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I am wondering when it is a good time for my kids to walk to school alone?

15 votes
I am the mother of a 6 year old and a 10 year old.  I live in the east end of Toronto and we live about 3 blocks away from the school.  I think this is a safe neighbourhood.  When do you think it is safe for them to walk to school.
asked in Kids by Crystal (170 points)

6 Answers

5 votes
According to the Ministry of Education, they were ready when they were four. They say no buses for kids 4-6 years old who live within 1 km of school and 1.6 kms for anyone over that age. I think they're living in the 50s when neighbours watched out for each other.

It totally depends on your kids and your neighbourhood and it sounds like you already know the answer. BTW...I think the answer also demonstrates parenting style. No fear that you'll end up on that new "bubble-wrapped kids" show.

answered by crackintoes (746 points)
I understand you view, but the school boards only set these rules to cut bus costs, or more accurately, pass the cost on to the parents.  They do not believe that a six year old should be walking the streets on their own.
6 votes
Times have changed, that's for sure!  I was 6 walking to school (only after begging & pleading with my mom... plus she had 2 babies at home.)  My son never walked alone, I had a great deal made with 2 other moms (friends of mine), one of us were always there to walk the kids to & from school.  I'd say he was 8 when he ran across the street to school, all alone (I worked full time as he got older.  My mom babysat for me & she lived directly across the street from his school... BONUS!)
answered by bcpotts (7,692 points)
3 votes
My older son is 11 and this is the first year he is walking to school on his own.  He is, for the most part, a responsible boy, and there are many rules that he has to follow.
answered by cmic (4,473 points)
4 votes
Is your 10 yr old responsible enough to take the 6 year old to and fro? Id say yes then as its only 3 blocks. What are the street crossings like? Controlled lights? Any crossing guards?

We were lucky enough to buy a home right across from a school when my son was an infant. He has walked himself down the block to the crossing guard since he was 7.
answered by Guppy (6,009 points)
3 votes
It would all depend on the maturity level of the child & the safety factors (is the a crossing guard, busy streets, a high school nearby- the older kids can be a help or thet've known to bully the little ones.)  Don't be in a hurry, but if they are asking to have a little more independence, then I say give it a try.
answered by karlisss (3,585 points)
3 votes
Very good question. As a child growing up ... I believe I was about 10 when I was allowed to walk to school alone. It was in North Burnaby, B.C. and along several main stretches of road all which were in plain view and relatively safe. We walked by residential, a fellow grade school, and a golf course. Our parents made it even safer for us by having us walk with some friends of the family who were the same age (girl in my class, and a younger brother of hers who was a bit younger than my brother). Occasionally 1 - 2 more friends of ours would tag along as they were on route. We usually averaged 4 - 6 people. It was about 50/50 or 60/40 as far as walking days went.
answered by Evan (1,400 points)