So, the admin/faculty/staff at the kiddo's school must think I'm mean (or crazy). We live in the 'burbs and the school is within walking distance, so we walk. Since she is in kindergarten, I wouldn't dream of letting her walk by herself, even though I would be able to see her almost the entire way. Actually, when I was a kid, my walk to the bus stop was almost the same distance as the walk from our house to the school! It takes us 4 minutes to walk there. Since our house would be the last stop, she would be on the bus for probably under a minute, so, really, what would she be missing out on? But while other parents are giving me the "good for you!" thumbs up approval, some people are acting like I am messing up the school's entire system and scarring my child for life. Really, with all the concerns about childhood obesity, you would think they would be thrilled that the kiddo is getting some extra exercise.
The kiddo herself asked (once) if she could ride the bus every day, so that she could see her friends. For all of that one extra minute. But when she realized that she could beat the bus to our house, and most likely be the very first kid to get home from school, she was all for it.
As for me, it's a serious commitment to get her to school on time and to be there waiting when she comes out the door, but it's worth it. Her daddy and I get to spend 4 extra minutes of quality time with her in the morning, and I get her all to myself in those 4 minutes when she's bubbling about her great day at school. So when she complains that her "legs hurt from all this walking", I suggest that she lay down and rest, not play outside, and go to bed early, since she's sooo tired. But I'm just mean that way.