29 answers

Should Kids Take the Bus?

My kids will both attend a close, 5 minute away school (2 different ones). One is in preschool (at one school), the other in K (at another school). Same time so I cannot be in two places at once. I could have one go morning and one afternoon, and drive each to and from school like many of the good parents I know. :) But I want the kids both in the morning. Who wants to spend all day driving to and from schools?

Would you let your kids take the bus? Keep in mind I have a toddler and baby at home, too, and Michigan weather is awful at times. Why should I feel I should take on more than I feel I can handle by driving them (and 4 car seats every single time), when the bus is free and available?

The preschooler goes on a preschool only bus that comes to the house. The Kindergarten student (stop is right by our house at corner) rides with grades K-6 in the morning (I'm not a fan of that), but only grade K to come home.

I really feel it would be too hard for me to drive them, but I took a bus as a kid and it's nothing I want for my child due to the cruelty, vulgarity, etc., but still...
HELP!

What can I do next?

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My kindergartner's FAVORITE part of the entire day was riding the bus. It's one of only 2 things he misses now that we homeschool. (The other is lunch).

I think it really depends on the child AND the bus.

I moved a maximum of every 2 years growing up, and was on a lot of different busses with a lot of different schools. Some were GREAT. Others were, as you said full of cruelty/ vulgarity/ etc.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, take the bus. My only concern would be the kindergartner in the morning with K-6, although my kids rode with K-5. They do learn some new words, but for the most part they tend to sit with kids their own age. IMO riding the bus is just a part of growing up, learning to deal with new experiences, etc. At one point when my son went through a phase where he was afraid of the bus (long story), one of his teachers actually advised me to NOT drive him. It all worked out.

1 mom found this helpful

I vote for letting them both take the bus. I go to a charter school with no bus available, but for my niece and nephew riding the bus to school is the biggest fun of their whole day. When my SIL is volunteering at the school and can drive them straight home, they still want to take the bus and she just drives home behind it on those days.

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School bus, not public bus, right? Of course I would let them. I think that interacting with other kids at the bus stop and negotiating a bus 'on their own' is something kids learn from. And mostly enjoy. Your kindergartener will have recess with older age kids anyway so you will have to get used to them interacting anyway.

2 moms found this helpful

My kindergartner's FAVORITE part of the entire day was riding the bus. It's one of only 2 things he misses now that we homeschool. (The other is lunch).

I think it really depends on the child AND the bus.

I moved a maximum of every 2 years growing up, and was on a lot of different busses with a lot of different schools. Some were GREAT. Others were, as you said full of cruelty/ vulgarity/ etc.

2 moms found this helpful

Since we don't have the option of riding buses in town we just take the kid that is actually enrolled in the elementary school system to school and she eats breakfast there so she can enter the building 15 minutes before school starts to go and eat. She often is hard to get to school early so she gets an Oatmeal bar and milk or juice in the van on the way and gets there right at 8.

The other child is in preschool and is not an actual enrolled child in the elementary school system so absences and tardy's don't really count against them. When the older child gets to school at 8 then the other child gets to pre-school about 8:15 and goes right in and eats breakfast with his friends.

If we had the option of a school bus we would let the pre-school child ride and not the older one. The little bus is only kids that are small and there is at least one teacher on at all times. They know the families and will not let the child go to anyone not known, they are only in town and not out driving around all over the county. The bus drivers are never left alone with the little kids and I feel that would be the safer situation.

With your situation I would ask around the K class to see if anyone in my area is driving and offer to give them gas money to do a kid pool (car pool for kids). You might even find another mom in the same situation as you and you can trade off so you can each stay home for at least a week at a time. Otherwise, for the safety of your other little ones I might say put both on their buses and hope for the best.

Next year hopefully both kids will be at the same school and you'll be able to take both at the same time.

1 mom found this helpful

Buuuuuuuu-uuuuuuuuuus. LOL! I lived on a military base in a foreign country when I started K. Yep, I was a bus kid. Like other moms have said, your DD will sit with kids her own age and wont pay much attention to the older kids. If you're worried about cruelty, vulgarity, etc maybe you could talk to the school bus driver. My driver when I got in middle school/high school seperated the age groups. Middle school had to sit in the first half of the bus and HS sat in the back. Assigned seats. The whole bit. Maybe this driver operates the same. :)

As for standing in the cold, just bundle up & don't take her out until the last minute (maybe when you see the bus turn down the street or pass by on a parallell street).

There's my thoughts.... Good luck whatever you decide.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm amazed at all the people that are against the bus. Maybe it depends where you live? For me the convenience was huge for the reasons you mentioned. Also, think of the environmental impact of all of those cars vs. one bus. Even thought it's not far away, you will also be spending a lot more on gas and putting miles on your car. Obviously you don't want to put your children's safety at risk, but many studies have shown that it is safer to ride on the school bus than to drive yourself. I would check with other families who have been riding the bus in your neighborhood to get the real details for your specific bus as far as the behavior of the kids (talk to as many as you can). Even if you're not sure one way or the other you can always try it out and change your mind later if it's not working out for you.

1 mom found this helpful

The preschool bus is a no brainer it picks up at your house and only other preschoolers will be on it. I'd introduce it as a new experience with going to school and leave it at that. And yes I would let the kindergartner go too. They generally separate the younger ones from the older ones talk to the school to find out how it's handled.

Updated

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, take the bus. My only concern would be the kindergartner in the morning with K-6, although my kids rode with K-5. They do learn some new words, but for the most part they tend to sit with kids their own age. IMO riding the bus is just a part of growing up, learning to deal with new experiences, etc. At one point when my son went through a phase where he was afraid of the bus (long story), one of his teachers actually advised me to NOT drive him. It all worked out.

1 mom found this helpful

I say let them ride the bus. The peschool bus you seem to have almost talked yourself into. As for the Kindergartener riding with 6th graders I wouldn't worry too much. I know several bus drivers from different districts and they all say the kindergarteners ride in the front of the bus so that the drivers can keep a better eye on the little ones, they also aren't allowed off the bus unless a parent is at the bus stop (some will look a house or two away to make sure you are there but the rule is AT the bus stop) I have a kindergartener and a 4th grader that ride the same bus and my kindergartener isn't allowed to sit with his sister, he has to sit in the first 2 seats behind the driver. My kids really enjoy riding the bus. sooooo I say let them ride the busses until they say they are uncomfortable doing so.

1 mom found this helpful

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