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If you have a highschooler in public or private school— What is a typical day like?


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If you have a highschooler in public or private school— What is a typical day like? What time do they need to be out the door in the morning? When do clubs and sports start and end? What time do they come home? How late are they up doing homework? How much homework do they do on weekends? 

 

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What even is "typical" in these covid days anyway?

Let's see. Pre-pandemic, the one kid was out the door at 8-ish to get to school at 9:30, the latest start time that school was offered. (In NYC, most of the old big high schools were broken up, and now there are multiple schools in the same building, each with a different start time.) Their school is relatively close to home, only 15 minutes once they get off the boat. (Neither kid wanted to go to school on the Island, and ironically that kiddo would likely have had to get up even earlier if they'd gone to our nearest school, because that school starts at the horrible hour of 7:30!)

The other one was leaving at 5:45 because their school starts a bit earlier and is in midtown instead of the lower east side, and for all these reasons I actually advised against it, but it was her first choice school and she loves it, so shows what I know.

They both did as much homework as possible on the trip home. The older one went to a progressive school where the emphasis was on authentic learning and they didn't do much homework. The other is at an arts school where the emphasis is on art, and it turns out they have a LOT of kids with learning disabilities so the also have a balanced idea of the appropriate homework load for their students.

Can't talk to you about clubs - the one kid isn't a joiner, and the other was home for the pandemic before she had a chance to join any clubs.

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I think it was 8:20 to 3. We left home at 8 and dropped off at 8:15 so she wouldn't be too early. Some families drove 45 minutes to drop off for school, it just depended on the distance.  Since everyone is dropped of by parents the drive line is long but organized. The students had lockers, but only used them sporadically. She made sure to bring her 1st period books home, so she didn't have to go to her locker before school. 

Sports were sometimes right after school, sometimes practice was later. It depended on the coach's schedule. Practice was pretty typical for a high school team, 1 to 1.5 hours. Maybe 2, if there was a reason for it. There was usually a small break after school for them to eat and have a small break before practice. Clubs were immediately before or after school.  It seems like I picked her up about 2 hours after school. IF she got out early, she would just call me to come get her or hang out with her friends. When I picked her up, there were often kids sitting around doing homework. Maybe the sibling of someone in sports, or one another team that got out early. There were staff around, but not directly supervising these teens. She was in honors classes and probably did about 1 to 1.5 hours of homework a night. She is dyslexic and reads slow. More reading, meant longer homework times. She was not in AP classes at that time (9th grade), or the homework would have been longer. 1 to 2 hours every night is pretty common for kids in AP classes. It greatly varies on the students reading/typing speed and the teachers assignment load. Her school had 6 academic classes and a bible class. That resulted in an extra credit each year. When she shifted to public school, the bible class converted to an elective credit.  Teachers were available either before and/or after school for 30-60 minutes for help. I think there was a study hall at lunch if kids wanted to do homework or get some help at that time. (We toured several schools before choosing this one and I think this one offered that). It wasn't uncommon to see kids doing homework on the busses on the way back from team sport events. Weekend homework varied, but was similar to one week night's work. Weekend homework often involved parts of longer projects. 

Academics were taken seriously at her school, but that also meant that the teachers were invested in each kids progress. It was way more personalized and hands on that public school. If her teachers saw me on campus, they knew she was my daughter, and would tell me things specific to her. "Hey, I loved L's paper on xyz! It was her best paper so far this year!"  Only a couple of my daughter's public school teachers could say the same. 

Edited by Tap
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Highschool here is 7:45-3:00.

We are 15 min away (ds drives the both of them). They often stay late talking with friends and sometimes have early meetings. Ds likes to leave by 7:15 at the latest.

Ds hardly did any clubs, 1 club his first year that met once a week. Dd has already joined 3 clubs. I expect we will have something at least a couple of times a week in addition to games she wants to watch to hang out with friends. Her clubs so far have had meetings before and after school. Some have field trips coming up that will be during school and I know some are on weekends too.

Ds usually got his work done mostly in class and if he had homework it was math homework. Dd had several hours on this holiday weekend and had some a couple of other nights (2 weeks of school so far). It is hard to say but from past experience the homework has not been too heavy and the way they talk about their classes I don't think it will be bad with the exception of math. Dd takes a bit longer with math and ds is in a harder class and will have more work due to that.

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Both leave house 6:50 for a 7:25 start.

Senior - Up at 5:30am, home around 5:30pm, in bed at 9:30.  2 to 2.5 hour practices after school and Sunday mornings, 6 days a week, aside from meets which is a whole evening and up to 1.5 hours away, one way.  30 minutes homework a night, if that.  Rarely weekend homework and works if needed on weekends.   Easy course schedule.  

