what's ypur primary school commute?

(63 Posts)

DD1 is due to start school next Sept. We have found two schools we quite like, one is a five/ten minute drive and in good weather a bike commuteand the other a half hour drive.

There are v good reasons for this other more distant school but I just wonder if its too far at the start and end of a school day? DH is also moaning about petrol costs.

Thanks in advance

redskyatnight Wed 11-Sep-13 08:54:55

Well my primary school commute is a 5/10 minute drive (or a 15 minute cycle or 30 minute walk which is what we actually do).
It's great for just popping down to school - not having to worry about the DC doing after school clubs and picking them up (I have 2 DC).
We can also share lifts with neighbours (as everyone round us uses this school) or the DC can walk to school by themselves.

My brother and SIL use a school that is 30 minutes drive because they really love the school. I think they are bonkers. They spend a fortune on petrol - their DC will never be able to take themselves to school, the school day is just that much longer, and everytime one child wants to do an after school club SIL either has to hang around for an hour or book the other child in something. They also have to travel further for parties and visiting friends - they would never have a friend just come round for a bit after school as the logistics of managing it are too hard.
My personal feeling is that the negatives of the long day and long drive mean the benefits of going to a (perceived as) better school are minimised. Obviously they think it is worthwhile, but it's not something I'd do if I had a viable alternative.

lostintoys Wed 11-Sep-13 09:15:51

We have a ten minute (up hill) bike ride and I think it does DS (and me) a lot of good to start the day with some exercise. And I think that's it's invaluable socially to live where all your friends live.

SilverBellsandCockleShells Wed 11-Sep-13 09:17:35

My school commute involves coming downstairs and chucking the children out on the drive for the bus to pick them up. #nothelpful.

My dds school is less than 5 miles away but takes two buses and between 40 mins "travelling time" on way there and up an hour and a half waiting/travelling time on way back. It's a pain tbh and wastes so much time. If you have a good school nearer take it.

MRSJWRTWR Wed 11-Sep-13 09:21:19

I have done both. DS2 was at the local primary school until the end of Y1 and it was great from the point of view of never having to use car to get there, friends were close so after school play dates were easy etc.

However, for lots of other reasons it was the wrong school for him and he now goes to another the other side of town which takes approx. 20mins to drive to. Petrol costs aren't actually a problem since I work just 2 mins away and because of after school clubs etc and a slightly longer day he tends to see friends at weekends.

I don't have to worry about finding DS1 something to do if DS2 has a club as he is at senior school but this school has an after school club anyway so he could always have stopped there.

As always, I think it comes down to right school for your particular child - whether that is the local one, or one further away. I always wanted DS2 to go to our closest primary school (as DS1 did) for all the usual reasons but the school didn't suit him.

mumofthemonsters808 Wed 11-Sep-13 09:21:35

20 minutes walk

I live 4 minutes walk away from the door to the school - also not helpful but it does allow an extra 10 minutes in bed every day. smile

Btw I wouldn't be driving to any school that was 5 minutes drive away. Surely that is only 20 minutes walk?

What sort of drive is the half an hour drive? Country lanes or A roads or stuck in traffic jams (or a mixture of both)?

Actually forget that. It doesn't matter. An extra hour on a 4 yr old's day seems too much to me unless there is an exceptional reason why you would want to go to a particular school. It will be tiring and there are so many better things you can be doing than being stuck in a car all that time.

TrinityRhino Wed 11-Sep-13 09:26:09

5 to 10 min drive

I wouldn't go with the 30 min away one mainly for social reasons
I think its quite important to be close to your childs circle of friends especially in primary

Bonsoir Wed 11-Sep-13 09:27:58

Half an hour drive at primary is way too much - your DC won't have local friends.

DaddyPigsMistress Wed 11-Sep-13 09:29:04

30 min walk each way. There's one at the end of our road but its an awful school.

choceyes Wed 11-Sep-13 09:29:23

10 min walk. 5 mins if I was walking alone.

