Did you walk to school as a child? Do you walk your child to school right now?
I did walk to school when I was young. The kindergarten, primary and secondary sections were in the same area so it was very easy for us to get to and back from school.
The above is the image of my high school, with the primary school and kindergarten next to it.
When my children started school, we used to drive, as the school was in a different suburb. However, when we moved to our current suburb and joined the local school, we walked to and back from school almost every day.
By doing that, I noticed there were many advantages to walking with your kids to school and I am sharing five benefits with you below.
When you walk together, you take your time, relax, and admire the trees, flowers, and houses that you may not even notice when driving.
You also start to pay more attention to your children, their actions, their voice, their curiosity, their enthusiasm, the way they communicate and smile… you will start to notice the little things that you may miss when rushing and chauffeuring them daily.
At the same time, if you children plan to meet up with friends along the way, it helps them to connect and bond with their friends in the neighbourhood.
The more you share, the better connected you are with your children.
When you are at ease and relaxed, communications just flow. This is a great opportunity to share your thoughts with them, ask many questions, and listen to their opinion.
This is the time where they will talk about the friends they like, or dislike and why, who they are playing with at lunch, what games they are playing, what food so and so brings to school, what they like to do and dislike, the interactions among their friends, the teachers they like and dislike…
This is the time to prompt questions, gauge their reactions, and really listen to what they have to share. This is a perfect time to create a deeper understanding about your children.
Physical Health – it is undeniable that walking is a great way to keep fit and healthy – both for yourself and your children. Walking encourages movement of the body; it helps to develop gross motor skills and body awareness. You actively use your bodies, as sometimes you need to hop over a big rock along the way or your child may run and skip along the way.
Emotional Health – Whether it is running, walking or skipping, they are having fun. FUN is the language we understand well. Through FUN, we learn and we explore.
When there is Fun, there is laughter. Laughter helps to relax your body and mind, reduces stress, and it triggers the “happy hormone” – endorphins, which in turn enhances our immune system.
When your children are in a happy state of mind and a relaxed body, they will learn better and feel joyful throughout the day.
This is a fantastic way to learn about time and time management. Your children will have to know how long it will take to walk from home to school, so if they would like to spend more time on the road, i.e. meeting up with friends, they have to time it properly so that they will not be late for school.
They learn to be more organised as to what to pack to school, as they will know how heavy the back packs will be if they have to carry them to school.
Also they learn to be familiar and more aware with their surroundings. They will learn to explore the area and what routes to take, and estimate the distance and time to track those routes
They will also learn about self awareness. This is great opportunity to learn about self awareness on the road, and to be more vigilant and conscious of safety. They learn what they need to do or be aware of if they sense or feel something is not right.
For example, when my daughter and her friend missed the school bus home one day, they called home using the public phone through the “reverse” charge facility. They organised to be picked up from a grocery shop nearby, as she was taught it was safer to wait for adults at the shop after school hours.
Finally, if you need to drive to school, consider parking away from the school and take the opportunity to walk them to the school ground. They may not want you to walk them into the school ground; however, it sure is a great way to connect with them in the morning.
I hope you will benefit from the above suggestions. I would love to hear your experiences, please leave your comment below or head to our Facebook Page to share.