Teens-ish meetups, Nottingham, typically one a month

For teens-ish non-schoolers who’d specially like to meet others of similar age.

Date:  currently usually a Monday, Wednesday or Friday.

Time:  1.30pm to 3.30pm, or up till teatime depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

Venue:  a Nottingham park.

Price:  Free.

Age range:  Primarily 12 to 17, and see further info.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about 11-year-olds?  What about 19-year-olds?

There’s no strict age limit;  it’s mostly about wanting the teenager-ish hanging-out flavour.  So even a 10-year-old could join in if that’s what they’re looking for. 

Can younger siblings tag along?

Yes, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Is it open to new people?

Yes, any home edders are very welcome, as well as people seriously considering it for their family.  Please do come along!  It’s a good opportunity to dip your toe into the local networks.

Can teens come along by themselves?

Yes – some have. 

Can I drop off my teen(s), go to do errands, and come back later?

Usually that would work fine, yes.  Unless your errands take a very long time or the weather gets bad, it’s quite likely that a good number of people would be staying on till whenever you’d be back.  Whether you want to do it like that is basically between you and your young person, and any other parents you enlist to keep an eye.

Can parents come along by themselves?

Yes – parents are welcome to drop in with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.  If you’re at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage, this is a lovely meetup to visit.

What if it rains on the day?

If it’s really wet, we’re quite likely to postpone to another day.  If it’s just drizzly, probably some people will still want to go. 

How do I find out the date and place?

There’s now an email announcements list which is specifically for organising this and similar events, for Nottingham non-school teens. (It’s only for occasional announcements of practical news – not a discussion list.)

To get on that list, if you’re not already on one of the main lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, please email teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk, and introduce yourself.

Would we need to book in advance? 

It’s not essential.  Typically there’s an announcement of a possible date, and then the event will only be confirmed and go ahead if a reasonable number of people say they’d go.  So if you’re pretty sure you’re going this time, it’s useful for the event organisation if you say so.  But there are often a few extra people turning up on the day as well.

What should we bring?

Things for being comfortable whatever the weather is 🙂 E.g. water, sun cream, warm &/or cool clothes, snacks, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches.

Also, a way to write down other people’s contact details, in case you meet people you want to keep in touch with. 

Description of a typical meetup

As of mid-2019, we’ve evolved a pattern along the lines of…

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

Soon after the official start time, the young people play a parachute game, where we call out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category runs underneath the parachute and swaps places.

This game is a good one for people who feel shy, as it’s a way of getting to know everyone else a little bit without actually having to say any words. 

Then we go for a walk. This usually includes people mingling around a bit and chatting. Some young people get straight to talking with friends old & new; some prefer to walk together with their parent(s) till they settle in. Whatever they feel comfortable with is fine.

Some people leave at the end of the walk, or even part way through if they have to be somewhere else. 

Then we find a place that’s comfortable for parents to sit. Some people have brought drinks and food for this stage. Depending on where we are, this could be near a playground. (Yes the teens are not too cool to go on the playground still 🙂 )

Typically some of the young people will sit with their parents for part of the time & join in the general conversation, others will prefer to hang out & chat with each other.

On past occasions, some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm or 6pm, though some had to go earlier, and in summer, it might even be later.

Access:  If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning.  Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Maths groups, Carlton, Mondays and Thursdays

Days:
Mondays key stage 3 and GCSE; 
Thursdays key stage 2.

Time:  Exact time depends on what group you’re in.

Area:  Carlton / NG4 area of Nottingham.

Age range:  8 to 16+.

Email:  Wendy Tebbatt, wendytebbatt at gmail dot com.

Booking:  Book in advance, pay on the day.

Maths groups for all the above ages.  Maximum of 4 in each group.

By former home ed mum who has taught within the home ed community for the past 25 years.

Words say: "Maths groups" in a greenish blue. Background has a sprinkling of mathematical symbols in a darker orange on a lighter orange background.

