YOU are the mommy. YOU know best. My advice is to trust your gut instinct and do what YOU feel is best, even if you decide on something that’s different than what other mother’s are doing. You’ll never regret protecting your children.
As for the leaving alone for a short time, I think the oldest was 10 and Little Brother was 8. And then I left for less than an hour. Recently, they had the whole day home alone, at ages 13 and 15).
I’ve worked in several different schools. One thing I loved was seeing was groups of kiddos walking to and from school together. The little ones walked in groups and a different parent took turns walking a block behind. Maybe something like that could work for your neighborhood.
Unfortunetly, I can’t answer this question from experience – but I’m sure whatever decision you make will be the right one !
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