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Extracurriculars / Studying in Middle School

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I am curious what activities your middle school kids participate in and how they balance those with homework / studying / life. 

We have a lot going on, nothing new there.  My eldest wants to do all the things and be social.  I hate to discourage these positive activities, but balance is not quite happening.  Sleep is suffering.  I think I need ideas.

Also, how much sleep do your middle school kids get / need?  Do you find it a challenge to meet this need?

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I think this depends so much on individual kids.  

My 8th grade son sleeps about 8 1/2 hours a night.  Last night I know he was asleep at 10:00 and up at 6:30.... He is supposed to be getting ready for bed at 9:00, but I am lenient as long as he gets up on his own.  Getting up on his own is a major accomplishment, this year is the first year he has done it reliably.  

He is not in any organized activities.  

He is a library aide, though.  I am really happy about that.

Several days a week he hangs around with kids from school for a few hours after school, often for about 3 hours. One or two days a week he makes plans to play a video game with a friend after school.  As weather is getting worse, he is going to need to put some effort into making plans, because kids will not be outside like they are now, and I am not going to let him play video games every day after school.  When he does this, he is on a headset and talking with a lot of the same kids he hangs out with on other days.  

Because he's not in school activities, he has study hall at school and he does his work at school.

Let's see, right now he also goes to Anime Club after school, maybe twice a month.  He also plays chess most days during Home Base, which he really enjoys.  

He has always needed a lot of downtime.  Study halls during the day are working great for him.  He usually has time to read during study hall, which is very stress-relieving for him.  He is a lot less-tired when he can have breaks like that during the day.

It seems like it is a good fit for his personality.    

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I just put my 8th grader in public school for the first time since the beginning of 6th grade.  School is her activity, I tell her.  It's pretty easy academically - she's really only there for the specials (gifted ed, choir, math I don't have to teach) and for friends.  When we were homeschooling, those 3-4 things (an outsourced class, a homeschool choir, a book club/math club for gifted kids, and park day) would have counted as 4 activities!

Seriously though, she needs the time she does have away from school to decompress, read books, and do chores (there are a lot of chores when you're the eldest of 7 and your mom works from home full time).  Maybe in high school she can do an activity.


Oh, she does still do Lukeion Latin (and in spring, something other than Lukeion for Latin).

She doesn't sleep enough, imo.  But we're still adjusting.  Right now it's 8 hrs/night and 10 on weekends.  I think 9 would be closer to ideal but the bus comes so danged early out here in the country.

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Ds11 does one tennis lesson a week plus a game on Saturday half the year.  He may also add a Judo lesson.  His homework takes about 15 minutes a week and he has a regular play date once a week plus church and informal playdates as fit.  We do half an hour AOPS PA in bed 3 to 5 nights a week.


Middle schools here don't have specialist teachers/class changing/study hall etc.  In fact we don't have anything like study hall until half way through high school.

Edited by kiwik
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  • 2 months later...
6 hours ago, HeighHo said:

How is it working out for you?  Did you find a schedule that you can stick with?

We just got back from vacation, so we don't really have a good routine yet.  Fall is always crazy with all the holiday and birthday stuff.

This year I tried to make sure they only had 1 activity per evening, so that would leave enough time for homework.  But I can't control everything.

Wednesdays are the worst.  Kid has basketball practice from 3-5, cheer practice 5-6:30, and gymnastics team across town from 7:30-9.  Homework comes after that.  We have accepted this as it is only one day per week.  But it gets hard when there is a big test on Thursday.  (However, it has motivated better long-term study habits.)  Eldest dropped a Monday in-school activity so she could have a study hall, and she will skip her Monday evening activity when she has a lot of homework or a big test on Tuesday.

I need to confiscate phones at bedtime, but so far I have not been very militant about that.

Next year, the Wednesday night activity will not continue.  Also I am 99% sure scouting will be dropped.  Eldest may also drop one other school activity.  So hopefully this is going to work.  At least until high school starts ... not sure how that's going to go ....

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  • 2 weeks later...

My middle schooler likes to sleep but she gets herself up for before-school volleyball practice on her own.  She sleeps about 9 hours a night which seems sufficient.  My rule is if you can't get up in the morning, you go to bed earlier in the evening.  She has at least two morning practices a week.  She dropped her evening sport this fall (for valid reasons) but plays with friends in the neighbourhood a couple of nights a week.

She does not seem to get much homework.  She spends more time on email/texting than when we homeschooled last year but tech does not go into the bedroom.

She is focusing on improving her French which is why she is attending school.  It is not as onerous on her as I thought it would be because all the kids speak English between classes.

She needs time after school to decompress.  We have not after schooled serious subjects as much as I wanted/expected and since she is gaining in other areas, I am ok with that.

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  • 1 year later...

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