At what age do you think a child is able to walk to school and home?

@nixxi76 (3192)
Canada
December 1, 2008 11:49am CST
My son is fairly new to his school. Well actually our family is new to this town because we just moved her a month ago. I'm not sure how well he's really adjusting to his new school because when I ask him how he's liking his new school I don't get much of an answer from him. When I ask him this I also ask if he's making friends and he answers yes but never gives details about them.. where they live or whatever. I have tried to trust him before with doing things independantly but it never worked and I think he's getting to that age of having chores and things like that. We walked to school this morning and I want to get him use to that so eventually he can see himself there in the mornings and come home after as well. what age do you think kids should be able to walk themselves to school and home?
4 people like this
30 responses
@metschica25 (5407)
• United States
1 Dec 08
Hello I remember walking to the bus stop with my mom and brother and just to get to the bus stop was a good 10 mins and school itself was about another 20 . I remember too my brother and me always just wanted to walk to school , but my mom was kinda scared and well we walked with her to the bus stop until we were in middle school . I was in the 7th grade when i started walking to school and my bro had a huge group of freinds so he walked with them . I would day around the age of 12 maybe and with a huge group of friends. Take care
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
Thanks for your comment
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Dec 08
welcome .
@gwoman2 (711)
• United States
1 Dec 08
Hi Nixxi76, I say never! My oldest always rode the bus which I put her on every morning and picked her up in the afternoons...my youngest is 18 and I will not, under any circumstances let her even ride the NJ transit...I take her to school and pick her up...she does not drive yet and right now does not want to...it's ok with me, as long as she is safe, I'm ok with it! Be careful, you never know who is lerking around waiting for an opportunity:-( ~G~
1 person likes this
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
You're right gwoman! It's true, you never know who is lerking around waiting for an opportunity and I'm not going to let my son be their next victim. We're pretty new in this town so I guess that would make it more common? Thanks for your helpful advice
@gwoman2 (711)
• United States
2 Dec 08
You are soooooooooooo welcome...check this...a lot of people, including my own 33 year old, think I'm anal retentive because I choose to take my youngest everywhere...but again, I don't care...I want her to be safe and since she is not "street wise" I really need to do this for as long as I am able!! Stay safe, always! ~G~
• United States
1 Dec 08
I agree with the above poster. The maturity of the child should be the determinant of whether they should walk home by themselves. However, your environment is also a deciding factor. I would think walking home in a more rural or suburban setting could occur at a younger age, while in an urban environment it would have to wait until the child is older. But, I wonder if you have some other concerns about your child. I attended a great variety of schools as a child and can tell you that adapting to the new environment is never easy (no matter what anyone tells you). I would press you son a little about the friends he is making and what is going on in his new school. You can do this by asking him to invite some of his school friends over or out for an outing. Going to the park, or something like that. There's a lot that can happen during the school day which kids don't want to talk about when they get home, but they really should. If you feel your son is adapting well and things are fine, then ignore the above. But I remember how difficult it can be to be the new kid. And that's a label that doesn't go away very quickly. Try to be involved in your son's new school in a periphery sort of way. Nothing kills street cred in school like having your parent parenting you. :) But I would wait until you feel your son is ready to walk home by himself. When he asks for the responsibility would be a good time to think about it.
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
Thank you very much for your helpful information doril. This really makes me think that I'm going to have to wait for my son to meet new friends so maybe he can walk to school with him. It's just that he's very easily distracted and if he gets sidetracked with something he will go towards that. I think that I"m just going to start off by giving him little responsibilities around the house first and get him to learn that way Thanks for your advice
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Dec 08
You're very welcome. I think your idea of having him do stuff around the house would be a good gauge for you. Making friends would definitely be a big step forward. New schools are daunting, and having some security around is always nice when jumping into the deep end.