Taffeta Wed 11-Sep-13 09:29:52

20-25 minute walk or 3 minute drive. Village school.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 11-Sep-13 09:32:46

I also have a 10 min walk that is 5 mins if I'm alone. I would definitely go to the nearer school in your shoes. The stress of driving each day would drive me mad not least the logistics of finding a parking spot every day.

If the 30 min drive school is good are you even likely to get in or is this a private school?

Mine's about half a mile. It is really useful if one DC has an after school club the other one doesn't go to (the other could go to the proper after school club I suppose, but the cost would start mounting up), we are never late as we are not dependent on traffic, no need to de-ice cars etc. All the other children live very close by (small catchment area, fully subscribed) which is great socially or if you need someone to pick your DCs up in an emergency, we never need to think about extra carseats for bringing other DCs home to play with ours as we all walk. DS has been walking to and from school by himself since he was 8 because we don't have to cross any roads, I only take DD now.

Also, it depends on how much you plan to get involved with your child's school - my DS has SNs which means I go in and out for meetings/appts fairly regularly, I also run a lunchtime club with some other parents and help with reading in class, so I pop in and out quite a lot on my non-work days, then there are harvest festivals, concerts etc, ours aren't all at the start and end of the day.

Chopstheduck Wed 11-Sep-13 09:33:53

Our primary school is only .8 mile, senior is 4 miles. I think if they are both good, I would def consider the social aspect. It is really hard for my older two in senior school as so many of their friends live 4 miles away and they can't just bike or walk over to see them. (Busy roads, no chance of cycling, no regular bus service) The primary school is great, half the kids on our road go there and the boys meet up with a lot of their friends at the park.

Also it might be half an hour drive, but if it's anything like our school, by the time you park, walk in, walk back to the car, and get through the traffic, it could easily add another half hour onto the commute.

then there is the times they forget their lunch box, pe kit, violin and you have to run it up the school!

reddaisy Wed 11-Sep-13 09:34:55

We are a ten minute walk. We very nearly chose the outstanding primary enroute to my work but DH was adamant that the local school would.be better for DD and I have to agree with him (for once). We have just walked her there for her first day and she was waving at everyone she knew along the way. It was really lovely.

VenusRising Wed 11-Sep-13 09:48:52

Can't kids do their homework in a car?

We walk to school - takes five mins up the road.

Funny enough most of the dcs classmates bus in from over 10 miles away. Not many live close to the school at all.

Choose the best school to fit your child.

Galena Wed 11-Sep-13 10:16:27

We have a 10-15 minute walk. Not many drive, and the couple of times I have (going grocery shopping at supermarket next door after drop off, or taking car for MOT) it has taken just as long to drive as walk.

One thing to consider is what you would do if, for some reason, the car wasn't available? Maybe one in the garage and your DH needs the other (if you run 2 cars) for an important meeting. How would you get to school?

NynaevesSister Wed 11-Sep-13 10:18:31

10 minute walk. I would hate to be at a school I couldn't walk to.

Frikadellen Wed 11-Sep-13 11:44:22

12 may minute drive on road That is dangerous to walk on.

We have a closer school but when we moved here the school didn't have room for our older 3 now only dd3 left in primary school. But she iz settled and happy in her school so I see no need to move her for my convinie.

Many of her friends live close but some further away. Village school so that is part of country living. You just get used to it.

sparkle12mar08 Wed 11-Sep-13 12:20:04

3 minute walk - we're about 250 metres away.

Dreamingofcakeallnight Wed 11-Sep-13 12:20:41

I think the ideal is a good, walkable school. But given the choice of good or walkable, I'd take good any day. I don't understand the local at all costs mentality. Sure it is logistically very useful but not the main decider for me, but meh each to their own.

Buggedoff Wed 11-Sep-13 12:23:17

20-25 minute walk, or if I'm lazy 5 minute drive. But driving takes as long as walking because I need to find a parking space, so I try to walk.

My good friend sends her children to a school that is 40 minutes away. She says that it is hellish, expensive on fuel and no way to live. The school is fab, which is why she does it.

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Wed 11-Sep-13 12:24:27

About a 90 second walk. grin

We live right next door to ours.

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