Walking to school alone

(12 Posts)
ilovechocolate07 Thu 07-Jul-16 12:09:44

Hi, anybody out there who can tell me their experiences of allowing their children to walk to school alone? How old are/were they? Did they have a mobile phone? Thanks.

Chasingsquirrels Thu 07-Jul-16 12:23:27

Ds2 has been coming home alone since Easter of yr 4 (Ds1 went to secondary when Ds2 started yr 4, school don't generally let them leave without an adult until yr5).
He's been going on his own since at least then, and probably earlier.
When Ds1 was still at primary I used to drop them both on the way to work, but on days I didn't work they went together without me for at least a year (so yr6 & yr3). I used to collect them both together.

He usually goes to the park afterwards and is home by about 4pm (school finishes at 3pm).
Small village, we live about 7 mins walk from school - grassy alley, "main" village road to cross.

ilovechocolate07 Thu 07-Jul-16 12:39:53

Thank you for your reply! Does your younger child use a mobile phone in case of emergencies or do you trust that all is well unless you hear otherwise such as a call from school? We moved a long way in Jan and my kids go to different schools in different areas. At the moment I just manage drop off and pick up but in September it will change so that they both finish at the same time but the schools are 15 mins apart. My son (eldest) will be starting year 5 and I'm considering allowing him to set off and meet us.

CMOTDibbler Thu 07-Jul-16 12:39:55

Ds has been walking to and from school by himself since the start of yr5. Its only a 5 minute walk, no phone, though he got one in May so he didn't have to come home to tell me he wanted to go to the park or library with friends.

He loves it, and is so proud of himself!

Chasingsquirrels Thu 07-Jul-16 13:41:26

He doesn't have a mobile.
I very occasionally get texts or calls from other parents or my old childminder to say "ds is at the park with us, can ds come home with us" etc.

CatherineDeB Thu 07-Jul-16 13:56:12

Ten year old here would love to cycle to school on her own. If it wasn't for the busy contracting farmyard and two blind bends, where people have nearly hit me on a couple of occasions (yesterday morning still very fresh in my mind!), I would let her.

At the minute I don't think she has the awareness to always think about getting right over on the left before the bends (single track narrow lane) and could be easily distracted by a butterfly, mainly because it isn't like a proper road iyswim, just a track from our house that happens to have speedy tractors/farm vehicles that wouldn't really be expecting a kid on their bike.

I am not sure what difference a mobile would make tbh and when I do feel comfortable with I doubt that I will feel a that a mobile would make a difference.

Distance a mile and a half.

I think your situation sounds fine, presumably pavements to walk on (unlike here), and you will be there in ten minutes or so. Yr 5 is a good age to start it.

ilovechocolate07 Thu 07-Jul-16 14:09:45

Thank you! Because their schools are so far apart (and far from home) I'd be driving to the carpark we park at before the 5 or so min walk to the school gate so the mobile was for my peace of mind incase he is wondering where I am because he gets there before me. If it was straight home and a 5 to 10 min walk I think I'd feel better. Our other option is after school club but that's £12 a session. It does run until 6 but he'd only be there for 15-20 mins.

corythatwas Thu 07-Jul-16 15:10:51

Since year 5. No mobile phone- always felt that would make him less safe. The main danger is getting run over: you are not going to be able to save him from that by talking to him on the phone, and having a phone might well distract him from the world around him. In some areas, having a phone might make him vulnerable to mugging. If he is abducted (very small risk) surely the abductor would take the phone from him and dump it anyway?

I always feel the best way to keep children safe is to try to make them concentrate on being "in the moment", aware of the world around them and aware that the responsibility for keeping safe is theirs.

ilovechocolate07 Thu 07-Jul-16 15:42:58

I would worry that he might get distracted. The area is pretty safe so the communication is purely based upon something unforseen causing me to run late but there's a community centre and lubrary nearby so I could always say that if I'm not there by a specific time I'll meet him in there.

Fresta Thu 07-Jul-16 15:48:45

DD walked home from y5 and she is youngest in her class so not age 9. It's only a five-ten minute walk but no phone. I don't think a phone would keep her safe.

redskytonight Thu 07-Jul-16 15:57:29

My DC both started walking/cycling home from Year 5. The journey is just over a mile and all on off road cycle/footpath.
They both had a cheap (99p) phone. This was not particularly with the idea of keeping them safe but more so they could text us if they got a puncture or would be home late because they'd stopped off in the park.

On days when I do pick up DD we have a standing arrangement that if I'm running late I will text her and she starts walking home and I meet her at point A.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 07-Jul-16 15:57:36

Year 5 and yes had a basic phone. 20 min walk.

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