When Are Your Teens Going Back to School?

teens go back to school

When are your teens going back to school?

Honestly, there’s nothing to say about the current school situation for teens in the UK. Apart from it’s a hot mess.

When Flea’s school first closed in mid-March, the expectation was that kids would be back in the classroom after the Easter holidays. That date came and went, and since then it’s just been… confusing. And now we’re into month three and for some of us, there’s no end in sight.

Home Learning Sucks

I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Home schooling a teenager sucks.

Flea’s school has worked miracles and is delivering a full online timetable of lessons from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. Flea is expected to keep up in all her subjects, with regular tests and essays. All from our spare bedroom which is not the ideal learning set-up.

teen lockdown

She is mostly keeping up. But I constantly have to check she’s working at her desk, and hasn’t snuck off to play video games or watch Netflix. There are emails from teachers if homework is late, and it’s always hard work to get Flea to complete her least favourite assignments.

As I told Flea’s head of year, I can work a full-time self-employed job OR I can be a teaching assistant but I can’t be both. And if my job is busy one week, then that has to take priority and I can’t really help that. I also said I’m not prepared to ruin my relationship with my daughter during what’s a tough emotional time, just because of some physics assignment.

I want to take the odd day to go and see the sky, and remember it’s a big world, and this too shall pass.

days out in lockdown

Still. It’s exhausting, isn’t it?

Mixed Messages

I think part of what’s made this process so frustrating is the lack of clarity, and consistency.

It feels like schools were going to open on this date, then that, then another. When the government announced primary schools would open on June 1, and secondary schools on June 15, I was relieved to think Flea would get some schooling before summer.

But then our county council stepped in and basically told the schools in our area to stay shut. They didn’t consider it was safe when the cases here were still so high. So at that point, who knew?

It now looks like primary schools here will open on June 22, with secondary schools the week after. But I know from friends’ experiences that these children won’t be going back to school as they recognise it. We’re talking short sessions with teachers, alone or in small groups. Focusing only on the core subjects.

Early Summer

I’m relieved to find that Flea’s school has made a unilateral decision based on what the headteacher thinks is the best interests of the students, and parents.

Flea will break up for summer this week, skipping the last three weeks of term. She will then return to school the week of August 19. The school will make the school day 30 minutes longer, and we’ve been told there will be a strong focus on traditional learning, as the school helps kids catch up on anything they’ve missed.

when do kids go back to school

For Year 10 students like Flea, there will also be earlier GCSE mocks, with the exams taking place at the start of December. I think this must be to give the school more time to work with children who have fallen behind during lockdown.

Not the Summer we Expected

Part of me is happy that we at least have some certainty. I know now, that Flea won’t be going back to school again in Year 10. But it’s a shame that our summer break is happening while lockdown is still in full effect. Our holidays have all been cancelled, and it’s a struggle to know how to keep Flea entertained for 8 weeks without the benefit of cinemas, shopping days with friends, eating out, parties or sleepovers.

But we will make it work.

From tomorrow, Flea will be having weekly sessions with a hockey coach. It’s 1-2-1 training, but I figure it’s something physical that will mean getting out of the house and talking to someone new. We’ve also signed up for personal trainer sessions with a local trainer, to help Flea work on her fitness before she heads back into what will be her last junior hockey season.

new build garden

Apart from that, I’ve renewed Flea’s membership at the tennis club, and hopefully she can spend some time enjoying the garden in the coming weeks. I will also try and motivate my teen to do an hour’s school work each day, just to ensure she hits the ground running next term. That might be a bit TOO hopeful, mind!


What’s happening with your teens? Are they back at school soon? Have they been already?

If you have tips for ways to keep them active and occupied while socially distancing with friends, I’d love to hear your ideas!  (check out our list of activities for teens to do in lockdown

5 thoughts on “When Are Your Teens Going Back to School?”

  1. I keep giving myself the “stop the mum guilt” pep talk weekly. I work full time at home, my work load has increased, there was enormous pressure of “prove your worth, or be furloughed” for over a month within my team at work.
    My husband is working full time at home for the foreseeable. He’s had to learn how to work at home, how to stay focused, how to plan his day (breaks in between conference calls, a fixed lunch time, how to work in the busiest part of the house, he’s in our open plan downstairs, we have to negotiate when the kettle can go on!).
    Our son has had to learn how google classroom really works, how to skype his mates for work along sessions, how to plan his time, how to prioritise what must be done first. How to be an only child in a house of working, unavailable parents. After too many battles, too many sullen, resentful episodes and attempts to help him develop these skills in stolen moments from my working day I made the decision to stop. I want a different relationship with my child as he enters his teenage years.
    His school have been improving, they had their first live lesson today. I’ve told them we are doing the best we can. He’s bright, he likes learning, he will catch up and continue to learn daily through the summer. We have been told learning at home will continue in September unless there is a dramatic change in government guidance.
    Our son will go back fitter than ever, daily TRX, or Joe, or HiiT sessions in the morning, a 5 mile bike ride every night. His gaming will be improved along with beating me at cards, watching all of the Rock’s films and gaining some awesome dance moves from let’s dance! If I can get him to put his dishes IN the dishwasher, and actually flush the toilet I’ll be winning!

    1. It sounds like a lot of work pressure but your son also sounds really motivated – I wish I could get Flea to do something active every day but alas she has inherited my lack of motivation on that front! If you get a teenager to put dishes in the dishwasher you will become my queen and I will devote my life to learning your secrets 😉

  2. Oh gosh! That is a lot of work and stress for Flea and yourself at home.
    It sounds like a good idea breaking up this week and returning to school in August. I hope it works out. Good luck with the hockey lessons.

    My tween won’t be going back until September at the earliest and that’s just us parents guessing. There has been no official word about when she’s going back apart from it won’t be before September. She only has to do a few hours a day and the school let us parents choose what work to do. It takes a lot of nagging but we’re doing OK.
    My teen at college has been told she’ll probably go back in October. They want to get the 16 years old’s who’ve just left school in college in September so they can learn their way around. The 2nd and 3rd year students are fine working at home and my teen has finished her college work for the school year. Phew! x

    1. It’s not been the easiest few months, but I know we have a lot to be thankful for so I’m TRYING to focus on that, some days more successfully than others! Let’s just hope and pray that by September things are a lot closer to normal, I think the kids are just missing out on such a lot.

  3. I love what you said to Flea’s teacher. My DD was given a whole schedule of which grades were going to be learning in school and which remotely on which days until the end of term (13th July). DD’s days in school were Tuesday and Wednesday in split classes. On Monday a friend who lives out of town was dropped off at school on the wrong day so she spent the day hanging out at our house. Then on Wednesday evening we were told that there would be school for 6th grade on Thursday. And by the end of Thursday they decided the whole school is returning to normal and full schedules with no split classes. Meanwhile the corona cases in Israel are rising every day. My one surprising discovery, which I blogged about this week, is that spontaneous unschooling happened. It seems your child just has to be bored enough for the unschooling magic to kick in.

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