I was thinking about that when I was dropping my 6 year old off at some hobbies earlier - it’s pretty much expected to have learned how to ride a bicycle before starting school, and it massively expands the area you can go to by yourself. When she went to school by bicycle she can easily make a detour via a shop to spend some pocket money before coming home, while by foot that’d be rather time consuming.

Quite a lot of friends from outside of Europe either can’t ride a bicycle, or were learning it as adult after moving here, though.

edit: the high number of replies mentioning “swimming” made me realize that I had that filed as a basic skill pretty much everybody has - probably due to swimming lessons being a mandatory part of school education here.

Maintaining a swimming pool is an expense that many schools, especially in poorer districts can’t afford.

German here: the solution for most of the schools I went to and heard of (elementary) was to get a bus to drive to the next public swimming pool and they’d let us use it for a few hours. The government is funding that. And that solution worked for most of them, although I only managed to get do my swim test after swimming classes in school because I was anxious about it.

NL here. It’s similar here. I remember the bus, our school would hire a coach to take group 3 (think six-year-olds) to swimming at the pool on the other side of town. And until you had at least one diploma, you were required to come along. By group five, everyone had at least a basic swimming diploma.

When I was a kid in Florida in elementary school, that’s what most elementary schools did, mine was next door to a swimming pool so we just walked. At the time I think it actually was mandated by the state - swimming pools in backyards are extremely common there and it was an upsettingly common occurrence for kids to drown in them, so they took a week to make sure we all knew how to tread water. I don’t know if Florida kids still learn how to tread water or if swimming lessons are now woke somehow.

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