Delphine and I have been reading some classic chapter books about kindergarteners, like Ramona and the Betsy books. (By the way, if anyone can recommend any other books/series in that vein I would love to hear it!) I am struck by how early these kids walk to school alone: specifically, early kindergarten. Ramona was written in the sixties and Betsy was written in the thirties. So, apart from the cars which I agree are a concern, what has changed in the world since then that prevents us from letting our kindergartners walk to school? Nothing. But we don't because of some irrational, formless fear that Something Bad will happen to our children if we don't supervise their every move.
I'm thrilled to find a website of people who don't want to wrap their children in bubble-wrap, and I'm astonished I didn't find it before now: Free Range Kids. I don't have time to read much now but I'm looking forward to exploring this website! And in the meantime I might even let my kids play in the front yard without supervision! I'm a maverick.