Travel: near 24 & 25 bus routes, Lilac Line.

Access info:

Fully experienced with autism and dyslexia.

Classes are downstairs.  I have a ramp and downstairs toilet but it isn’t fully wheelchair accessible.

Book sale, inc free books for children, Gedling, 8 days in April & May

Annual Ex Libris Masked Book Sale, for 3 charities.  Bargain books, child-friendly, includes cake, raffle, cards, poetry one day, and a play train & ticket office in the garden.  (Not specifically a home ed thing.)

Dates:
April 2019 – Friday 26, Saturday 27, Sunday 28, Monday 29.
May 2019 – Friday 3, Saturday 4, Sunday 5, Monday 6.

Time:  10am to 6pm, drop-in.

Age range:  All ages.

Venue:  16 Vernon Avenue, Gedling, Nottingham, NG4 3FX.

Area:  South side of Gedling, north side of Carlton.

Price:  Free admission, and each child can choose three free books.  After that, the books are still very cheap, e.g. many at 10p each.

Booking:  No need to book.  They can’t take cards, so bring cash if you might want to buy books or snacks.

If you enjoy your first visit, it may be worth coming back another day as well, because they don’t have room to put all the books out at once, so as some sell, they’ll get more out.

Eventbrite page with more details

A colourful play train (one engine, one carriage which would seat four small children) made partly of treetrunks and partly of flat material, on a sandy base. In the background is a tiny station platform. It's actually in the garden of the people who run the Ex Libris booksales, and is known as the Ex Libris Express.

This year, we’re particularly good on: science fiction; history (including military); crafts; psychology and psychotherapy; cake decorating – they’ve been reduced to 10p each; pets; children’s books.  We have so many children’s books that every child who visits can choose up to three free books from our special boxes, before even thinking about buying.

We have provided home-made cakes and bakes for many years, but this year is our first with a Café Manager.  Gabrielle is working really hard to make the café experience exceptional, and we do recommend that you stay for a drink and a snack – all for whatever donation you feel is right.  (All café donations go to our 3 charities too.)  Vegan and gluten-free treats will be available, but maybe not every day.

Map showing 16 Vernon Drive:

Bigger map showing 16 Vernon Drive

Travel / parking:

Buses are frequent – 24, 25, 44 to Main Road/Westdale Lane (Co-op) or 100 to Ousebridge Drive.  There is plenty of on-street parking, but please be considerate of our neighbours, who put up with this sale year after year.  There is a free car park at the top of Ranmoor Road (get a ticket).  And you can park your bicycle in our back garden.

Access:

We are child-friendly.  We are mostly, but not wholly, wheelchair accessible, and will help with accessibility wherever we can.

Teens-ish meetup, Nottingham, Wednesday 27 March

Date:  Wednesday 27 March 2019.

May be postponed if weather forecast changes too far in the direction of rainy!

Time:  1.30pm to 3.30pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

(Please note, that’s a slightly later meetup time than some previous ones.)

Venue:  a Nottingham park. We’re not announcing the meetup point in public, so please get onto one of the lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, or email (see below).

Price:  Free.

Age range:  Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

If some families bring younger siblings along too, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Parents at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage are welcome to visit with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.

Booking:  No need to book.  However, there will probably be some discussion on email & Facebook of who’s planning to come.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

For young people who’d specially like to meet others of similar age!

We did a few of these meetups before.  Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

New families are very welcome.  There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Some of the teens-ish people might go off for a walk together while the parents stay back at base and have a chat.  Or this time, as it’s chillier weather, perhaps we’ll all go off for the walk.

Sometimes, we’ve played a parachute game where we call out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category would run underneath the parachute and swap places.  This helped people to get past feeling shy.

On past occasions, some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm, though some had to go earlier.

Things you might want to bring:  sun cream, warm clothes, snacks, water, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.  Also, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches – though at the time of writing, the weather forecast is fine.