• India
2 Dec 08
Hiii nixxi76 I think a child can go to school and home lonely at age of 11-12 years. It also depends on maturity of a child. But in my own case i was travelling from home to school when I was in 6th i.e. at age of 11 and all my friends at the same age
1 person likes this
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
Thanks for your comment
• United States
2 Dec 08
well in this day and age we have to be more protective i am sad to say. so without upsetting the apple cart, i would say never.children like to feel independant it's true, but a child walking to school alone is not a good idea. so , make a game of it. tell them you need some exercise and could you walk along with them. or you could tell them you just cant stand to be without them. meet thier friends and have a sleep over and get to know them. make a contest out of it and give them an incentive for walking together. there are 100 ways to get them to school safely without being a "mom"be thier friend, it's much easier
1 person likes this
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
Thanks for your comment
@sylvia13 (1851)
• Nelson Bay, Australia
2 Dec 08
I think one has to teach them to do things in stages, so they feel comfortable about them. When my daughter was learning to go to school alone I had to do it in stages. We would agree to meet at the corner of the school first, then the supermarket just a few meters away, then a house a bit closer by and son on. She eventually managed to do it on her own and felt proud about it too! The same thing happened with her smaller brother and I asked him to tell me when he was ready to take the bus alone, but he was the one who had to decide!
1 person likes this
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
Hi sylvia, I think that's a great idea with what you did with your daughter just taking small steps at a time and finally it gets her use to learning where home is. I'm sure it takes a lot of time to do that or maybe not? Maybe I will try that and I did think about it before just meeting him further away. Thanks for your advice
• China
2 Dec 08
I think it depends on how far it from your house,if the school is not very far from your house,i think ten ages is OK for them,they can walk with his friends,and i think it's also better for them to make new friends.
1 person likes this
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
Thanks for your comment
• United States
2 Dec 08
The world we live in today, no child is save to school or home from school.If you have the time to walk with him to and from school, then do it. The first time he is late getting home, Your first thought will be is ever coming home again. Thousands of kids are lost every day, don't add to the numbers. PROTECT your children, no one else if going to. It's your job don't give it away.
1 person likes this
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
Great answer lucille! I have decided not to add to those numbers because my son's safety is very important to me. I have all the time in the world to walk him to and from school. I will begin teaching him about responsibility in other ways around the house Thanks for your advice and sharing your great knowledge
@mjmlagat (3171)
• Philippines
2 Dec 08
I am not really sure but I guess it all depends on the child's maturity and the distance from home to school. We are driving our kids to school although they're teens already.
1 person likes this
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
Nothing wrong with that mjmlagat. I guess it's all on how the parent(s) feel about their community. I decided that I"m going to wait on letting my child walk to school without my company, until I feel that he's ready even though I want him to be responsible but in a way I don't want him to grow up either. Most importantly his safety is my main concern. Thanks for your comment
• India
2 Dec 08
I think that the right age for a child to get into the school is around 6 years because at that age the child is able to learn freely.I started my education at 3 years so i feel that every child has the right to enjoy the world until they are up to the age of 5.This is because the once they start their education it would take 15 -20 years to complete their education .It will be difficult for them to enjoy their childhood life if they enter into the education. As we all know that the evergreen part of the life without any worries is childhood life.
1 person likes this
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
Thanks for your comment and advice
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
2 Dec 08
I don't know if I will ever let my kids walk to school alone! I think it's just to crazy out there & a parent should always be right there with their child. My daughter is 6 & likes walking, so we walk to school with her & it's not that far away so it's a nice little walk for us. I might concider it if she was like 14.... & with a group of friends...
1 person likes this
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
When I was younger going to elementary school, my mom would decided on putting me in one school of my choice by asking me who I would like to walk to school with. If I can remember, that started in the middle of kindergarten. But then again I always had friends to walk with. You are definitly right about the world being too crazy out there and I myself think that I will continue walking my son to school until maybe he gets to know a few friends that live near us then maybe when I feel that he's older then I'll let him do it. Thanks for your advice
• United States
1 Dec 08
A child is able to walk to school as soon as he/she is able to walk, but wheither you should allow your child to walk to school now a days is a completely different story. Also the answer relies on where you live i mean a child living in downtown Boston should be a little older than "Tommy" who live in Perfect ville Maine. so i think there is no single answer.
1 person likes this
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
Hi Honesty, We live in a very small well.. I don't even know if you can call it a town. I guess that's what I"ll call it. I see what you mean. I think I'm going to just continue walking my son to school to keep the worries away. Thanks for your advice
• United States
1 Dec 08
I myself started walking to school when I was in fifth grade, about 10 years old. But I was a very responsible kid. I agree 100% with most people when they say it depends on the maturity of the child, and how well the you and your kid know the neighborhood and things like that.
