28 answers

Kindergarteners Riding the School Bus...

Did yours? Did you send them to their very first day of kindergarten on the school bus?

What was your experience?

I'm thinking of allowing my son to ride the bus, but still not totally comfortable with it. I've asked him if he wants to, and he's sort of ambivalent. He says he will, doesn't really matter. LOL One thing, is that the bus will pick him up at 7:24, whereas we wouldn't have to be ready quite so early if I were taking him...

I will take him the first day, but I need to decide what we are going to do from that day forward (bearing in mind we can change at any point if something isn't working... he doesn't have to ride the bus... we could get him there.)

So did your kindergartener ride the school bus?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

ETA: My son would potentially be riding with kids through 5th grade... but for now, he is attending a school summer program which lasts for 8 days... and it's just for kids entering K, 1st, or 2nd grade, so for at least the first 8 days, he'd be with younger kids only. That would give him a chance to adjust to the bus routine before there were bigger kids on the bus. I don't know if the school has any rules about kindergarteners riding up front, but I sure hope so. Need to find all that out yet... Oh, and our bus stop is basically at our house, well, at the corner of our yard... so I can't complain there.

Featured Answers

Halfway.

I dropped him off at school, and the bus brought him home.

He would have had to meet the bus at 5:57, but school didn't start until 8. I wasn't particularly FOND of how long it took him to get home (school out at 430, bus dropped him off at 517 -different route-), but he absolutely loved riding it. If he'd been last off (we would have been first on) we wouldn't have done it, since last off was at 6. 6am to 6pm is just ridiculous, in my not so humble opinion.

1 mom found this helpful

My little guy rode the school bus for the first time this morning!! k-6th grade were all represented. Let me give the caviat though that the driver requires them to sit in the first couple of rows and when he gets to school, the kindergartners exit the bus first, an aide meets them at the bus and delivers them to their classrooms.

Even with his big bro on the bus, I would be hesitant if he had to find his way from the bus lane to the classroom all by himself. Can I confess something? When my oldest rode the bus for the first time as a kindergartner, I told my husband I was going to grab a Starbucks. Instead of getting coffee, I followed the bus to school and watched from the car to see what would happen when he got there. It was exactly as they promised.

1 mom found this helpful

It's a big step - one of many he'll take as a new student! Whether his first day is now or not, it has to happen sometime, right? It's an opportunity to walk him through this transition.

I love the idea of him going on the bus now and experiencing it on a smaller scale and getting to know the driver before there are many more kids. Seems ideal!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Yes, they loved the bus! And so did I!

3 moms found this helpful

My daughter loved riding the bus. She was only 4 when she started kindergarten but she thought she was so grown up.
I drove her to school in the mornings and she rode the bus home. It stopped right in front of my house so I was always there waiting for her like Forest Gump in the afternoon.
After a time she rode the bus in the morning too. Both of my kids rode the bus. My son who just turned 16 still does. We don't live in the same town as the high school, I work even farther away than that so he's a bus pro by now.
When my kids were little, I always took them to school on the first day even though they would ride the bus the rest of the time. We never had any bus problems at all. It was just part of the routine.

Best wishes!

3 moms found this helpful

All 5 of my kids rode the bus for kindergarten, and rode the first day. Well, my second son didn't ride the bus. We lived about 4 houses from the gate to the school so I walked him. I wish he would've rode the bus! LOL

My triplets were in kindergarten last year. They rode the bus the first day and were excited because they'd seen buses for years and couldn't wait to ride one like a big kid. We moved and they were on the bus their first day for the new school as well.

I like my kids riding the bus to give them independence and I don't take them to school on the first day or they'll have yet another first day on day two of riding the bus and walking in and out on their own for another first time, so I'd rather they do it all in one day on the first day on their own. Most of the other kids will be on the bus the first day and his first time will be on day two.

Remember, most buses will keep kindergartners in the front of the bus away from the bigger kids.

