My 13 yr old son by himself is fine for a morning, but adding any sibling changes the whole demension of the situation. So maybe if it's the 13 and 12 yr old boys an hour or 2 at most.. add in anyone else say just the 10yr old and I'd say an hr tops. This is saying around normal day time hours.
now if I have everyone the 3 younger ones (5,3, &1) down for there hour nap I might run to town and get a couple things but this is a rare deal.
I am not a big one on leaving kids home either.. so it is a VERY BIG privilege for my kids to be left home. It's like a movie to them something that rarely happens.
This comes up though as I have soem friends whos kids are 12ds, 9dd, and 7ds and they will leave them home alone to go have dinner. But they are differnt than my kids. 1st there is only 3 of them, we have 7. Then there is the boy girl age and spacing, mine are 5 boys then 2 girls and all very close in age.
I think every family has to really just look at "each" kid and make that decision based on that child. who can stay home alone, who can be with the other one for periods of time. You get what I am saying.
Because I was an only child and my mom worked weird and long hours I was home alone at all hours from about 9. But I was mature above my years. So I could never compare my kids to me.
This is a tough one and all we can do is trust our gut and when we have peace in our hearts about it then we know it's the right time! That's what I think on a lot of issues.