1 person likes this
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
I was walking to school in kindergarten but I never walked alone. I grew up on a bay with lots of kids around me all the time and we always confided in each other incase something would come up. All of our parents made sure we stuck together and their plan worked. That town when I was a kid is much bigger than the one we're living in now but I still don't know everyone here or many people for that matter. So I guess I will be waiting for a couple years before I send my kid off to school on his own Thanks for your advice kissuchi
• Canada
1 Dec 08
i totally agree with some responses above, anyway, i think 15 is a generally acceptable. But you must be certain that he gets acquainted with the way from home to school and it would be great if he has some good friends walking with him.
1 person likes this
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
Thanks for your comment tortoise. I think yes I will wait on letting him get acquainted with the way from home to school and going to let him find his friends since we are still new in this little town.
@angelface23 (2498)
• United States
1 Dec 08
I was in 6th grade when I started walking to and from. I don't remember if my mom just didn't feel like getting up anymore or what. I think that would have made me about 11. So yeah like 10 or 11 would be a good age to start walking. Plus there were other kids who lived on my street that I walked with so it wasn't like I was by myself.
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
I"m pretty sure your mom wanted you to learn more about responsibility but then again who am I to say that lol. Yes I think by the time my son turns 10 or 11 which is in a couple years because he's 8 now. That should give him enough time to learn about independance. Thank you for your advice
@baileycows (3669)
• United States
1 Dec 08
I think it would really depend on your area that you live in and how mature your child is. I don't think that there should every really be an age limit to anything as children mature differently. My little girl is 8 and I would not let her walk she is just not ready. I think this would be a hard thing to do. Times are just not like they were 40 years ago when it was acceptable for your 10 year old to walk your 4 year old to school and nothing happen.
1 person likes this
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
Thank you bailey your advice really helped me consider this thought. You are definitly right about how times are just not the same as they were when you could allow your child to walk to school. Thanks again
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
1 Dec 08
I guess it all depends on the maturity of the child, how far it is to school, and the area in which you live. I used to walk to and from school by myself at 6 years old. I lived in a very small town and it was about 5 blocks to school. My son is almost 9 years old, but we live in an area where the bus picks him up at the end of the driveway. I don't think he is mature enough to walk home by himself if we lived in town and that was an option.
1 person likes this
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
2 Dec 08
In May of 2009, my son will be 9 years old too but you are very right about the maturity of the child. I just don't trust him to do something like walking home from school or even to school for that matter lol. I feel like I would have to call the school to make sure he made it there on time. I wished I could trust him or he would make some friends that he could walk with. My experiences of walking to school ran along the same as yours where it was a very small town and a few blocks away from the school is where I lived too. Thanks for your comment
@Erssyl (617)
• Philippines
4 Dec 08
I don't think there is a definite age for a child to be able to walk alone to school and home.It also depends on your location.You can't let them go alone at their young age when you are far from school.But you should train them to be independent.As much as possible avoid transferring school very often so they can be well adjusted to the environment.You should also trust him on how he can make friends himself.Let him do the initiative.Do not push him to what you like for him to do but guide him in what he wants to do.He will tell you when, you should not be overprotecting him.
@chiaeugene (2226)
• China
3 Dec 08
wow, that is a tough one and there should not be a fixed guide on this cos it will depends on the country, area, environment one is in. If the school is far away and need some travelling, then it should be at a time when he is old enough to be able to look out for traffic, travelling and i see that at least a 11-13 years old kid. If the school is nearby away from heavy traffic, then i think 7-9 years old would suffice. Of course, some precaution is needed esp if the neighbourhood is not too safe and young girls should learn some precautions before allowing them to go on the street alone. I first learn to walk to and fro from school when i was about 11 years old. It takes me about 20 mins to walk.
@candytang (341)
• China
3 Dec 08
As for me I went to pre-study school myself in the year that I am four ,it's a long way walk to there and I should climb up a mountain then get down ,I can see the school in front of me.That was happy times in my childhood and I can still remember many of the details . I have left my hometowe for a long time and miss it very much.