The one thing that I HATE is no seat belts on buses. I think it's illegal and unsafe, but society feels our children's safety is less important than the cost of putting in seat belts, which is always the excuse when I ask why no seat belts when the law states otherwise. As long as you have a good driver who keeps the kids in their seats then what else can we do. When my kids driver doesn't keep the kids seated I reminded him to keep them in the seat.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

2 moms found this helpful

I am a school bus driver and I have them sitting up front. They all have assigned seats. I go in order of grade. So the older kids are in the back and the younger in front. Of course during the year I have to rearrange my seating chart a hundred times for the problem children. But I always try leave the kindergartners and the 1st graders where they are. I never move them. I did the kindergraten orientation on the bus back in June. All the kids came on with one parent. As they got on I would praise them for holding the railing or tell them when they didn't hold it. I tried to make their first experience as comfortable as possible and as fun as possible. I am now 7 1/2 months pregnant and I want to make sure that I am there for atleast the first 2 weeks of school so that the kindergartners will see me and know that I will be their driver. I will be out until atleast Dec and I don't want them to be scared when I come back.
So if you feel more comfortable taking him in the morning and letting him ride on the bus in the afternoon, Please let the school know this so they can let the driver know. BUT.... if he gives you a hard time about leaving him then I would recommend putting him on the bus in the morning. Some kids have a hard time leaving mom. I expect to have some crying and I handle it the best way that I can. Some kids don't understand why they have to leave mom and dad. I had a girl last year that cried for about 2 weeks. I would talk to her and ask her questions and try to make her as comfortable as possible. She began to come around and got used to it. Especially when she started making friends and had her seatmate to talk to her. I do sometimes move the kindergartners around to seat them with other kids that they feel comfortable with. But I ALWAYS leave them in the front. I have had parents that ask that the younger child sit with their brother or sister who is older. Not a problem. I seat them in the middle of the bus so that the older is not with the little kids and the younger is not with the older kids. This way there is a happy medium.
So like I said you do what is best for you and your child. It is not set in stone that they HAVE to ride the bus. But if he WANTS to ride the bus plz don't fight him on it. Best of Luck and congrats on your kindergartner!!!

2 moms found this helpful

Yup! They have always loved talking to the other kids on the stop.

2 moms found this helpful

Mine started the bus at that age and I was like you - not comfortable with it at all! The kids rolled their eyes at me and said "Mom, I really want to ride!" My husband also thought I was overreacting (he usually does). I let them ride, and they and their friends loved it.

Good luck! You can do it!

ETA: The oldest on our bus is 2nd grade - so we are lucky! My kids pick up SOME stuff, but not like they would if they were with 13 year olds!

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, he did.
On ours, they make the kindergartners all sit together near the front.

They definitely pick things up from the older kids.
But overall, I feel it's a good thing for them to navigate from the get-go.

I'd say, give it a whirl!

2 moms found this helpful

My oldest son didn't. We lived within walking distance, so did. The other two both rode the bus to school on the first day of kindergarten. I followed behind the school bus in my car and took pictures once they were in the classroom. Then left them for the rest of the day and met them at the bus stop at the end of the day.

I thought of school the same way I thought of most other things in my life, start the way you want to continue. The less big deal is made of going to school (aside from it being a good thing and the importance of a good education) the easier it is. Driving/Walking kids to school everyday gets old REALLY quickly ... at least it has for me LOL

Either way will be fine I'm sure.

Edited to add: After reading Rachel's post ... I was the mom who walked her kids to the bus stop on the first day of school and the MINUTE their little feet hit the steps ... Started dancing down the street back home SINGING VERY LOUDLY (so all the kids on the bus heard) "I'm free ... It's going to be a fantastic day ... I'M FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE" LOL My kids just shook their heads while their friends said "Your mom is so weird and crazy" (while laughing). But I was also the field trip mom (I was probably the only parent in my kids classes that went on just about every field trip with them in elementary school) so the kids all knew me very well.

2 moms found this helpful

LOL, the second my kids were old enough to ride the bus, I was like BYYYYYEEE!!!! I got them really excited first though, and it helps that my bus stop is kind of the corner of my front yard and I watch from our huge front window, so they turn around and make hearts with their hands and I blow kisses and stuff (or bang really hard if they're picking on each other, LOL!)

