Do your children walk to school? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 02-21-2003, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been reading the thread about PS questions and I've been watching the kids in my neighbourhood. Do your children walk to school? Why or why not? Is there a distance that you think is too far for them to walk? Do they walk alone or only with adult supervision? All comments welcomed!
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#2 of 18 Old 02-21-2003, 10:59 PM
 
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In our rural area, hardly anyone can walk to school, except those with houses real close by. We are about 1 1/2 miles away, and we don't even have bussing because of our dirt road, so I drive my kids to school.

 
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#3 of 18 Old 02-22-2003, 12:12 AM
 
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Well we homeschool but if my dd went to public scholl she would walk. We have 4 elementry schools within walking distance of our house. One she could walk all the way by her self, one i would have to wak her part of the way and she could do the rest and the other two I would have to walk with her (they are about a mile) She is six by the way and can't cross busy streets yet.

Growing up the distance was 2 miles and no busy streets before the bus would pick you up.

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#4 of 18 Old 02-22-2003, 08:57 PM
 
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No, my dd cannot walk to school, it's too far and too dangerous. It's about 7 miles with no sidewalks. It's kinda country suburban around here. It just wouldn't be safe for her to walk. It's really too bad. I walked! But I lived much closer and had safe residential streets most of the way. And that was 25 years ago...

That's one of things I'd require in my dream community. All homes within walking distance of the neighborhood school, safe sidewalks all the way.

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#5 of 18 Old 02-22-2003, 09:49 PM
 
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Sadly, I do not like my kids walking alone anywhere any more or even in a group up to the local playground. I recently did the search on registered sex offenders in our suburb and we have plenty near us. Made me ill to read.
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#6 of 18 Old 02-23-2003, 01:25 AM
 
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Mine walk...about three blocks and no busy streets. There are 5th grade "patrols" on duty to help them cross the only street which is just a neighborhood street that I would be very comfortable with them crossing alone. I trust my kids judgment much more than some 5th grader I don't even know. All of the neighborhood kids walk so there are always plenty of kids around - they usually walk in a group.
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#7 of 18 Old 02-27-2003, 09:40 PM
 
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i think kids should walk to school but with adult supervision.
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#8 of 18 Old 02-28-2003, 02:45 AM
 
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I walked my dear children when they went to school. We made it fun.

They learn safety also.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#9 of 18 Old 02-28-2003, 03:18 AM
 
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no experience on this with my son, but i can share my own personal experiences.

in K-5 grade i lived about a block away from the elementary school, and every morning my mom (she was a stay at home mom until i was about 14 years old) would walk my sister and i to the elementary school, just up to the cross walk.

when i was in 6th grade we moved to an extremely rural area, where we had to walk about a mile or so to the bus stop then ride about an hour to get to school. my mom absolutely would not let me walk alone or even with my sister until i was 15 and i threw such a fit that she finally let me walk on my own. it wasn't that we knew of any sex offenders or abusers in the area... it was just that she knew how many bad people there are out there that are unregistered. she was protective of all of us, and i don't blame her at all; now that i'm a parent, it makes me so sad to see kids who are 5 and 6 years old walking to school by themselves in the morning, then walking home alone at night (i still live in the same rural area)...

also, where i live, it is illegal to let a child under 8 go anywhere unsupervised by a parent or guardian -- if a child is observed to be outside, even out behind an apartment complex playing, without adequate supervision then they can legally get tangled up in CPS (some of the other parents in my apartment complex have dealt with this issue).
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#10 of 18 Old 02-28-2003, 09:08 AM
 
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I wish my kids could walk to school. Ds is at the Upper Elementary, and he rides the bus. The school is at least 3 miles away so walking would not be practical. He does have to walk 2 blocks to and from the bus stop and there is no policy that children must pick up and get off the bus at the same stop. One day, he arrived home from school and told me that the noise on the bus was bothering him, so he got off a few stops early and just walked home. He's 10 and is capable of getting himself home safely, but I was surprised that the driver let him get off the bus.

My dds attend an out of district elementary school so they don't get a bus. The school is 2 miles away, and sometimes we do walk--I walk to meet them and we all walk home together. It's a nice long walk/workout for me, especially pushing my youngest ds in the stroller. If they were to go to the neighborhood school, they'd walk. It's only 5 blocks away, but I would walk with them.
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#11 of 18 Old 02-28-2003, 06:06 PM
 
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My DH walks our nine year old DD almost all the way to school each day. We are about 3 blocks away and he walks her 2 1/2 blocks and then stands and watches her walk the last 1/2 block herself. She loves it because she get the feeling of walking into school on her own. DH and I love it because we know she is safe.
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#12 of 18 Old 03-11-2003, 12:58 PM
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This is an important issue for me, too. I walked to school with my brother or other kids from about grade one on. Grade one and two was just 2 blocks on residential streets. After that it was about 5 blocks some of which was along a very busy street but we never had to cross it. I now live across from a school and it seems that most kids are walked to school up to about age 8, then I start to see kids by themselves or with other kids.