Access:  If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning.  Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Archery indoors, Radford, Thursdays till July

Not specifically for home edders, but proving popular!

Date:  Thursdays, except for 2 May & 23 May, till 25 July 2019.  No session Thursday 2 May due to the hall being in use for local elections.  Similarly no session Thursday 23 May due to European elections.

Time:  1.30pm to 2.30pm (in reality about 2.20pm).  You don’t get the whole hour with a bow to yourself – it’s people taking turns through the hour.  It’s OK to drop in part way through.

Age range:  Approx 5+, up to adults.  The younger ones use sucker arrows, the older ones use pointy arrows.  Toddlers can do archery, but need one-to-one supervision, not compatible with this session.  There’s a small green park with play equipment opposite the front door of the leisure centre. 

Venue:  the indoor hall at John Carroll Leisure Centre, Denman Street, Radford, Nottingham, NG7 3PS.

Area:  Radford – not far from the junction with Ilkeston Road and Lenton/Radford Boulevard.

Price:  Free!

Booking:  No need to book. 

Facebook page (although that only shows events up to 21 March, whereas the group leader has told us it will actually run till July)

Come along to our Community Archery sessions Thursday 1.30pm – 2.30pm and meet friendly instructor Mohammad! An opportunity to try Archery in a safe and fun environment, suitable for all ages and abilities, including complete beginners.

For more information, contact 07525 466781 or email
goga@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

FREE!

That phone number is Mohammad himself.  It’s a good idea to let him know if anyone has special needs, as it might affect what equipment he sets up. 

The email address is the people at the council side.  “goga” = “Get Out, Get Active”.  Their role was to book Mohammad and to publicise it, not directly to organise the session, so contacting him direct is probably a better way to get any other questions answered about what would happen on the day.

Map showing John Carroll Leisure Centre:

Bigger map showing John Carroll Leisure Centre

Nearest bus stop:  “Rothesay Avenue”, via any Pink Line bus, that is 28 , 30  or 31, or Trent Barton “two”.

Parking:  Leisure Centre car park can hold maybe 20-odd cars; there usually seems to be space.

Access:  There is a ramp up to the front door of the leisure centre, and then flat access to the hall.


Update about bringing your own equipment…  Someone had asked whether it’s OK to use your own bow if you happen to have one already.  The answer from Mohammad is:  maybe.  It depends on the type of bow, because some would be too powerful in comparison to the arrows & targets.  (The distance to the target is short, because of being in an indoor hall, and more powerful bows are better suited to longer distances.)  So you’re welcome to bring along what you’ve got, and then he would look at it and say yes or no to actually using it.  Or you could bring in a photo of your bow as a first step.

Teens-ish meetup, Nottingham, Monday 11 February

Update:  this meetup is CANCELLED – not enough families could make it this time.  We’ll look for a better date later in the year.


Date: Monday 11 February 2019.

May be postponed if weather forecast changes too far in the direction of rainy!

Time: 1.30pm to 3.30pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

(Please note, that’s a slightly later meetup time than the previous one.)

Venue: a Nottingham park. We’re not announcing the meetup point in public, so please get onto one of the lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, or email (see below).

Price: Free.

Age range: Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

If some families bring younger siblings along too, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Parents at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage are welcome to visit with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.

Booking: No need to book. However, there will probably be some discussion on email & Facebook of who’s planning to come.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

For young people who’d specially like to meet others of similar age!

We did a few of these meetups before.  Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

New families are very welcome.  There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Some of the teens-ish people might go off for a walk together while the parents stay back at base and have a chat.  Or this time, as it’s chillier weather, perhaps we’ll all go off for the walk.

One time, we played a parachute game where we called out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category would run underneath the parachute and swap places.  This helped people to get past feeling shy.

On past occasions, some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm, though some had to go earlier.