Freshman - school out at 2:30, off bus at 3:30.  5-10 hours of after school between student council and broadcasting.  1 hour a night homework.  Same for weekend.  I think this will increase, his schedule is pretty demanding.  

Both usually have 1 school activity a week that keeps them out late.  For example, my freshman had a broadcasting event last week were he wasn't home until 11:00pm, on a school night.  He'll be at football games 3-11 on Fridays.  My senior had a meet last week that was 65 miles one way and he didn't run until 6:00.  Another meet was an under the lights event and they didn't even run until 10:30pm.  

 

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I have a freshman and a senior in public school this year.  Our school just mercifully moved to a slightly later start time this year for the high school.  It used to be 7:40 and now it is 8:20.  My senior starts her day with a class at an off-campus location (district wide culinary arts program) and it starts 15 minutes later, so she drives every day and can leave at 8am to drop DS14 at school 10 minutes away, and still have plenty of time to drive five minutes further down the road to the other location.  DD 17 has really only ever joined one school club (an art club, meeting 1 day/wk after school for an hour and a half) but has a seasonal job at an ice cream shop that is open mid-April to mid-October, so that overlaps 3ish months of the school year.   She has typically had 30-60 minutes of homework per night on average, and an hour or two to do most weekends.  Often for her this was math homework, because she is not super fast at math and preferred to do math at home where DH is available to help, and did other homework at school during study hall or lunch.  She has no study hall this semester due to the off campus culinary arts class, so it will be interesting to see if homework time is increased.  She usually tries to be in bed by 11pm on school nights.

DS14 does a fall sport (community-wide club team) that has 3 days a week of practice in Sept-October.  That starts at 5pm, but by the time he and DD get home from school (arriving home at 3:50), there so far is time only for 30 minutes of relaxing or homework before needing to eat a snack and get ready for practice.  He is still doing lights out/no talking at 10pm with his younger brothers (they share a room) but I'll let him stay up to 11pm working in another room if needed as the school year goes on.  He hasn't had a lot of homework yet, and he mostly has been able to get it done in study hall so far.  He wants to join quite a few more clubs than DD was interested in joining, so I am anticipating that he'll have multiple days of staying at school until 5pm once clubs get rolling (and going straight from clubs to sports practice if any club meetings overlap the sport season).  He is a fast worker on most subjects, so I don't anticipate him actually having as much homework as DD, at least his freshman year.

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7 hours ago, WTM said:

If you have a highschooler in public or private school— What is a typical day like? What time do they need to be out the door in the morning? When do clubs and sports start and end? What time do they come home? How late are they up doing homework? How much homework do they do on weekends? 

 

School hours are 9a-4:15p

My son is in band so three days a week he has to be at school at 7am for early morning marching band practice before school. One day a week they practice 5p-8p after school (And thus pack dinner to eat between school and practice) and when there is a game they eat at school then get on the bus to go to the football game and play. They are home about 10:30p -- though the day the game was in San Antonio they did not get back until midnight.

 

They have A days and B days at school -- with half their classes on each day. I didn't think I would like that but it actually makes band more doable since it gives him two days to do homework, so on the days he is out late with band he doesn't have to stay up LATER to also get homework done. So long as he does not procrastinate and wait for the last minute.

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Thank you all!

DD is interested in brick and mortar school next year, and I’m trying to figure out what our life might look like. 

How did you all make the change from homeschool to brick and mortar school? It seems like such a drastic lifestyle shift, especially if you have some kids you are still homeschooling - then you’re managing two different “cultures” or “lifestyles.”  Did you or do you miss your kids when they are pretty much away for most of the day?

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Pre-pandemic, my oldest was out of the door at 6:45am. Her bus ride was 45 minutes since we are only a couple blocks away from the district line. She would come in the door in the afternoon around 4pm. She's the kind of kid that only needs to be told something once to remember it, so brick and mortar school felt like a lot of busywork for her. She got most of her schoolwork done during school, so she rarely had homework, and the level of schoolwork, even at the honors level, was not challenging enough for her to need to study. Clubs met during the school day, and she didn't do sports. We did BSA that year, so on Tuesdays she only had an hour at home before we were eating dinner and then driving 30 minutes to get to the BSA meeting. By the time we got home, it was bedtime. Otherwise, her evenings/weekends were free.

