Our 7 1/2 yo daughter in home-educated, making “walk to school” moot. At 5 yo she began “staying home alone”, but only after a fashion. I would be working in nearby fields, and she knew she could flag me back if needed, because on each pass I’d look at the place I told her to stand if she wanted me. Mama was working off the farm and some days my time out of the house approached two hours. Things might be a bit topsy-turvy when I got back, but she’d usually get things back in order as I cooked dinner or supper.
These days the tractor thing continues, but still restricted to two hours. When she was 6 yo I might actually leave the farm for 15 minutes to get power-steering fluid or something at the local parts place, about 5 miles away. Mama still works off the farm, but part-time. This year our daughter and I are both comfortable of absences up to about 45 minutes, but still only in the local town. She has the phone numbers of the places I’ll be going if she needs me home right away [no cell phone].
The home-alones will gradually lengthen, with a target of several hours by age 11.
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