Things you might want to bring: warm clothes, snacks, water, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.  Also, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches – though at the time of writing, the weather forecast is fine.

Access: If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning. Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Teens-ish meetup, Nottingham, Wednesday 2 January

Date: Wednesday 2 January 2019.

May be postponed if weather forecast changes to rainy!

Time: 1pm to 3pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

Venue: a Nottingham park. We’re not announcing the meetup point in public, so please get onto one of the lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, or email (see below).

Price: Free.

Age range: Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

If some families bring younger siblings along too, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Parents at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage are welcome to visit with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.

Booking: No need to book. However, there will probably be some discussion on email & Facebook of who’s planning to come.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

For young people who’d specially like to meet others of similar age!

We did a few of these meetups before.  Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

New families are very welcome.  There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Some of the teens-ish people might go off for a walk together while the parents stay back at base and have a chat.  Or this time, as it’s chillier weather, perhaps we’ll all go off for the walk.

One time, we played a parachute game where we called out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category would run underneath the parachute and swap places.  This helped people to get past feeling shy.

On past occasions, some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm, though some had to go earlier.

Things you might want to bring: warm clothes, snacks, water, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.  Also, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches – though at the time of writing, the weather forecast is fine.

Access: If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning. Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Dance meetups, 11 to 18, Nottingham city centre, Fridays in March

Three new dates for the informal dance meetup:

  • Friday 9 March
  • Fri 16 March
  • Fri 23 March

For timing, venue, contact email and other details, click through to the earlier post about non-schooler dance meetups in Nottingham.

Friendly event, usually not super busy, good for dipping into if you’re new to non-school education and in the right age range. You don’t have to be “good at dance”!

Colourful lettering announces "Nottingham non-schoolers' dance meetup", adding "If you're aged 11-18, you learn outside school, and you love dancing... have a look!" On a maroon coloured background, some purple stick figures are dancing and smiling.

Dance meetups, 11 to 18, Nottingham city centre, various afternoons

Non-schoolers age 11-18, dancing for enjoyment. You don’t have to be “good at dance”!

Date: We’re resuming for 2018. To hear when dates are fixed, make sure you’ve been in touch with dance-meetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk, so that you can be sent emails.

In the past, we’ve varied the day-of-the-week, so that it won’t always clash with the same other things, to enable more people to join in sometimes.

Age range: 11 to 18. Unfortunately this has to be an exact limit, as it’s set by the venue we’re using (presumably related to their funding agreements). In practice so far, it’s mostly 11 to 14 year olds who have been interested. There has been some talk of setting up a similar event for under-11s at a different venue.

Time: Meet in reception around 12.45/12.50 for dance session 1pm to 3pm.

Venue membership, free: If you’ve not been to NGY before, you’ll need to get a membership card. You’ll need the card to beep into the door from reception to go upstairs. Beep out every time as well, as it’s how they keep track of who’s in the building in case of an emergency.

It’s free to join. Filling in the membership form takes maybe five minutes, and then allow another five minutes for the reception person to make your card. If you like, you can download the membership form here, print it out and fill it in beforehand, to save time on the day.

From 3.30pm, 11-18-year-olds can use the social space for free (table-tennis, pool table, comfy chairs, snack bar etc).

Venue: Dance studio at NGY myplace, 29-31 Castle Gate, Nottingham NG1 7AR.

Area: Nottingham city centre, just off Maid Marian Way.

Price: £2 each, for the dance studio hire. Pay the reception person when you arrive. (NGY’s dance studio can be booked by any NGY member at a rate of £1 per person per hour.)

Booking: You don’t have to book as such – but it’s a good idea to be in touch and say you’re planning to come, just in case there was a week when plans changed at the last minute.

Colourful lettering announces "Nottingham non-schoolers' dance meetup", adding "If you're aged 11-18, you learn outside school, and you love dancing... have a look!" On a maroon coloured background, some purple stick figures are dancing and smiling.

