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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:44 am 
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Anyone else worrying about how their DC will cope with the journey to/from school come September?

My DS got the grammar he wanted, our nearest, and we're all delighted. But the travel would have been an issue wherever he went because we live just a little way out of town down a busy road which has a pavement but fields both sides - so it's lonely.

We will need him to make his own way home two or three days a week when I'm at work. The school's about two miles away - he could get bus part of the way then would have a 15 mins walk from the stop - the lonely bit I'm worried about. He's one of the youngest in the school year and says he wouldn't like to do it. Other options seem to be going home to a friend's house or asking another mum to give him a lift/share a school run (no other immediate neighbours at the same grammar and the kids from his school going there are not his closest pals). Even if he did walk, we'd have to do a good amount of 'training' him for the journey. Cycling would terrify me due to the busy road.

How do others cope with the walk home when in a more rural area? I always lived in the centre of the city as a child and took the bus plus longish walks from the age of 10 - but things seem different these days.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:46 am 
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Things are only different if you make them.

Do the journey with your child a couple of times and he will ask you to stop so he doesn't look like a mummies boy.

Try getting hime to walk home from primary school now in yr6 to build his confidence. Also give him a key so he can get in and out on his own.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:51 am 
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Thanks gman but part of the problem is the walk home from primary school is impossible - it's very rural down a narrow country lane (only one car width) and nobody does it. :( I had thought of doing practise walks with him, maybe that's the answer - I remember my mum following me on the bus in her car when I first went to secondary! How embarrassing. :oops:


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:48 pm 
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It is about building confidene., My daughter is yr 6 and is walking home on her own. I have also started letting her go into the town on saturday with her cousins.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:58 pm 
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a friend of mine's son has always cycled to GS from the middle of Cheltenham to Gloucester. This involves going along the A40 which is a brute of a dual carriageway. I wince to think of it. Since Y7 he's gone (April child). Not helpful, I know, because it fills me with horror but it's all that her circs permit and the boy's been fine :shock: So it CAN be done, however horrifying the thought. (and sorry, to all the gung-ho-ers, but it IS horrifying! all the cliches of white van man texting etc . ..)

Could he stay on at school, do his homework there (ours has homework "clubs") and be picked up later by you?
Or go to a library or somewhere safe to be picked up, again, later.
Can you play it by ear by doing practice walks on a Saturday, just to familiarise him.

I do understand entirely what you mean by the loneliness thing and 15 mins seeming quite a long walk. To have to start telling him to have his phone switched on and in his pocket ready to use is to start raising alarm bells. Someone else, surely, must have this problem??

Maybe cultivating a shared system with the other children is the most practical way. Even tho the children aren't good friends, the mothers will understand the situation.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
:shock: :shock:

I;ve cycled that , 25 years ago when I ws young, fit and an experienced cyclist. It was scary enough then!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:35 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
With transport, because of the distance away from the Grammar, we qualify for free transport provided by Bucks CC. DD will only have a 5-10 minute walk to the bus stop. :)

For me it'll be after school, when I will be out doing afterschool clubs for my other DCs and my DD will have to have a key and let herself in and wait till I get home! :shock: Which will only be for about an hour! :roll:

It's a big step for all our DCs ... but you know (as I keep telling myself :roll: ) they will be absolutely fine!!!

_________________
Heartmum x x x


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:15 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
DS is also very young in the school year and the actual getting to school was a concern for us initially. We did practice runs during the summer holidays although, admittedly, the walking part was on a well used road with a footpath and many other children also walking.

Buddying up with a local parent may be a good option in the first instance. It's comforting to walk through the school gate with someone you know even if you are not best pals. Alternatively, are there enough children to make it worthwhile hiring a minibus/taxi privately to take all of them?

DS's school offers "homework club" after school - they can go to the library and use the computers, read or even do their homework!! Is this an option for your DS - if he stays at school an hour longer then by the time he has started making his way home you will be there to meet him at the bus stop?

I'm sure once he has been there a few weeks you will be wondering what the worry was. DS has gradually broken away from the children he knew from primary and made friends with some older children going the same way - they seem to have "adopted" him and make sure he is OK.

AndyB


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:17 pm 
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Yes, I'm hoping the library or after school clubs might be an option to start with. DH is a teacher so could pick him up, but not until 5.30ish.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:49 pm 
If you don't have street lighting I suggest a reflective armband or, if that is just too uncool, reflective tape on his bag or jacket. A strong, lightweight torch is also good although it sounds as if your son will be walking in daylight at least to start with.


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