What we get out of walking to school………….a few thoughts
Our walk to school is through a park. It probably takes the same amount of time to walk to school as it would to drive. Mostly because it’s downhill all the way and clicking on a few helmets is quicker than getting everyone in car seats and out at the other end. Not to mention going around the park, houses and all those stop signs…..sigh.
It’s a time without distractions. We can talk about what will happen or interesting conversations start when you’re walking. I take the BG (first grader) and the MO(preschooler) to school this way. The baby still has his chariot lol. During the summer we dodge the sprinklers that warn us of their start by snake hissing.
Some days we just hear the sounds of nature and the local area.
It’s calming and mood lifting, especially after the chaos of the morning scramble.
The boys love to scoot. They get up some speed. Expending that energy gets all the wiggles out of them. They are totally awake and organised. They get to be active with their bodies which leads to active minds at school.
We get to meet the same people each day; jogging, dog walking, power walking, pushing out children/grandchildren. It’s nice to greet and be greeted. The kids get an opportunity to improve their social skills by greeting too.
I love good weather so we can walk. It sets up my day well being out in nature and it does the kids too.
Our walk to school is a chance to get some much needed Vitamin D exposure. We all go sans sunscreen for the walk. We’re high up live at a high elevation so we feel the sun.
I remember my walk to school in a small rural village in the UK. My mum would cross me over the road and I would walk on down to school. A few houses down another mum would do the same and so on until we had a group of maybe 5 or 6 of us. We walked to school- which passed the local shop ( I’m sure we stopped in with our pocket money) then onto school. We didn’t have to cross any roads after we were crossed over. We passed houses and friends on the way to school. The school was a primary school. I was 7 maybe 8.
Would I allow my son to go freerange like that now?
What’s changed for me is that I’m here in America. I knew my neighbourhood where I grew up. If I was back home. I think I would lead up to doing this. There’s a small group that walk to school in my area in America. The climate has changed in recent year for me to consider doing this here.
Not walking to school they sure are missing out….Now the walk home is uphill gets me a little puffed out.
So apart from all the environmental reasons for walking; consider adding a walk as a play activity today.
What are your experiences of walking to school either then or now?
Do you want to be a more freerange parent?
Great post, Melitsa. Such an important issue. Did you know that only 15% of American kids walk to school now? I recommend that folks check out: https://www.saferoutesinfo.org/
I am a huge fan of Lenore Skenazy & her blog & book, Free Range Kids. She terms it, “sane parneting.” https://freerangekids.wordpress.com/
Cheers- Bethe @balmeras
Thanks for sharing the links. I had no idea the % was so low for walking to school. If we can we should try.