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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Sucessful School Age Program?
Joyfulnoise 12:27 PM 02-25-2021
Has anyone run a successful after school program for school age kids? And actually enjoyed it? lol I've heard several people mention school age kids, but it is always paired with how rough this age group is. I'm really struggling here. I love the kids, but we can't seem to get into a good groove & I find myself watching the clock in anxious anticipation of pick up time. Just being honest. It's typically just 2 hours after school, but it seems like the longest part of my whole day. And that's saying something b/c I do remote learning with 3 of my own kids all day while chasing my toddler. I think the problem is that they're all very self directed & want to do different things, but they can't seem to behave themselves in an orderly manner without me hands on guiding activities the whole time. To sit them down with a book or a box of legos I can be guaranteed that 2 of the boys at least will be rough housing in short order. They spend much of their time on the couch in timeout but it doesn't seem to phase them. If you've been successful in this area, what did/does your set up look like? Do they do centers? Have to choose and commit to a specific activity during free play? Do you lead projects most of the time? Any tips for success in this area?
Cat Herder 01:26 PM 02-25-2021
I did it for about 11 years and liked it. Ages 6-12. I did it for about 7 years before I had my kids and continued while they were infants/toddlers. I did not, however, mix the age groups and my own were never part of the daycare. My husband (3 days) or a grandparent (2 days) was with our kids when I had the big kids.

Before I had my kids, I would load up the big kids and go to the state park (3 minutes away) every day during summer for swimming, basketball, tennis and skating to wear them out. The pavilion had a water fountain, snack bar and a bathroom. We also walked to the public library once per week.

During the school year I gave them breakfast before the bus arrived. Then, I gave them a heavy afterschool snack (small meal) and we went out for kickball, badminton, cornhole or an afternoon movie (rain). They had the option of doing homework in the dining room, but most went outside to play. Homework help was on the parents. Parent is a verb. (access to personal video games and computers were not really a thing. I did not have internet, then. Dial up was not worth it. Movies were on VHS checked out from the library. No cable tv.)

Once our kids started homeschooling I transitioned to infant only, then slowly to a mixed aged group birth-6. My husband homeschooled 3 days (science, math, history) I did 2 (language arts, writing).

It was the only way I could figure out to make it work with our parenting goals.
flying_babyb 04:47 PM 02-25-2021
So I dont know if this would work with your group but we did work mats. Each child had a mat and a table space (usually far enough apart that they couldn't touch or reach anyone else or there space). Whatever material they were working with would go in a basket (Only x amount of crayons, legos ect so others can use it too) and they would sit down and keep their parts on there mat. If it went off there mat, it went away. Seemed to work well. I do this with my 2-3s too.
Tags:curriculum, curriculum - school age, school age care, school-age, school-age activities
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