Pottery, Mad Science, Animation Filmaker, etc. are directly after school (3:15-around 5:00). Sports on the other hand have always been in the evening with games during the week or on Saturday/Sunday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never had activities start BEFORE 5p.m. unless it was a specific homeschool activity.

 

If it's a generic kid's activity (ie not just for homeschoolers), they have to cater to the masses. The masses usually are not able to get their children to an activity until 530 due to work/school bus etc.

 

:iagree: Statistically, most people have two parents employed, and they both usually work days. They can't get anywhere until work is over. Also, many dc are in sports and practice after school. There is nothing here before 5:30 or 6:00. All of our Scouts activities (that we planned) start at 6:30, because that allows time for dinner.

 

When dc were little, we didn't do many outside activities, because we wanted to spend a lot of time with just our family in the evenings. That has changed as dc have grown older, though. Our remedy to the family time issues has been to become involved in dc's activities. Dh is CubMaster and baseball coach, we both help at robotics, etc. Siblings come along to watch games or help out. Still family time like when they were little, just in a different location and with other dc there, too.

 

ETA: Most of our music and art lessons are during the day, though, because homeschooling gives us the freedom to get those in early.

Edited by angela in ohio
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't run into late start times yet. Dance does run late but generally dd starts between 3 and 4. But taking 2-3 lessons in a day takes time. Last year she had all of her lessons on Mondays and was gone for 3.5 hours.

 

Tai chi does start late, but it isn't a kids activity. Dd is the only one there under 35.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah we were once in a 4H group that started at 7:30. I found that to be ridiculously late. Although at least then we could eat dinner before we went.

 

7:30 is late for 4-H, especially for the little Cloverburds. Our groups starts at six, which isn't bad. The 8:00 ballgames are killers, especially the ones out of town. But, it's something I knew about before going into it. Just part of playing summer softball.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It know. It stinks doesn't it? I'm having the same issue. One huge reason that we homeschool is to spend time together as a family. We want to be home when my dh comes home. But finding activities, even HOMESCHOOL specific activities that do not fall into the evenings is getting harder and harder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:iagree: Statistically, most people have two parents employed, and they both usually work days. They can't get anywhere until work is over. Also, many dc are in sports and practice after school. There is nothing here before 5:30 or 6:00. All of our Scouts activities (that we planned) start at 6:30, because that allows time for dinner.

 

:iagree: When my boys were little (under 5) there were classes that started around 4:30.

 

Now, our nights are full of activities. But, we like it that way. We all go as a family most of the time and hang out. We chat in the car, etc.

Archery starts at 6pm, TKD, 6:30 (time used to be earlier when they were in lower ranking belts), soccer pratice is from 6-7:30.

 

I used to plan homeschool groups during the day for archery and lego, etc. But attendance was low.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And really, who leaves work at 4:30? Isn't that the very small minority? Dh's last employer required that ALL employees stay until 6:00. His new job is much more flexible, but even so it's exceedingly rare for him to leave before 5/5:30.

 

What time do you start? In our community the workday runs from 7h30 to 16h30 or from 08h00 to 17h00.

Schools all start at 7h30 and the oldest children are out by 14h00 (younger grades are out from 12h00 onwards).

 

Team sports and band practice mostly happens at the schools, so often start straight after school is out at 14h30. The kids will do sport and then go to aftercare which is also at the school.

 

Most activities not at the schools offer earlier and later sessions. My kids aren't in anything that ends after 17h30 (and they do violin, ensemble, pottery class, gymnastics and horseriding).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What time do you start? In our community the workday runs from 7h30 to 16h30 or from 08h00 to 17h00.

Schools all start at 7h30 and the oldest children are out by 14h00 (younger grades are out from 12h00 onwards).

 

Team sports and band practice mostly happens at the schools, so often start straight after school is out at 14h30. The kids will do sport and then go to aftercare which is also at the school.

 

Most activities not at the schools offer earlier and later sessions. My kids aren't in anything that ends after 17h30 (and they do violin, ensemble, pottery class, gymnastics and horseriding).

 

Out here the only people off work between 4-430 pm are gov't workers and teachers

 

School starts at 830 am in some cities and 9am in others putting dismissal time between 3-330pm. Kindergarten is mostly full days (2 days one week, 3 the next) now, few still do the 1/2 day 5 days/week kindy anymore.

 

When I worked in afterschool care in the schools, kids came from 300pm when school let out until 5-6 depending on when their parents got off work. All extra currics take place no earlier than 6 pm unless it is a school affiliated team or activity which takes place right afterschool. Those things are not open to the community, they are for the students enrolled in that school only. In our old city there was lots available to homeschoolers but those things were generally over by 4pm to give instructors time to have a break and eat and get ready for the general classes after 6pm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...