Is school-age easier or harder? — The Bump
School-Aged Children

Is school-age easier or harder?

DS is starting kindergarten in the fall. I'm interested in how busy/stressful it is once your kids get into school. My main reason is that I am considering having a third, but I'm wondering if it will be more or less stressful with one in school. I'm very much on the fence about if I can handle three and remain involved enough with all the fun things they do as they get into school. Right now I work part time from home so I have a flexible schedule. I already pack lunches, so that is not much different. What do you find are the biggest challenges or benefits of having school age kids?

Re: Is school-age easier or harder?

  • DD was in full day kindergarten last year.  During the school day things were easier because I only had DS.  After school got more hectic of course.  We would go through her bag and folder together, eat snack, we would be off to one of her activities or we would be working on school work.  She didn't get a lot of homework or anything, but there was practice of reading such. Then dinner prep, eat dinner, shower prep, and bed...the afternoon goes by fast!   .

    I would have someone come and watch DS once a week so I could volunteer in DD's classroom.  I also was able to help at all the room parties and other activities during the school day.  There were only a few night time activities that the school had set up (ice cream social and things like that).  We did it all, but didn't need to.

    DD~6 years old~born June 6, 2008 (1st grade)
    DS~4 years old~born November 6, 2010 (1st year of preschool)
  • DS is six (completed kindy) and DD is three. The days were pretty easy...we'd do our morning routine, take DS to school, and then DD and I would run errands/do activities/have play dates. The afternoons were okay, but I usually had to wake DD up from nap in order to go pick up DS.

    The roughest part is dealing with after school activities. DS played soccer and had two games and one practice per week. The Saturday games weren't an issue, but practices and weekday games kind of sucked. We were ways running around trying to get homework and dinner in, and get out the door.

  • After schoo/weekends are more tricky.  Both DH and I work full time so between picking up kids from daycare/aftercare, running to activities (which we limit to one activity at a time), dinner, sometimes a little homework, and quality time in there somewhere, it can get a little crazy.  Weekends are not musch easier..shuffling kids between activities, playdates/parties (that seemed to pickup once DS was in school), and family time.  I think there is always some level of hectic-ness no matter how many kids you have.  Just have to make time for things that are important to you...for us is having dinner as a family as often as possible.  Time to talk and connect...I want to instill the importance of that with my kids.
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  • The biggest advice I can give you about school age is get on a good routine. Have a place for the folder, back pack, etc. have a designated homework spot and time and a set bedtime. Kindergarten/school age classes are all about routine and independence. So the more you can keep a routine at home the easier it is.

    The parents in my class that do these things seek to have a much easier time with the transitions then families who don't.

    I know lots of families who have 3-4 kids with the last baby coming around the time the oldest starts kg. it is doable, just try and be consistent with the routines.


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  • I have a small corner in my kitchen that I have bins that keep track of papers coming home that need to be filled out and returned. A small bulletin board that I hang the school calendar on. As they get older and have afterschool activities then there is a bit more juggling with eating dinner, going to afterschool activities, and doing homework. I find that as long as you stay on top of all the paperwork that comes home, and meal plan so you aren't scrambling at the last minute things run very smoothly.
  • groovygrlgroovygrl
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 100 Love Its Photogenic
    edited July 2014
    I have twins who are going to be in kindergarten this year but private K- they will repeat public K next year. For all the reasons described, I really think I am going to have to figure out a way to go part time at work when they start regular school next year... the afterschool activities/extracurriculars & homework seem like they'll be very busy and stressful to coordinate along with dinner & bedtime and it isn't like you can adjust schedule to do those things at different times with the exception of not doing the extracurriculars or doing them on Saturdays but at some point that isn't going to happen either.
    That being said, a lot of people seem to take it in stride with the 3rd child and just take him/her along and they go with the flow. I think maybe how stressful it is depends on other variables in your life and your own systems & routines? I am admittedly not a star about organizing things at home.  Not sure what the right answer is... GL!
  • Both. My son is 10. So when he is gone its easier because then its just the baby, but then once hes home he has homework, sports, ect

  • My kids are 5 years apart so I had Nolan when Emily started Kindergarten and I loved it: Emily had her own life and I was like a first time mom at home with one kid again! ;)

    She's starting 3rd grade and everything has been completely do-able with a younger on in-tow.

    We do homework during naptime and all her extracurricular activities are simply things that have her staying at school an extra hour so we just pick her up later. I can't comment on how hectic it would be dragging a younger kid around to other activities because we don't do that yet.

    Getting up early and having dinner earlier as well as doing bedtime routine for both kids earlier so we could be on a school schedule was the hardest part and all that required was some practice and a little time to adjust.

    School age has been heaven and much "easier" IMO though you do have to start dealing with drama, mean kids, feelings of being left out, etc. as they begin to mature and that can be emotionally harder.

    eclaire 9.10.06  diggy 6.2.11

  • For us having a schoolager has been easier. I work full time, as does SO so things are busy but doable. We have a routine in the morning and a nanny in the afternoon that helps us after school til we get home. DS does soccer (practices once a week and a game once a week) plus does swimming lessons on Saturday mornings. We may add in an art class one evening a week. We do a lot as a family and roll with the punches as they say. We all pitch in to help with the household chores. We have a set bedtime for DS and eat together as a family. It's busy!
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