Walking to School

Updated on January 05, 2010
A.G. asks from Dover, NH
6 answers

What age did you let your kids start walking to school by themselves? Did they walk by themselves or with other kids? How far did they have to walk?

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answers from Boston on

I go with the 'NEVER' parents. When my youngest was in high school and catching the bus at the end of our drive way, .2 miles, I stood on the front porch til she was on the bus. Last year a 17-year old local boy was grabbed while he was walking. He fought off the attacker and got away.

A group is best and they should make sure no one leaves the group for any reason; they stick together.



answers from Boston on

Our town buses all elem. school students when my son starts 7th grade he will be a walker but I will probably drive him to school. If their were other kids on our st. I'd let him walk when he gets to that age but since we live on a st. where everyone's kids are grown and out of the house I don't think I will let him. I am a firm believer in the buddy system.



answers from Boston on

Our son started walking home at 5th grade when he entered middle school. It's only .6 miles in a residential neighborhood so it's an easy walk. In elementary school, he took the bus, but bus service isn't even available for middle school and high school in our neighborhood because it is so close. In nice weather, I bike to school with him and then he has an enjoyable and quick ride home. Sometimes, for a treat, I walk to meet him and we walk home together. It just helps change up the routine on occasion.

At just-turned-13, even though he walks home every day, we tend to drive him there--more because of a sleep and time issue than anything. The sun is just waking up itself when we head to school each morning. (The sun wasn't even beyond the horizon of the hills this morning when we left!)

In addition, there are no kids his age on our street and it kind of freaks him out to walk in the morning alone. You'd think that wasn't an issue at his age, but mix tiredness, no one to walk with, and the cold into it and it's a hard sell. In good weather, we walk or ride bikes together to school to provide an incentive. Sometimes, even in the winter I can talk him into walking if there is enough time and I go with him.

My preference would be for him to walk both directions all the time, but "letting" him walk does not necessarily translate into "getting" him to walk! For the first two years of middle school, my husband offered to drive our son to school when he was leaving for work. Now that his schedule has changed, I'm the lucky one. I haven't gotten our son trained yet to walk on a regular basis in the morning. Call me a wimp for not insisting, but I'm working on it. As he gets older, I'm expecting him to take more initiative...to walk or ride. We'll see how that goes.

P.S. I walked to school every day of my life--rain, sleet, or snow--except for one year when we were bussed to another school while ours was being expanded. Otherwise, in grade school, I walked roughly 1/2 mile with friends. In high school, we walked 1 mile with a group of 2-4 kids.

In general, I think walking or riding bikes is the best solution. And the buddy system is preferred, if other kids are available.


answers from Hartford on

Never alone!!! TO scary. Maybe in high school they could walk with friends only! Only one mile or under! It also depends where u live. I say this but mine are little we will see once they get bigger!

M.- SAHM and WAHM and loving it!




answers from Burlington on

Hi AG,

I would NEVER EVER EVER allow my child to walk alone to school. If there isn't a group to walk with, then go with your child.

There are a LOT more child abductions then there used to be. Just because it didn't happen to you or anyone you know, doesn't mean it won't happen to your child.

Do you listen to the news? Are you aware of the girl who ran ahead of the group of children she was waling with and was abducted?

Allowing your child to walk alone is setting up your child as a target.

Children are abducted, teens are abducted, adults are abducted. The police constantly say, "Don't walk alone."

: ) Maureen



answers from New London on

I let my son ride his bike to school in 4th grade. The school is just one street over and there were constant buses and parents driving by to the school so I was comfortable with it. Plus the school has a program for the walkers/bikers where they would keep track of them as they came into the school and if they didn't come in by the start of school they would immediately call the parents. He was alone, there weren't any others riding with him. It was nerve racking at first for me but after a while we all saw that it was a blessing for him to use the energy efore going to school with his ADHD.

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