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dd1 wants to walk home from school on her own

(37 Posts)
itchyandscratchy Fri 11-Sep-09 21:44:51

She's just started Year 3 and was 8 yesterday. she's very sensible and is dying to show that's she's responsible.

It would be once a week, on a Friday (she's at the childminder's on the other days).
Would be across a level crossing, down a leafy, busyish residential street (as in lots of people about) then across our road (quietish). 5-7 mins walk.

I've said no for now - just doesn't feel right yet - but was wondering when is reasonable. My main concern would be crossing the road, although we have lots of practice when we walk and I supervise her crossing different roads from a safe distance. And would be slightly concerned in case any bigger kids were lairy with her maybe. When then? another year?

LovelyDear Fri 11-Sep-09 21:46:37

my son is 9 and i feel now that he'd be fine to do that, whereas i wouldn't have last year. just think what age you would have done it - nothing's changed since then. i was about 8.

NervousNutty Fri 11-Sep-09 21:47:43

Will her school allow it ??

Ours only let them walk home alone in yrs 5&6.

brimfull Fri 11-Sep-09 21:49:13

I would be happier if she walked with a friend at that age.

But I may be being paranoid.

Dd walked with friend from yr 5 but it's a much longer walk with busy roads to cross

Flyonthewindscreen Fri 11-Sep-09 21:50:05

The general rule where I am (village) seems to be kids walk home on own from year 4 onwards at earliest, depending on length of journey/reliability of child. My DS is also Yr 3 but I would not be happy with him walking home on own (also 7 minuteish journey, no busy roads) as yet. I would be concerned that DS would not cencentrate on crossing roads if with other boys being silly, not any other factors.

Fennel Fri 11-Sep-09 21:51:22

My just 8 year old has been doing a similar journey home alone for over a year. She is quite sensible for her age. It involves one road without any obvious crossing place/helper which isn't totally safe but she tends to hitch across that with other parents/children crossing at the same time.

CarGirl Fri 11-Sep-09 21:55:17

I think research shows that dc can't tell speed of cars until around 10 so I would want to know how she is going to cross the road safely.

I'm fortunate we had lollipop people on the roads dd1 had to cross. Sadly my younger ones will always be walked home as there are too many blind bend corner roads to cross on the school run.

brimfull Fri 11-Sep-09 21:55:38

I reckon if you're worried about it it's probably too early.

dogonpoints Fri 11-Sep-09 22:06:32

7 min s walk - yes, without a doubt

bluemondays Fri 11-Sep-09 22:09:15

We have a similar walk. I allow my 9 year old to do it alone but not my 7 year old. This doesn't just reflect the difference in their ages, but also their general level of commonsense the older one has LOTS more, while the younger one at six was still capable of running across a road without looking.
You will know yourself when your child is ready.

Spidermama Fri 11-Sep-09 22:11:09

Mine do. They're 10, 9 and 7. They tend to walk together and I prob wouldn't let the 7 YO go alone.

DD started going up to the shops on her own on her 8th birthday.

PortAndLemon Fri 11-Sep-09 22:13:23

How about if you started with her walking to meet you by the road she needs to cross, so that you can cross together? And if that works well then in a few weeks/months/years you can let her do the crossing as well.

mumeeee Fri 11-Sep-09 22:14:01

Too young at 8. A lot of schopols won't let year 3's walk home by themselves. Around here it seems to be year 5 when they start walking to and home from school. So around 10 years old.

dogonpoints Fri 11-Sep-09 22:17:49

It is not too young at 8 to walk 7 minutes along a quietish stretch

ChasingSquirrels Fri 11-Sep-09 22:18:01

I'd let my nearly 7yo (yr2) do a similar walk - but he doesn't want to.
I'd have to argue with the school for him to be allowed to leave alone though, so it would have to be to school rather than home.

mynaughtylittlesister Fri 11-Sep-09 22:23:52

In DDs school they tend to only let children out alone at yr5, not sure before that as they are let out omly from class doors, where as yr5 and yr6 its a free for all.

dogonpoints Fri 11-Sep-09 22:29:51

I'm surprised by all tehse schools that don't let children home without an adult. So do teachers watch and see the adult right up to yr 5? Is that necessary?

LilMissPerimenopause Sat 12-Sep-09 00:47:53

My DDs school will only allow the children to walk home alone in years 5/6.

BlueKangerooWonders Sat 12-Sep-09 05:06:11

I'd let her - she wants to and once you've checked how she crosses a road (you watching from further and further away!). I'm doing this with my dd who's also 8. Always tough to do at first(for the parents, that is), but I think it's necessary.

Why the query about bigger kids? If she starts now, her attitude will be confident and will make her less of a target surely?

itchyandscratchy Sat 12-Sep-09 09:27:27

We live next to a high school and, although I am sure there wouldn't be a problem with 'direct' confrontation or anything like that, I know they can get a bit noisy and shouty and some of them ride their bikes on the pavement and I was just imagining dd1 feeling a bit intimidated.

Tbh, they're a very friendly lot - I was just projecting a horrible childhood memory onto the situation: me walking home with a tea-trolley after a school assembly aged about about 9 and lots of much older kids taking the piss. <hmm at me thinking it was a good idea to walk to school pushing a tea trolley>
It's scarred me for life! grin

Thinking about it, I was walking well over a mile to school and back aged 8 and upwards. Them was the days....

Think she's a tad too young at the moment - and winter's coming. Maybe we'll rethink in the spring and summer.

expatinscotland Sat 12-Sep-09 09:33:53

just wait, some clever clogs will be around in a few minutes to tell you how they were walking alone 5 miles/day across a busy interstate in Y1 and kids today are just wrapped in cotton wool.

Kirstieallsoppsalterego Sat 12-Sep-09 09:37:27

I wouldn't let Y3 DS walk on his own (similar length journey). He'd get distracted by so many things that he wouldn't ever get to school - or he'd get run over by not looking before crossing, despite the fact that I've spent 7 years teaching him to cross roads...

Goblinchild Sat 12-Sep-09 10:51:34

'I'm surprised by all tehse schools that don't let children home without an adult. So do teachers watch and see the adult right up to yr 5? Is that necessary?'

Some of our children get collected by an older child at secondary, some walk home from around Y5. Children that walk need a letter from parents (signed, not email) that gives permission and it's pinned up in the office.
Under Y5, don't need a teacher. There are enough outraged and concerned parents to ensure that a young child walking alone would be identified, and the mother judged. Takes a confident woman to face the playground court.
Do have an infant walking occasionally, parents are sometimes unfamiliar with the cultural difference. They are given information and support by the school to ensure the safety of the child.

mloo Sat 12-Sep-09 11:11:41

Our school 'allows' it from Y3.
They are absolutely fine about it.
I want to tell OP to try it one day a week and see how things go. That would have been my thinking 3 years ago.

Unfortunately, 2 years ago I got reported to the NPSPC for doing exactly the same thing: allowing a barely 8yo to walk home alone on quiet roads (mind, I was following behind with other school-age children).

Social services briefly interviewed me and then told me to never let DS out of my sight. I queried when it might be ok to let DS walk to school alone, but they couldn't possibly say (not surprising, since they never met him hmm). So now he's almost 10 and I'm still scared to let him go places alone in case some nosy interfering git person reports me again.

Horrible experience, completely undermined my confidence. I wouldn't rush into it, OP.

RubysReturn Sat 12-Sep-09 11:13:59

I think level crossing would worry me - am paranoid about them myself.

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