The first few weeks, I walked them to the bus stop and waited for them to be dropped off. That got old really fast. Even if one was sick, the other had no problem going solo to the bus stop.

True statistic: more kids are injured in car accidents on the way to school than riding the bus. The difference is actually HUGE. Talk to the bus driver, just small talk, to get to know them, and rest assured, they have all some KINDS of crazy bus safety drills and lectures at school. I have full faith in our bus system.

I also have the number for transportation on my speed dial, so if the bus is running late, I can call them and they can tell me exactly what the hold up is and where the bus is at that very moment. They're wonderful! I can't tell you how many time's I'd call because the bus was running late, only to have it show up while I was on the phone.

Let your son ride the bus. If you don't do it this year, you're going to still have the same anxiety about it next year. It's going to be harder on you than on him ;) Do you really want to bring this on yourself for the next 15+ years? Driving him to school? Cut the cord, let him GO ;) He'll be fine, just like millions of other kids on a daily basis... and you'll be fine too ;)

2 moms found this helpful

I was so worried about my little 3 year old riding the bus too! I decided to take him to school, there and back, the first day. Then I let him ride the bus home for a day or two. Then, I let him go to and from school once I saw that he was ok with everything. Assuming you have a good driver (we do), they put the little ones in the front and they love it!! We only live 3 minutes from school so I could drive him but they offer bus service to almost all kids in our district and I think its an important lesson. But, if I were you, I would take him myself the first day. It's a lot of a little kid all in one day.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, first day and everyday thereafter. My kids LOVE to ride the bus with their friends.

2 moms found this helpful

My little guy rode the school bus for the first time this morning!! k-6th grade were all represented. Let me give the caviat though that the driver requires them to sit in the first couple of rows and when he gets to school, the kindergartners exit the bus first, an aide meets them at the bus and delivers them to their classrooms.

Even with his big bro on the bus, I would be hesitant if he had to find his way from the bus lane to the classroom all by himself. Can I confess something? When my oldest rode the bus for the first time as a kindergartner, I told my husband I was going to grab a Starbucks. Instead of getting coffee, I followed the bus to school and watched from the car to see what would happen when he got there. It was exactly as they promised.

1 mom found this helpful

Halfway.

I dropped him off at school, and the bus brought him home.

He would have had to meet the bus at 5:57, but school didn't start until 8. I wasn't particularly FOND of how long it took him to get home (school out at 430, bus dropped him off at 517 -different route-), but he absolutely loved riding it. If he'd been last off (we would have been first on) we wouldn't have done it, since last off was at 6. 6am to 6pm is just ridiculous, in my not so humble opinion.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter was so looking forward to the bus. She watched that bus ride by us every day for 3 years and then 2 years ago it was finally her turn to get on it. Only 2 weeks before school started they told us that they had decided that we were close enough (a little less than half a mile) to be considered walkers and the bus would be discontinued. Boy was she disappointed. Our school doesn't allow kindergartners to ride the bus the first week of school (they follow a different schedule that week). I have to say, some times I am annoyed because it would be so much easier to put the kids on the bus, but after hearing other moms in our area talk about the bus forgetting to pick the kids off or dropping them off early unsupervised or the things that happen on the bus, I am glad that I have to take them. When there is a field trip they are so thrilled to get on the bus though.

1 mom found this helpful

My DD is going into Kindergarten, but her school does not offer bus service, and it's too far to walk, so I'd have to drive her, regardless. BUT, even if they did offer bus service, I would not want her to take the bus. I think she's just to young & lacking in street smarts, I don't find it necessary since I am able to take her/pick up & we only live maybe 2 miles away. I am all for independence, just not via bus riding. Plus, being in school for the first time for over 6 hours a day is teaching her plenty. We live in a big city, and it's just not something I would consider.

To each his own, though.

1 mom found this helpful

Yep.

For us the school asks that bus riders ride the first day (morning and afternoon) so that they can get bus stickers passed out correctly, head counts for the stops, etc. Mine rode the first day and was fine.

