A few weeks earlier than planned, we find ourselves at the end of Year 10. Or what is his is also known as Flea’s fourth year of senior school, in old money.
A Change in Schedule
After weeks of uncertainty, the school announced that it was bringing forward the end of term by two weeks. The governors recognised that many of the parents were struggling to balance jobs with home learning. Ha! You don’t say?
Instead, Flea’s school will take an eight week break, then return early for autumn term. The current plan is to return to school on August 19th, although obviously that could change. Next term, school has promised a strong focus on “traditional education” for the current Year 10 students, and a 30 minute extension to the school day. Fun times.
That said, home learning has been so full on that Year 10 students are ahead of where they would usually be at this point. My only concern with this is that just because material has been covered, and work set, doesn’t mean it’s been completed, or understood.
The Joy of Home Learning
Home learning in our house has been… challenging.
Flea’s school took the decision early on to move the whole timetable online. That means the day starts at 9am and runs to 3pm, with an hour’s lunch break. Alongside academic lessons, kids are expected to participate in Instagram workouts or Strava-tracked runs during games lessons. The headmaster emails a virtual assembly every Thursday morning.
On the upside, there’s no CCF.
Honestly? Trying to get my child to follow this timetable is like herding drunk cats.
High points include the day I threw all Flea’s school books out of her bedroom window while yelling about how she OBVIOUSLY doesn’t want to learn anything.
Flea doesn’t like to get up in the mornings. Her start time has gradually slid from 9am to somewhere around 10.30am. She’ll take a leisurely shower and get changed, before arriving at her desk just in time to break for lunch. She’s supposed to work until 3pm, but I often find she’s watching Netflix or playing video games if I don’t check on her.
Unsurprisingly, this has meant a slow but steady increase in the number of late assignments. Which means angry emails from teachers, telling my how important Year 10 is. This then means I get to have super fun conversations with my teen. And Flea’s at a private school, so I get the extra fun of thinking about how much I’m paying for all this fun life experience. Sigh.
Our Summer Plans
It’s helpful to know there’s an end in sight. Flea has spent the past week gradually finishing up all the overdue assignments. There are now just a handful of Year 10 projects to finish up this weekend.
Obviously it’s not the summer we planned. We’ve cancelled planned trips to Spain, Italy and the US. We have provisional plans for two short breaks in the UK, but for the most part, we’ll be at home.
That’s probably a good thing, because Flea will need to start revision soon. We can’t let school work slide because Flea will be taking her mock GCSEs in November. This makes sense but, oh, it would be nice to have a proper break!
That said, I’m trying as best as I can to give Flea some activities to get her out and about. We’ve got Flea a membership to the local tennis club, so she can play with friends over the holidays. We’ve also booked some virtual PT sessions to try and get Flea’s fitness up, ahead of pre-season hockey coaching.
From next week, Flea will be doing 1-2-1 hockey coaching at a local club. Next month, she’ll move to some small group coaching in Yorkshire. All being well, she’s due to attend a residential goalkeeper coaching camp in August.
Although Flea can’t go out with friends anywhere much, we have invested a little in the garden, so Flea can invite friends over and they can listen to music and have movies in the garden, with a fire pit and some comfortable seating.
And Just Like That Year 10 is Over
It’s been a funny old year, hasn’t it?
So many of the things I hoped for Flea this year haven’t happened. She won’t get to go on an overseas school trip. She didn’t get to play for Lancashire. The planned theatre trips were cancelled.
More than that, I think Flea has missed out on a lot of social opportunities with friends. I think it’s great that the kids connect on social media. Flea spends a lot of time chatting with friends on PlayStation.
But it’s not the same as hanging out with friends at the coffee shop, or going to see a film on a Friday night. I worry that next year will be so taken up with “traditional education” and exam prep that Flea could miss out on those experiences for a while yet.
How has your teen’s year been?