How it works

The young people themselves are deciding what to do in the 2 hours.

At the first meetup, people took turns to choose a song to dance to. Not everyone knew each other beforehand, but everyone was friendly.

One idea for future meetups was that half the time could be more of the “choose songs and improvise to them” and the other half could be developing and rehearsing duets or trios or group dances. But it just depends on what people decide to do on the day.

A quote from the first meetup: “No-one was in charge, but we all had ideas”

Guidelines for the session

We want everyone to have a good time!

so here is a kind of “dance group code of conduct”:

(let us know if you have ideas for making it better!)

* Look out for each other in a friendly way, so e.g. if someone seems to be left out or seems not to know what’s going on, it’s everyone’s role to include them, as a team.

* Discuss together how to use the time and what everyone wants to do. Consider dividing up the time into chunks. For example, you might agree at the start to have 20 mins doing X, 20 mins doing Y, then stop and have a think about what to do next.

* Try to make sure that everyone gets to do at least a little bit of what they wanted – e.g. if one day, most people want to do Thing A but one person wants to do Thing B, have at least 5 or 10 minutes that day where some Thing B gets to happen.

* Take turns making suggestions, and listen to each other’s ideas. If you’re doing one big dance, think about ways to build up a big dance from smaller pieces so that everyone has come up with part of it.

* It’s OK for someone to be a leader or choreographer for one particular dance. Over the weeks, everyone should get a chance to take that role if they want to, or to put in ideas to someone else’s dance if they don’t want to choreograph a whole one.

* If you’re leading the group in learning something, think about respectful ways to point out to people how you’d like them to do it, e.g. “Could we have everyone doing it like this?” (and demonstrate how you want it and how you don’t want it)

* No criticising other people’s clothes or bodies, and no teasing (except maybe some friendly teasing with people you know well enough to know for sure that they don’t mind it). Not that we think you would do this, anyway! Just saying.

* If there are any problems with the room, e.g. the music player doesn’t work or it was too hot or cold, talk to the person at reception. If they can’t help you themself, they can probably find someone who can.

* If there are any disagreements or problems that don’t get resolved entirely satisfactorily, talk about it afterwards with [coordinating parent] and your parents.

* The main aim is to enjoy the dancing and enjoy each other’s company in a friendly way, as well as the satisfaction of practising and learning 🙂

Practical tips & what to bring:

Music

The dance studio comes with a music speaker that has an input cable with a small plug, like the kind on headphones. So if you want to bring music to play, it needs to be on something with that kind of headphone socket (e.g. a phone or an ipod).

You can get the venue’s wi-fi password from the person at reception, and there were no problems with the wi-fi being too slow. So as long as it’s working, you’ll be able to get music from the internet, as well as whatever you brought.

Clothes & shoes

Wear comfortable clothes that you can move about in.

Most people will probably dance barefoot, but if you’d rather wear shoes, wear soft clean grippy ones.

Dancer checklist for the day

Comfy clothes
Water bottle
£2 for the studio hire
Your NGY card if you already have one
Anything else that you might need that not everyone would, e.g. asthma inhaler or whatever

Optional extras…
Music, on phone/ipod/similar
Notebook & pen/pencil, or phone or tablet, if you might want to make notes or swop contact details
Snack, or extra money for the food counter if it’s open
Dance shoes, if you don’t want to dance barefoot

Access: The NGY building has a wheelchair-friendly toilet, and a lift and ramps. If you have any other access needs, email dance-meetup @ non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk, and/or contact the staff at NGY, and we’ll do our best.

Map showing NGY myplace:

Bigger map showing NGY myplace

Transport: It’s just off Maid Marian Way and about 320 yards’ walk from the Old Market Square, hence not far from any of the city centre bus stops. Nearest tram stop is Old Market Square.

Parking: One simple method for parking is to use one of the Park and Ride sites and get the tram into town. Feel free to comment if you have other tips for city centre parking.