Since the boys don't go to school, we picked another location - Grandma's house. They also chose, on this occassion, to ride their bikes. This is really in exercise in proving that your children don't have to be under your watchful eye every minute of everyday. Shocking! If you are more interested in raising some free range kids, visit here.
Gavin and Mikey have been venturing further and further from the house for about two years. It started with dropping things off at neighbors houses, walking around the block, and then walking/riding to the park about 1/2 mile from our house. Last year they began walking and riding back and forth from my mom's house that is 1 mile from ours. Even Ethan has taken the journey before.
My boys know the route they should take. They know what to do in an emergency. They understand and feel comfortable encountering other folks along the way. They are safe, and most of all, they are gaining competance and confidence - something I prize highly.
Dangerous? If your kids are used to being monitored every moment of the day, and have not developed confidence fuctioning safely away from you, I suppose it could be. Kids who are confident, and have some basic safety rules are perfectly safe spending a little time and space away from you. Really.