Kindergarten - First Day on Bus

Updated on August 30, 2012
A.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN
13 answers

Every time I think of putting her on the bus I want to start sobbing. (I, of course, have hidden this from her and act like everything will be fine). She keeps asking questions like: 'what if it takes me to the wrong school?' and I reassure her, but in my head I am thinking OMG WHAT IF IT DOES (or something else scary happens)?!!!

Any other mamas out there that were terrified of putting their kindergartner on the bus the first time, but did it anyways?

Any ideas to make it easier/better for her?

ETA the bus stop is our driveway, she is the only one that will get on there. We don't know any other kids that will be on the bus.
I want her to get used to the bus because she has to take it everyday (I will go right to work), and they give the kids extra help the first few days so I don't want her to miss out on that by driving her.

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answers from Chicago on

My son started riding the bus at 3, yes 3. He transitioned to the school districts early childhood program for speech therapy. I could not take him - we both work so he had to be bused from his daycare and back. I was scared at first - for him - knowing he'd never done it and how in the world could I let a 3 year old do it. All the bus drivers know who's supposed to be on their bus and where they are going - the bus drivers practice their routes long before school starts.

Best of luck!!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Erie on

From one worrywart mom to another....I just put my kindergartner on the bus for the first time yesterday. I was TERRIFIED lol. I wanted to cry because I was soooo nervous for her. But I did it...and I spent the whole day with crazy thoughts running through my head (what if I go to get her at the bus stop and she isn't there?!). Then 3:30 rolled around. I went outside and lo and behold...there she was. Bouncing happily off the bus and telling me what an awesome first day she had! I realized that I hadn't been giving her enough credit. She is super smart and mature and has way less fear than her mama!!

Don't worry. She will get to the right school...and she will get off the bus still in one piece in the afternoon :)

Hang in there!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Terrified? No! I put my 3-year-old on the preschool bus and it was great! I can't imagine having to drive. (I mean, I drive my others who don't have a bus but was happy that her school, special ed. through the district, had a bus).

If a child gets bussed to a wrong location, he/she does not disappear forever. :) And hopefully there won't be any mishaps, anyway.

She'll love the bus!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hon, clam down!
Schools and buses deal with a new crop of Kindergarteners every year, they usually have it down to a science.
She will likely sit up front, where the driver can keep a good eye and she can see where she's going.
Assure her that her bus driver has been taking kids to the school, likely for some years now!
Keep your reassurances upbeat, positive and encouraging.
Our school had the K kids wear name badges with bus numbers for the first few weeks til they get the drill down pat. :)

p.s. I think we're all terrified of putting a Kindergartener on a bus and a whole "class" of them go every year! Usually the kids are fine, and the moms break down after the bus pulls away.

It will be OK. Promise!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

This is a classic example of your fears overtaking reality. My son had just turned 3 when the school district wanted him to take a full size bus home. He was the youngest child in the whole school! I was nervous but asked that they put him in front with the driver by himself. There was one time in a year and a half that the bus driver forgot to drop my son off but other than that, the drivers would never take your child to the wrong school. BTW, the time when she "forgot" to drop my son off, I was freaked but they looped around and brought him. Hey, I forgot to get him off the bus once happens. It will be fine.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

It won't take her to the wrong school! I've never heard of that happening, ever.

It's natural for a mom to get kindergarten jitters, everyone does. But on the bus and at school all day, she will be surrounded by highly trained professionals who do what they do because they truly love kids. You survived kindergarten, right? We all did. Your daughter will do great.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

You are right to think that you should put her on the bus from day one. That will make things much easier on her.

I am a teacher. I teach preK, and used to teach K, and I put my little ones on the bus to go home every day. I get to know our bus drivers, and they are all kind and patient with little ones. My students get home safely, day after day after day. Riding the bus is just a simple part of the school day. My little ones think it's fun. Your daughter will, too.



answers from Dallas on

My SIL shared your fears. The first day, maybe two days of kindergarten, she simply followed the bus to school. She did not mention to her daughter she would do this. She wanted to check out the bus safety. She wanted her hubby to follow the bus home, but she was convinced by friends that it would be a traffic nightmare at the school and virtually impossible to pull off.



answers from Minneapolis on

I let my daughter ride the bus, follow it in my car, and take a pic of her getting off it on the first day. It's a fun memory thing for me an puts my mind at ease.



answers from Chicago on

OMGosh. I had this same conversation with my 14 year old taking the bus to high school on the first day! :-) Catching bus for the first time is scary for mom and child. Can you follow the bus in your car for the first day to ensure her that she will arrive where she's suppose to? Or you can find out where at the school the bus will drop her in the morning and take a picture of that entrance or building for her to keep with her. She'll know she's there when she sees the familiar "landmark." Or you can follow the bus route by car on the first day. But she might expect you to do that all the time. Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

Yep. We just had Kinder camp last week where the Kinder kids come for 3 days to get used to the school before the other kids are there. The first day I got to ride with her, but the 2nd/3rd she was on her own. She did great.

At our school, especially the Kinders, they meet them at the bus, put bus # stickers on them. They also tell us to be at the bus stop 10 mins before the scheduled time. Don't worry if the bus is late the first few days. That is how/when the schedule gets worked out.

Here are some tips.
1. Follow the bus to school. Have her ride the bus and then you follow it, say goodbye at the door. This is encouraged at our school vs. driving the kids the first few days.

2. Write her bus # on her backpack.
Ex. My son, I wrote his name + His school name.
Carson C. , Mayberry ES - K

3. Find a picture keychain. Instead of placing a picture key chain, put a card with your daughter's info on it.
Ex. Kelly Smith,
Mayberry ES,
Kinder - Mrs. Jones,
Bus #123

At our school, a parent or babysitter has to meet the bus in order for the Kinders to be 'released'. If a parent isn't at the stop when the bus gets there, the child is taken back to the school to wait for the parent. Once there was a mom that was racing home, she was behind the bus, but since the driver didn't see her standing there, the driver didn't let the kid off. The bus turned and started to leave. The mom realizing the kid was still on the bus was able to flag the bus down and get her child.



answers from Seattle on

We live too close to the school for the bus. But, if she were going to ride the bus to school, I'd probably end up following the bus in my car to make sure everything was ok. I'm not normally overprotective, but I would be on the first day.


answers from Philadelphia on

why not drive her if you're so worried?

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