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At what age for a child to walk to and from school by themselves

(15 Posts)
crazedupmom Thu 04-Sep-08 09:21:22

Was just wondering on peoples thoughts about this. My ds is 7 and now at a school within walking distance, I still walk him to and from school, but was wondering what really is a accpetable age to allow them to do it themselves.
Tbh I would be very worried about crossing roads I don,t think my ds has enough road sense yet, but in a way I blame myself for that as I have always walked him and looked for traffic myself.
What do you think.

seeker Thu 04-Sep-08 09:26:10

It depends on the child and the roads. If there are really busy roads with no crossings then probably not til year 5 or 6. If the roads are quiet or if there are pelican crossings then probably year 4? But I always let mine do lots of stuff nobody else does, so maybe I'm not a good person to answer!

bellavita Thu 04-Sep-08 09:28:05

Would he have roads to cross? I think if you are unsure about his road sense, then I would say wait a bit.

Perhaps over the next couple of months, you can teach him the green cross code. Maybe then start walking most of the way with him and then gradually shorten your journey.

DS1 was in Yr4 when he started to walk with a friend and DS2 started to walk with both of them last year when he was 8.

DS1 has now gone off to secondary school this week and DS2 who will be 9 in November walks to and from school alone - although we do live in a village with smaller roads, although our main street is quite busy.

Ripeberry Thu 04-Sep-08 09:29:31

At my DDs school NO-ONE walks to school as it is on a dangerous road and most people live more than 2 miles away.
It is in the countryside (small village), but hardly any kids in the village itself.
A couple of children live within walking distance up a hilly field, BUT they can't be bothered and instead either drive their 4X4 up the field (they own the land) or they just drive to school (2 minute car trip!)
Once DD2 gets to 6yrs old i'm going to brave it and try and cross the road, but only in the afternoon as it's mayhem in the mornings and actually walk back home (1 mile) through the woods, but of course only when it's dry!
Makes me so mad, when people who live in towns and cities DRIVE to school when it's less than 1 mile away.
At least there are crossings and pavements!

jellybeans Thu 04-Sep-08 09:31:00

I think 10 or maybe 9 if with a friend, although it depends on the traffic/distance/individual child etc.

LynetteScavo Thu 04-Sep-08 09:31:40

My DS started walking when he was 9. Its' quite a way (by modern standars!) but he doesn't have any roads to cross.

Every walk to school and every child is different, so it's hard to judge over the net.

ByTheSea Thu 04-Sep-08 09:41:50

I let my DC walk from about late Year 4/early Year 5. We are a five minute walk away from the school with two roads to cross. One of the roads has little traffic and the other is busy only due to the number of parents driving their children to school and parking there, so I ask that my DC wait to cross with a group when crossing that road. I am happy for them to cross that road on their own though when it's not school drop-off or pick-up time.

cory Thu 04-Sep-08 10:22:20

Ds (8) is going to have to walk home on his own from now on as I have to be in when the disabled minibus brings his sister home (she's starting secondary and the council are coming up with the goods- hallelujah!).

But the three streets have respectively two lollipop ladies and one set of traffic lights; also, the road is choc a bloc with parents and children walking home; the council's emphasis on 'walk to school' really seems to have made an impact. I'd feel less safe out in the country tbh, knowing how fast people drive once they get out of the city centre.

He is not happy- he likes the attention of being met at the gates. Still, I have consoled him with the thought that if I am not rushing around pushing wheelchairs I may be able to morph into the oldfashioned homey type of Mum with a kitchen smelling of home baking (a lot easier to put a cake in the oven than doing the school run). So I'd better go and get that yeast this morning...

daftpunk Thu 04-Sep-08 10:24:36

depends on distance to school..roads etc..but i would say from year 6 (age 10/ 11).

pedilia Thu 04-Sep-08 10:25:47

My DS (7) walks to school by himself and from this term will walk back by himself, he is a sensible 7, there are no roads and the school is 400 meters down the path.

CourtneyLush Thu 04-Sep-08 10:25:56

Ds started at age 8, he was with a couple of other boys and the only road had a crossing guard on, the school was literally around the corner.

When he went up to Middle school (year 5 round here) he walked a mile to school with about 20 other kids. They all seem to walk to school without parents from year 5 round here.

KerryMum Thu 04-Sep-08 10:26:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seeker Thu 04-Sep-08 10:40:51

It depends on the roads and how much practice they've had. My children take me across roads (rather than the other way round) from about 5. My 7 year old is reliable on easy uncomplicated crossings now - and can certainly manage pelican crossings and zebras. He would walk to school from, probably, year 4 it we didn't live 5 miles away from school in the depths of the country!

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 04-Sep-08 10:49:16

I'm sure dd could manage it on her own - shes 8, nearly 9 but I'm not sure she would manage it safely with her best friend - they talk constantly and walk on auto pilot. Its a moot point with us as dds best friends mum is def not comfortable with it yet.
I'm determined that she will be going independently before senior school though.

LadyPenelope Thu 04-Sep-08 10:53:03

Not poss for my 7 yo to walk on own as it's a good 30 minute walk, complicated route and lots of very busy roads. However, was having this conversation with a friend who has a DS who just moved up to secondary school and now goes on bus and walks there and back.

She told me that in Y6, she started dropping her eldest son half way on the way to school. He missed out the busiest road and then got some independence.

So then, when he started doing whole journey to secondary (which is easier than our primary), it worked out fine.

Thought that was a really good compromise and approach.

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