Our system has the K kids get on the bus first, and sit up front behind the bus driver. In the afternoon, there MUST be an adult for the K kids or they are not let off the bus.

1 mom found this helpful

Nope my children will not ride a bus as long as I can work around it. Myself or my hubby drives our kids. They use aftercare so I pick them up once im off work. I will add my DD was insistant on riding, but the parents always win...at least while they are little.

1 mom found this helpful

It's a big step - one of many he'll take as a new student! Whether his first day is now or not, it has to happen sometime, right? It's an opportunity to walk him through this transition.

I love the idea of him going on the bus now and experiencing it on a smaller scale and getting to know the driver before there are many more kids. Seems ideal!

1 mom found this helpful

All three of my daughters rode the bus from the very first day for kindergarten. However, there weren't any kids from higher grades on the bus at all. Our kindergarten is currently housed in an early childhood learning center. A couple of nights before school starts there's a principal's picnic and the kids get to have their first bus ride with (or without) parents that night so that they're not scared when the bus has to pick them up on the first day.

It's really not a big deal. I admit I was a little nervous when my eldest started first grade and had to share the bus with bigger kids but it wasn't a big deal at all. The bigger kids are very protective of the little ones. The bus drivers also tend to make the small kids sit at the front of the bus.

1 mom found this helpful

Personally I will not let my children ride the bus? 1, I live a mile from the school and can very easily drive the. But 2, there are much older children on those buses have much older conversations that I do not want my children hearing.

1 mom found this helpful

No, I am too paranoid, but I know that I am much more overprotective than most parents :) I rode the bus to Kindergarten even on the first day.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, she did. And I hated every second of it. On the first day, I left once the bus picked her up, and was waiting for her at the school when the bus arrived. It was awful. Our district is HUGE and the ride was 40 minutes. TOO LONG for a kindergartener. The bus ride home was the same, so we decided to driver her a few weeks into the year.

1 mom found this helpful

Both of my kids ride the bus to and from school and started the first day of kindergarten. The bus carries kids in grades K - 5, but the kindergarteners sit in the first few rows. (The rule on my kids' bus is that only 5th graders can sit at the very back of the bus, so that's where most of them choose to sit.) The bus drivers have been great and I have only heard of one or two incidents on the bus in the last 5 years. Those incidents were taken care of quickly.

1 mom found this helpful

I would see how it goes.
For my daughter it was awful. Sometimes they would have silent bus for punishment. And the bus driver sent my 4th grader to the back to sit with the big kids and my kinder was pretty much traumatized. We tried almost all year, by March I took her off the bus completely.
My 4th (boy) went with the traumatized kinder one when she was in 3rd and loved it. He was so excited to be on the bus with sissy and the big kids. He sat in front with the kinders and his buddies. It went really well.

1 mom found this helpful

I was so miffed to find out we weren't in the "Bus zone" even though it's not humanly possible for my 5 year old to walk from where we live. She's been looking forward to the bus FOREVER and so have I. Now I may either get permission to take her to the nearest stop (not much easier than just taking her to school since I have to take 2 younger ones with me) or home school (not just because of the bus, long story)

Anyway. Yes, I would send my 5 year old on the bus first day to kindergarten happily.

1 mom found this helpful

Mine did, but I was lucky that her bus was kindergarteners only, and on the first day of school (a half day) one parent or family member rode with the student. That way we were able to see them through their first day, help them find their room, help them carry all of their school supplies, meet the teacher and see the classroom, etc. It really eased the anxiety for both of us, and on her second day she knew just what to expect and where to go. Also the bus stop was at our corner (about a 1/2 block away) and a parent or other responsible adult had to be at the bus stop with them for them to get picked up or dropped off. I thought it was a good system and felt comfortable letting her go, she loved riding the bus.

1 mom found this helpful

Nope. My 6th grader (2 years ago) didn't even want to be on the bus b/c the older kids were so loud and crass.

1 mom found this helpful

Ive been wondering the same thing....My oldest will be in 5th when my youngest starts Kinder, they will ride together but it still worries me.

1 mom found this helpful

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.