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How far would you/do you drive your teens to school

(31 Posts)
catswhisker1 Mon 04-Nov-19 13:24:51

Considering buying a house in a rural town out of secondary school catchment that DC 12 and 14 are at. It's a lovely house with loads of space and cheap. Much nicer than the house we currently own!

However they would not be on bus route and we would have to take them every day (10 miles there and back but no traffic in general - it's a very rural area). Work from home so no problem for jobs etc.

I don't want to move them to the other secondary in the catchment of the new school as they are settled and it's not a good school. School they are at now would be happy to keep them.

Does anyone drive their teens to school every day? How long is your drive and do you get sick of it?!

OP’s posts: |
TeenPlusTwenties Mon 04-Nov-19 13:47:14

My DC walk, but I think 30mins each way would be my maximum, it would still be 2 hrs a day for you.

Sgtmajormummy Mon 04-Nov-19 14:04:30

Ours is 15 mins’ drive along a very busy dual carriageway which I would not allow DC to cycle on. The alternative route would be 25 mins by bicycle or 40 on foot. Not a great prospect in winter time with an 8:00 start!
So we drive. Not a problem for me as we leave home together.
I think living rurally and driving kids to school just has to be put up with for the time they’re in school. A car pool with other parents and lessons ASAP!

RedskyToNight Mon 04-Nov-19 14:09:17

My SIL drives my niece and nephew 30 minutes each day to and from school. But she's a SAHP.

One of DS's friends also lives about 30 minutes away from their school (he moved last year; used to live closer). My observation is that it's a PITA for the boy, who seems to be forever hanging round waiting for lifts home (his parents work in the town where the school is, so they drop him off on their way to work and pick him off on their way home).

I would worry about my DC's gaining independence if they were always driven, and would seek to encourage this in other ways. If you are so rural that there is no public transport, you also need to factor in driving around to facilitate their social lives!

malmontar Mon 04-Nov-19 14:09:53

That's 40miles a day not including late finishes or when one has to go to revision sessions etc. Not impossible but I'm sure it is probably the norm where you are/will be. As long as you count the cost I don't see the problem tbh. In a couple years your older one can start driving or at least get a scooter to help.

GinZinger Mon 04-Nov-19 14:17:50

We cover a similar route by the sounds. My dc secondary school is about 10miles, we can avoid the nightmarish main road and it takes about 15-20min, it's not a problem because we lift share so none of us do it every day.
We have two other schools within 3 miles, one "outstanding" that we are not in the catchment for (go figure that we're in catchment for school 10miles away!) and one "requires improvement" that we could have got into and where the majority of the dc primary friends went to.
We chose the furthest away choice (good rated) because it is the better school and my dc are thriving and won't hesitate to recommend it to others.

woodlands01 Mon 04-Nov-19 21:44:32

School run sounds doable. The potential issues are will both want picking up after school at same or different times? You may have a double pick up required. Also, the impact of being rural and away from their friends. We are similar but they bus to and from school. However I have done my fair share of picking up from after school sessions and (later years) revision sessions. Bigger impact now (16 & 18) is their need to socialise and the taxi service that requires! Together with the worry of drinking and drugs when they are 10 miles away - weekends one of parents needs to be able to drive when they are out and about.

lljkk Mon 04-Nov-19 21:48:49

Gosh I thought you were gonna say it was at least 15 miles each way.
I wouldn't do 5 miles even, but I know plenty that do 15 miles each way, daily.

Theworldisfullofgs Mon 04-Nov-19 21:49:32

I live rurally. Have to drive 12 mins every morning and eve (if no traffic) which there isn't (90%) most of time to take to station, where they go on from there. It's not that unusual here.

twoheaped Mon 04-Nov-19 21:54:31

I used to do 35 miles each way from yr9-11 and yr4-6 when we moved but thought it best for the eldest to see her GCSE's out.

It was okay. If the kids were tired, they'd have a nap in the car on the way home.

TheBrockmans Mon 04-Nov-19 21:54:59

I drop dd most days due to health issues rather than distance. I drop her early to fit in with ds school run and pick her up slightly later to avoid traffic. I would say that there is a big difference between dropping off at 8am and 8.20am. If they can be persuaded to be at school for 8, maybe go to the library to do some work and collect at 4 (after school rush but before work rush hour) then it is easier.

actiongirl1978 Mon 04-Nov-19 21:56:53

My children are at school 14 miles from home. 23 mins each way (allowing for tractors - so occasionally 24 mins)grin
Add another round trip on parents evening days/concerts/matches.
I don't think about it now, been doing it for 5 years.

HouseOfGoldandBones Mon 04-Nov-19 21:58:09

DS goes to private school, so the catchment area is huge.

It takes, on average, 45 minutes in the morning & 30 minutes at home time.

I enjoy the time with DS as it gives us a chance to have a good chat with no distractions.