My oldest went from homeschooling to brick and mortar in 8th grade. I had also gone from homeschooling to public school in 8th grade, and I appreciated having the year to get used to the changes before grades went on my transcript. I'm an introvert, and this morning I just found an essay I'd written in high school that said I didn't talk to my classmates for the entire first semester I was in public school. I remember being shy, but specific memories have faded over the years.

The first year of public school is hard, but also really rewarding. My daughter struggled with the early wakeup, having to work at a set pace, and the constant review. On the other hand, she enjoyed spending more time with peers, especially ones from different backgrounds. She also thanked me for the education I'd previously provided for her, as she was constantly appalled at all the things her classmates didn't already know. That year was the first time I'd been alone in a home. I grew up in a house of six people, so I never had the luxury of alone time. I didn't cry when my oldest left the first morning, but I did cry when my youngest got on the bus. I did a lot of baking, running errands, and volunteering that year while getting used to an empty house.

We have food allergies in the family, so I had to pack lunches every day. I made a menu of 20 different lunches, and we'd rotate who got to pick the five different lunches off the menu for the week. I am not a morning person, so knowing what to prepare helped me get three lunches packed before 6:45am.

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1 hour ago, WTM said:

Thank you all!

DD is interested in brick and mortar school next year, and I’m trying to figure out what our life might look like. 

How did you all make the change from homeschool to brick and mortar school? It seems like such a drastic lifestyle shift, especially if you have some kids you are still homeschooling - then you’re managing two different “cultures” or “lifestyles.”  Did you or do you miss your kids when they are pretty much away for most of the day?

The big shift for me was having to prioritize the school schedule over the home schedule. Tracking all of the contact info, schedules, etc. was a different sort of schooling burden—but one that was still much less than when I was homeschooling high school. I wrapped the homeschooling stuff I was still doing around the public school schedule. I set a series of phone alarms to manage all of the set times I needed to work around.

I am a sentimental person, but life quickly fell into a routine. Much like dh used to go off to work, everyone just had their daily routine and life was busy enough while they were away that I just hurried to finish all of that so we could enjoy life together. While the quantity decreased the quality improved.

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Wake about 6:30am.

School hours are 7:50-2:30.

Sports/activities are each usually 1.5-2 hours per afternoon, 2-5 days per week, plus 1-2 games per week.  Hours of practice, anytime between 3pm and 7pm generally.  Games are usually Friday nights until 9+pm or Saturdays (all hours), but sometimes other week nights.  Sometimes my kids have 2 activities in one night, which may or may not overlap.

Homework - for honors courses, significant homework every day.  For non-honors courses, it depends on the individual - much of it can be done in class, but there will be some overflow into the evening.

One of my kids is regularly doing homework until midnight or later.  This is partly because of poor time management though.

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ODD Just started as a freshman so she hasn't had much homework yet. She gets up around 6:30 or 7.  She needs to be at our neighborhood school by 8 it's about a 10 minute bike ride.  Once there She takes a shuttle bus to her magnet school.  Class  are 8:30-3 and than back home she gets back between 3:30 and 4. 

Clubs seem evenly split between before and after school and usually meet for an hour.  Plus special events. Sports are 2 hour a day practices plus games but DD isn't interested in those.  

The hardest adjustment is remembering we can't take off everytime  DH has a week off from work.

She really loves this school and so do we so that helps.  The mornings are a little rough.  She slept hard this weekend after waking up early all week.

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Highschool hours 7:20a-2:50p (middle school hours same)

Wake 5:30a. Car 6:35a. Commute 11 miles takes 25 minutes to drive due to traffic. After school band: Rehearsal 3 days home by 6:45pm, GameDay home by 12am-1am, CompetitionDay usually about 12hours. So band 5 days/week, only Sunday and Monday off. Spring much the same but swap marching season for winter-guard and symphonic band. DD is varsity in both, but all 4 level bands have almost this same schedule. It is not unusual to have a 20-hour weekend day. I have no idea how these kids manage, but they do.

I have a very organized and highly-academic student that manages to get the bulk of her homework done in scraps of downtime here and there. But about 2-3 days/week she has homework that can take her 1-2 hours at night.

I have a Freshman fulltime homeschooler. She attends online classes and has a carefully crafted schedule. The only conflicts with the public-school schedule come from me having to juggle my time acting as a homeschool facilitator/tutor and taxi-cab/personal assistant for b&m kids. MY time is very conflicted to keep the kiddos' time running smooth. She dances 6 hours a week. We had to drop her daytime classes and go to late night classes to accommodate the schedule. 5-9:30 time frame.