I really think it is important for kids to have some independance and to know that you trust them. I know there are nasty people out there. To me that's all the more reason to teach our kids to fend for themselves. Of course, I don't mean just push them out the door. I will talk with ds about this over the next few years and teach him until I feel comfortable sending him out alone. He is already a very responsible little boy even though he's only 2.5 so I feel confident he can do it.

My parents were quite loose with us and we were responsible kids. My best friend's parents wouldn't let her go anywhere and watched her like a hawk. She snuck around and did things behind their backs. Actually she was always allowed to go places with me because her parents knew I was responsible and she wouldn't get into any trouble. Hmmm wonder how I got to be so responsible?
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#13 of 18 Old 03-31-2003, 06:20 AM
 
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if we can. But one child goes to school nearby and the other has 2kms to get to kindy. So usually I drive them and then walk the older one home in the afternoon. We have just invested in their first bikes so sometimes we cycle.

Luckily we live within a kilometre of the school and we live on the right side of the road for easy access. There is only one ped. crossing to deal with.

When they are about 8 or 9 I would like them to try to walk sometimes by themselves but to be honest I love having that input into their day and miss the little boogers when they are gone. So I will hang around as long as I can.
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#14 of 18 Old 03-31-2003, 01:13 PM
 
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I don't know. I trust my children and I think they are more responsible then other kids their age. However I do not trust the over 75 registered sex offenders in our area and I do not think our local government has acted responsibly in providing them with counseling, appropriate monitoring, and enough incarceration to punish or deter them from doing their crimes again. In our sunday paper there is another child of that age that was killed this last week, he was alone outside his home.
It is illegal to leave my 9 yr old alone in the car while I am shopping, it is illegal to leave him home alone to care for himself, and yet it is supposed to be okay for him to walk alone to school or a playground?? Monitoring your children's behavior does not mean you are a bad overly strict parent that does not trust them, instead it means you care about your children enough to want to be part of judgement calls and decision making till they are sufficiently mature enough to do so on their own. IMHO it is not hampering their development, to stifle them but instead it is protecting them while they are learning to get on in this crazy world. I have spent enough time around the 12 -14 yr olds in our neighborhood to be able to see which ones had parents that care and ask/monitor where they are during the day/night and which ones allow them to roam at their will and leave them alone while they work.
Mary
mom to ds 14, ds9, ds6, dd3 yrs
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#15 of 18 Old 03-31-2003, 01:46 PM
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Mary - I wrote that post a few weeks ago and now that I re-read it I realise it sounds pretty 'holier than thou'. I apologise. In the example of my friend I should have made it clear that her parents made it very clear to her that they didn't trust her. This I think is a self fulfilling prophecy.

Also since I wrote that post a murderer/rapist was arrested living across the street from me. He didn't prey on kids but on women. His most recent victim was similar in age and looks to me. Scary stuff.

I very much want my child to have the freedoms I had. I'll just have to wait and see how I feel when he gets older.
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#16 of 18 Old 03-31-2003, 02:01 PM
 
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Has anyone heard of the "walking school bus"? It's when a few parents walk with a whole neighborhood's worth of kids and take them all to school. As the "bus" passes your child's house, you just let them join in the walk. That way, the children are safe and supervised, but not every parent needs to walk with their child.

I heard about this in a presentation given by a group called the Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation (ACCT). You can check out their website at www.transportationchoice.org
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#17 of 18 Old 04-04-2003, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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In our neighbourhood (former small town now a suburb of Toronto) most families have agreements to walk a couple of kids to school. My neighbour walks my daughter to school and I walk her daughter home. I have also hired Grade 8 kids to walk my daughter to and fro when my baby was tiny. These have both worked well for me. This spring my daughter (Grade 3) and her friend (Grade 2) are allowed to walk home from school after the buses have left the parking lot. They are sensible, level-headed kids. Between the school and our house there are about 30 houses and at least 10 of them are homes of people we know and trust. They don't have to cross any busy streets and at that time of day the neighbourhood is nicely busy with both cars going to and fro to the school (more people we know) and neighbours walking around. They are very safe.
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#18 of 18 Old 05-10-2003, 07:36 PM
 
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We walk.

My dh walks them to school, then drives to work. When he comes home he parks near school (we don't have good parking anyway, on our block) so it works for him the next morning.

Then I walk up to get them in the afternoon.
My 4th grader could walk home by herself - only one street to cross, and we have a wonderful, watchful, smart crossing guard, but the school requires an adult to pick up kindergarteners if they are not taking the bus. So I have to get her sister anyway. Maybe next year they'll walk together without me, sometimes. But I like going to school and having contact with the teachers and the principal every day - and the other parents (and grandparents) who are able to walk with their children. And my older daughter likes me to come and get her.
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