Should your kids walk to school alone?
We've written a few times here at The Wild Network about the issues we face (in the UK specifically) about when to let the kids walk home alone.
Natalie wrote about her 20 Minutes of Terror, when her 3 daughters walked home from school, in: When the Kids Walked Home Alone. Most recently, Tamsin wrote about our response to an attempted abduction that made UK news, in her thoughtful piece on the Risks of NOT Walking To School.
Conversely, and excitingly, we came across this amazing poster, thanks to Lenore Skenazy from Free Range Kids. It perfectly explains our feelings around knowing when your child is ready to walk to school. In summary, it says that in Oregon (USA) there is no legislation for when kids can walk to school alone. That's the same as here in the UK. So how do you decide?
How can I know when my child is ready to travel to school alone?
Think about your unique child — can your child:
- Pay attention?
- Remember and follow rules?
- Make good decisions?
- Feel comfortable on their own?
Some kids maybe ready at a younger age or later than their peers. As parents, you know your child best, so use your parental judgment.
And, as we wrote in our post just last week, there are important lessons to be found in walking to school. The state of Oregon writes:
By walking to school, kids learn valuable life-long skills.
They arrive to school more prepared to learn, discover their neighbourhoods and gain needed independence and confidence.
The full poster is shown below. And here's a link to the big file, if you want to print it off or share it!
Do your kids know how to play out? We share our top tips for helping Wild Play.
When the kids walked home alone. Read why we overcame those 20 Minutes of Terror.
Not playing out. Two thirds of parents have outdoor play concerns.