My middle schooler does not have much homework as of yet (1st year just started). No outside school club obligations. But he plays select baseball and TKD. We just paused TKD because otherwise, he would have had a long practice every night of the week plus games on weekends. Plus 6th grade and puberty and middle school challenges. Too much.

DH has had to get much much more involved in running and helping with kid schedules. Plus we are insisting DD16 go ahead and get her license so that we can relieve some carpool pressure too for after school stuff.

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My son was in a private high school pre-covid. He's in college now.

It was a 25-minute drive to school. We tried to hit the road no later than 7:15, sometimes as late as 7:25. I cherished those driving hours, tbh, because being trapped in a car together brought bonding and sharing. 

After school depended on whether he was in sports for the season or not. He was in school all day until I picked him up at 2:30ish? Mighta been closer to 3pm. I honestly don't remember. If he had soccer or tennis or track, I picked him up sometime between 5-6pm or we'd meet him at the game or meet or whatever. 

Then dinner together, then studying and homework. 

He did participate in church youth group, and there were always events for church or school or sports or choir. It was often tricky managing the schedule, and there were times he went short of sleep. But he loved having a full and busy life, and we are proud of his hard work.

It was a big adjustment for me. My daughter homeschooled all the way through high school, while my son chose to attend a brick-and-mortar high school. They graduated 8th and 12th grades together, so I went from full-time homeschooling to an eerie, empty house. I didn't feel much sense of purpose in driving ds around and in cleaning house, tbh. I am glad I hung in there, though, administrating his life and supporting his ventures out into the world. Now that he's launched (and we're so proud!), I would give anything in the world to have those daily car rides back in my life again.

Some advice:

As much as possible, coach your child to handle situations themselves at the school rather than stepping in as the parent. Most of the time you can support the child to a successful outcome. There was a time or two that I did step in to speak directly to a teacher, but most of the time it was a stronger move to help coach the teen. They gain valuable skills that they need for adult life. For example, ds was responsible to handle requests to turn in work later or to inform about vacations. We talked about situations and logistics as they arose, and dh and I coached ds on handling. On the other hand, I did step in when the school jimmied his schedule around so that ds' study hall was absorbed by the choir director's demand for two class periods from choir participants. (!!) I stayed kind and sweet but insisted that they figure out a way to get him the study hall he had signed up for and needed due to his heavy academic load. They ended up flipping the lunch schedules for all choir participants in recognition of the validity of the concern. (Honestly, I love the head admin there and really appreciate his choice to affirm the needs in that situation.) Another time that I stepped in was when a teacher suggested ds may have pocketed some nifty magnets off of teacher's desk. Ds was horrified at the accusation, which was made based on nothing other than that ds liked to sit in a chair next to the desk sometimes. Ds offered to let his locker and backpack be searched, and I wrote a carefully-worded note explaining ds' distress and asking for a meeting to understand the situation better. Teacher backed off and all was well. They actually had a good relationship over subsequent years in further classes. 

Another thing that makes all flow more smoothly is to be 100% enthusiastic for all the school traditions and games and activities. Your child is building memories. Embrace the choice to be in school wholeheartedly and celebrate all the awesomeness of that setting.

My other piece of advice is to be intentional in choosing how to fill your time while your school-child is in school. In my case, I had no other kids homeschooling after ds. I missed homeschooling intensely!! I kinda wish I'd taken a community college class or started a huge project. I did try to invest in some volunteer opportunities, but those did not fill enough of what I needed at the time. 

 

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Depends on the kid. 
 

Current Senior - easy day:
7:00 wake up
8:00 leave for school
8:05 start of 1st period
3:00 school is out
3:15 practice starts
6:00 home

Current Senior - morning practice day:
6:20 wake up
6:25 leave for practice
6:30 start practice at school
7:15 home from practice
8:00 leave for school
8:05 start of 1st period
3:00 school is out
3:15 practice starts
6:00 home

Current Senior - game day:
7:00 wake up
8:00 leave for school
8:05 start of 1st period
Leave school when needed (usually before school is out)
9:00-11:00 home from game

Current Senior completes nearly all homework in study hall, but he utilizes all his spare time and is academically gifted. 

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I have a 9th and 11th grader in private school. Right now, the 9th grader is playing a team sport while the 11th grader is not. The older child has a job where he works occasional evenings and Saturdays. He will start team practices in November and then the 9th grader's season will be over. They basically get up at 6:30, to school by 7:15 (starts 7:30), classes until 2:30, sports practice until 4:30 or 5. They have a couple of hours of free time and then a couple of hours of homework. We haven't yet started youth group but they'll have that on Wednesdays as well as church/Sunday school.

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