We do revision on the way home usually (it saves the time at home, so he gets a bit of time on his PS4 after his other revision)

PocketDictionary Mon 04-Nov-19 21:58:14

Used to do 10 miles. Worst queuing was actual drop off at the school. Allowed 40 mins in morning rush hour & usually only took 25 mins to get home.

Didn't get sick of it as would chat and often needed to take to a sports club after school anyway.

SuperficialSuzie Mon 04-Nov-19 22:03:55

8 mile journey, takes 15 minutes outside rush hour, one junction on dual carriageway so not walkable / cycleable, in rush hour it is about 30+ minutes.

BubblesBuddy Mon 04-Nov-19 22:55:42

Is it not possible to drive to a bus route? Instead of all the way? However 10 miles isn’t that far in a rural area.

clary Mon 04-Nov-19 23:46:09

What about dropping them a mile or so away so they get a bit of exercise and can walk with more local friends? Also would avoid the wait for school drop off a pp mentions.

clary Mon 04-Nov-19 23:50:17

You don't say btw where you live now - similarly small town, big city? - but bear in mind that at 12 and 14 they are at the age where they are going out with mates and want to be independent, which sounds as if it will be difficult in a rural area with no transport.

I grew up in a small village some distance from the small town where I went to school and, well, put it this way, my experiences by age 18 were very far removed from those of my DC, growing up in a city. And not in a good way. Worth bearing in mind.

marmiteloversunite Tue 05-Nov-19 00:05:46

I did it for ten years. Same sort of distance. The pros were spending time with the D.C. and hearing about their days. The cons were expensive petrol/wear and tear on car, waiting around with one child whilst the other had an after school activity, when they forgot something important, the car being a mobile wardrobe and food van, the time spent every day driving.

Also as an aside please check your wifi if you need it to work from home. We were rural and it would have been impossible to run a business with the connection we had.

TheSandman Tue 05-Nov-19 00:19:47

My kids get one free ride to school a week. After that I make them pay. The school is 9 miles away along narrow mountain roads... and we live on the bus route.

The bus stops is across the road from our house.

Getting them on the the thing in the morning is always a fraught, last moment affair. If they miss the bugger twice in a week they pay for the privilege of sitting sullenly in the back of the car while my wife or I drive them. One of them's old enough to vote for crying out loud and both of them have jobs. How difficult is it to catch a scheduled bus that - more often than not runs late anyway?!

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 06-Nov-19 12:31:04

I lived in a small village as a child and went to school 15 miles away. in primary we did a car share with other families in the village and in secondary we could get the train with walking at each end.

It is perfectly doable but frankly it is a pain. We never had after school stuff at school as almost everyone had a long journey but we were going out at 7:15 in the morning and not getting home until 5 so it was annoying. socialising was very difficult so I ended up never going out and rarely seeing friends outside of school.

as a parent now would I do it? probably not but you know if it is doable for you. just make sure there is a back up plan for if your car breaks down or you are ill etc.

TreePeepingWatcher Wed 06-Nov-19 18:28:45

I am a SAHM and we moved for a secondary school but kept the children in their outstanding primary. I did that school run for 7 years.

Fast forward to secondary, only 1.2 mile away so both children walked. But I do collect them from after school clubs or if it is raining. Ds2 is doing 2 after school clubs one of which finishes at 5pm. Ds1 is now year 12 but year 11 had a lot of compulsory revision sessions, which meant, Ds2 left at the normal time and Ds1 and hour later.

I am available to do this double run when needed because I don't have work to juggle. Ds1 is now in sixth form and I collect him from that because it is much further away, a 45 minute walk and down a busy dual carriage way and no cycle path. Buses are available but lots of bug queues and he finishes at all different times due to his free periods.

Re socialising, even with school a mere 1.2 mile away his mates all live on the other side of the school and are a 45 minute walk away from our house. But they mainly "meet up" using headsets and computer games grin although they have all walked here and played board games here on weekends for hours on end which was lovely.

If your job will allow you to work form home and you are happy to do the school run which is double the amount of time for you for driving there and back, then do it.

aintnothinbutagstring Thu 07-Nov-19 09:58:59

Do check the actual traffic in peak times and how many routes there are to the school, if your usual one is blocked or roadworks. Lots of people move out from our expensive city into the surrounding villages once the DC have a place in the 'good' schools our city has, but I don't envy their commute into town, particularly one of the villages only has one route and it's gridlocked in peak times (which in the afternoon is anytime from 2.45).

RightToElectronics Thu 07-Nov-19 11:16:57

It's not dead time - you get to hear about their day etc - but you personally end up very tethered to doing it every single day .

Seeline Thu 07-Nov-19 11:48:34

I agree the problems arise when one needs to stay late and hte other doesn't. It's a bit unfait to make the other one hang round - even if they can do homework in the library, it's not their fault they can't make their own way home.

Also I agree that at those ages, social life is really beginning to kick off. Presumably most of their friends live near your current home, and their social activities are based in the nearest town. Will you be willing to transport them both there and back again on different evenings and weekends.? It's a bit unfair to make the move if you're not.

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