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  1. #31
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    We lived a 10 minute walk from school, about 14 kids in our cul-de-sac went to our school, so we'd all meet up and walk together (no adults). There was only one small road to cross, then the main road which had a road patrol crossing. We were aged 5-10.

    In intermediate my house backed onto the school, so not an issue.

    For high school I had a 2.5 hour bus ride there and if I missed my 5.45am bus I had to hitch hike to school (12-16yo).

    My kids school is in the middle of nowhere, so no, I won't let them walk, but if they were going to a nearby local school I would consider letting them walk with neighbours as a big group, depending on the neighbours and depending on how sensible I think my kids are.

  2. #32
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    I used to walk with my older brother (he is 4 years older) and the neighbours kids to primary school. There would be 5 or 6 of us walking together. Our primary school was about 1km from home. I did this from prep.

    When i got to high school, my neighbour and i who attended the same school walked to the bus together. On days she wasn't there, i used to be a bit scared walking alone. We lived in quite a bushy area, and i had a very active imagination.

    We live less than a km from the primary school our children will be attending. For the first few years, we will walk together, then we will see how they go. I'm assuming at this point in time that i will walk/ride with them to school until they are in around grade 5 (so 10 or 11yo).

  3. #33
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    Yep I walked to school as a child on my own from grade 3 onwards (8 yrs old) I had no idea at the time but my parents admitted to following me to make sure i got there safely lol.

    Dd goes to the same school as I did with the same walk I will eventually let her but when I don't know. Most
    Kids walk to school on there own, with friends or siblings here. It's only the younger grades the parents seem to go with them. Or of that family have preps or grade ones as well as older kids they go too.

    I would think around 10 I will allow dd. Any younger doesn't feel comfortable to think about but that could change in time she's only 4 right now so hard to imagine.

    Eta - its a 5-10min walk depending if dd dawdles or not lol. We walk it now unless I'm dropping her off and going straight into town. Soon she will be going to before and after school care though.
    Last edited by Jensha; 17-05-2012 at 12:07.

  4. #34
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    In south Africa no we didn't. Here in Australia, yes we did, but only from about 10yrs old. My baby sister always went to after school care though or was picked up by a career due to her disabilities, but later on she would be dropped off at home by the school bus and my brother and I would look after her til mum got home.

  5. #35
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    Yes, I walked to school.

    When we lived with our parents, getting to school meant a shortcut across the horse paddocks. We used to wait til the kids down the bottom were there and they'd distract the one particulary aggressive horse, and when he madly rushed down to the bottom of the paddock we'd scoot across then distract him for the other kids.

    Once we shifted to my grandparents, walking to school meant sliding down a large stone verge and jumping a culvert and standing on the edge of the unmade road til there was a break in the traffic and racing across as quick as we could then sliding down another stoney slope and jumping a second culvert. Getting home meant climbing up the stony verges and back the other way.

    In hind sight the fact that we were never run over was a miracle really, and I was between 6 and 10 during this time and I was responsible for my younger sister once she started school (she is three years younger).

    My kids walk to school and have done so on their own once they were in Grade 1. It's 700 meters along our road, and they have to cross one side street. Yes, ive hade complaints to the school from people who cannot mind their own business.

  6. #36
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    I lived too far from school to walk until I was in last year of primary (11/12yo), but yes, sometimes from then on, I did walk to/from school. Was a 15/20min walk.

    I'm not sure if it's been mentioned already, but I heard something on the news or something (was on the TV anyway), that a lot of children these days aren't aware of their neighbourhoods/areas because the aren't allowed to walk alone, and are always driven, they don't have a sense of direction or where they are in relation to other things. I totally understand that point, because I find I don't take in directions/locations/where I am in relation to things when i'm a passenger in a car (it's different if i'm the one driving of course).

    For me, it would all depend on the distance from home to school and the paths to get there.

    We live pretty close to the local primary/high school, it's literally a 3 minute drive, around a 15 minute walk. I would let them walk to school once they were in highschool (so 12/13yo), not before then, simply based on the fact that there are no actual designated footpaths the whole way, alot of it is just walking on the side of the road, in the dirt (small town), with a few blind corners. So you need to have good road sense, and before that age, I wouldn't feel comfortable.

    However, the school bus stops on the corner of our street (two houses down from us) and i'm happy for them to catch the school bus. In fact, 5.5yo DD is catching the bus home from school today for the first time (i'm having minor freakouts about it, despite the short distance, but she was very insistent it's what she wanted!).
    Last edited by Lillynix; 17-05-2012 at 10:51.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benji View Post
    Yep, I also let myself in when I got home and made myself a snack. I was home alone often for around an hour (I know, quick call docs). This was from primary age, probably closer to 10.
    This was me too. I didn't think anything of it TBH. It's a shame that these days it's like this big no-no.


    I was a very responsible child though..

  8. #38
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    I never did. Our primary school was about a 20 minute walk away, and my mum was far too worried about us carrying our "heavy school bags" to let us :P

    Even at high school, I wanted to walk/get the bus, but my sister didn't. That meant my mum was going to drive my sister anyway, and insisted it was a waste to pay for tickets for me.

    Our child isn't yet born, but assuming we stay in the same house, we definitely intend to let her walk to school. The local primary school is literally a 5 minute walk away...so we'd probably walk with her while she's young, then let her walk by herself.

    For high school, assuming that walking/public transport is reasonably straightforward, I'd definitely want our kids to make their own way to school. I think it's important that they get the opportunity to deal with situations and consequences (eg. being late to school if they wake up late) on their own, and also to have some time away from their parents.

  9. #39
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    We lived a 20 minute walk and mum let us walk on our own. I was 10 and my sister was 8 when we moved into town, before that Mum drove us.
    Depending on where we are living I'll have no problem walking with them until I feel they are old enough to understand dangers and will let them walk by themselves.

  10. #40
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    i didn't really walk till high school as i always went to the school my mum teached at lol. but then i always walked home with a friend =]


    My ds who is in prep gets the bus to and from school, but it picks him up from the door and the bus driver collects the preppies from their classroom after school. i think that gives him enough independence.
    he wouldn't be walking as its just to far away


 
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