What do kids learn in a home alone course?

You’ve heard of the Home Alone course and you may be thinking of signing your tween up, but are these programs worthwhile and what do kids learn?  Hopefully, I can provide information here that will help you make an informed decision about registering your child for one of these courses, and which one.

There are many home alone courses available for children.  The Canada Safety Council, Public Health Nurse and a couple of private companies offer traditional home alone courses that aim to educate children about staying safe at home.  Typically they are 90 – 120 minutes long and sometimes require parents to be present.  These courses provide the basics and include topics like unlocking and locking the door, calling mom or dad to say “I’m home”, having a back-up person, food preparation, safe activities, answering the door or the telephone, knowing when and how to get help and what to do in a variety of situations.

The workshops help parents assess if and when their child is ready to be left alone, for how long and what precautions they need to put in place to ensure their child is kept busy and safe.  This is all very worthwhile and important information. Most parents and children feel better prepared and more confident about taking this major step on a child’s journey towards independence after their child has completed the course.

Home Alone Safety for Kids published by SOS 4 Kids is more than just a traditional home alone course.  It is a comprehensive 7 hour safety program that uses games, digital media, videos and a variety of activities to equip children with life skills to protect themselves from dangerous situations and to help them become more independent and responsible. One key component of the program, missing from the traditional programs, is Internet Safety because if children are online and unsupervised, they are vulnerable and may not truly alone.  In the workshop, kids learn to be cyber smart, good digital citizens and learn how easy it is for online predators (in child-friendly language) to find, groom and lure victims.

Sue Perry, co-founder, was invited by Oakville Mayor Rob Burton to speak with a panel of safety experts about kid safety.  Find out more about the SOS 4 Kids Home Alone Safety course.  This is an edited version of the interview.  You can find the unedited, full version on the Mayor’s YouTube channel Oakville Matters.

Learn more about the Home Alone Safety for Kids program through SOS4Kids.