Should I let my 5 year old ride the school bus?

[deleted account] ( 102 moms have responded )

My 5yr old bus come at 620 in the morning and will return at 430 in the evening I was wondering if that was too long for a 5year old to be out and about? Should I continue to take her to school in the morning?

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Gwen - posted on 08/28/2011

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Tasha, I am a school bus driver and even though I don't know where you live I hope I can help shed some light on this subject. Our schools, that I drive for, starts at 9 and gets out at 3:30. My first pickup is just before 8 and my last drop off is around 4:30.
Even though there are many kids on the bus of all ages I seat my little ones at front. One due to safety reasons and the other is because I don't want them sitting at the back and hearing older kids talk. I am also close by to answer questions and talk to them to make the drive go by quicker. I also allow food and drinks on the bus realizing that kids are starved when they are done school and need to have a snack. So even though it seems like a long bus ride if the bus driver is working with the parents of these little ones it wont seem long for them. Think it sounds worse to a parent sometimes than it does to a child. Do other classmates ride with your 5 year old? Do other neighbors kids that you know ride that can assist them if need be? Please talk to your bus driver to ask how to make the ride better for your little one. Also, in our school division, the first month of school is quite hectic with bussing. Sometimes you have more kids registered to ride than originally thought so buses are overloaded. Hopefully things settle down in the following month.
Hope I helped, have a great school year!

Allison - posted on 07/06/2012

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I've struggled with this question too because my youngest is 5. I say if you have the option to take her and pick her up then you should do that. I would really evaluate several things though first like 1) how long is it before she actually gets to/home from the school, 2) what is her social behavior like (i.e. is she more of an extrovert or introvert), 3) what grade level the school goes to, and 4) do you have a potential older "buddy" neighbor that you could pair her up with (most likely a girl because sometimes they make them sit according to gender on the opposite sides of the bus). I have two older children that I took to school for the first several years and reluctantly let go of to ride the bus. They love it though because it's their only "free" time aside from recess to get to chat with their friends. It also gives them an opportunity to meet other kids in our neighborhood around the same age that they wouldn't get to know because they don't share the same class. However, my youngest is extremely shy and introverted. Even with riding the bus with his older sister--it would be too hard for him. I hope this helps you figure out what is best for her. It's not always easy getting out and doing that, but if it makes her transition easier than it is all worth it!

Anita - posted on 06/27/2012

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You know your child and her stamina level. Follow your best instinct while balancing your own energy and that of the environment. Busses are more friendly for the environment, but may not suit your child. Also, a lot changes as a child goes from being 5 to 6. What is necessary at the beginning of the school year may no longer be necessary a few months later.

Bobbie - posted on 11/07/2011

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It depends on how your child feels about it. If they don't mind and things seem to be going smoothly thats what you do. Also you have to think about the cost of taking your child to and from school if money is tight.

Kacie - posted on 08/24/2011

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if you're home and able to bring her and pick her up, then do it. here, school doesnt start till 7:55 (tardy bell at 8) and lets out at 2:55/3. I dont leave the house to bring my 5 yr old until 7:20 and he's dropped off and im out of the car line at 7:40. when i pick him up, we're home a little after 3! the bus he would ride picks kids up in the neighborhood at 7:15 and they dont get dropped off till after 4

Does she want to ride the bus? my son really wants to (this is his 1st year in school...kindy) but i have talked to him about it and he's content with me dropping off/picking up. these days, bad things happen on the bus. and i dont like the fact that he wouldnt get home till after 4! so for me, im not comfortable with it. Im a SAHM, so im able to be there to do it

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Cheyenne - posted on 05/05/2014

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Yes, All school buses are completely safe. they all have special evacuation system. Plus they can make a lot of friends at that age.

Linda - posted on 11/29/2013

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I drive a school bus, and I have children of all ages on my bus. We try to have all the little ones sit at the front, and they are not allowed off the bus unless they are met by an approved person or an older sibling is with them. Also, after each school, after the last child departs we walk to the back of the bus and check for sleeping children and lost items. We are very careful with our little ones. However, only you know your situation. I do know however that children who get put on the bus with a sibling at the beginning of the year, and cry when the door closes are the same children that will smile every morning and answer back after a little while. They get their circle of friends around them and chatter all he way to or from school.i also do one final "child check" walk before I leave the bus after parking.

Enna - posted on 10/17/2013

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If you are able to pick her up and/or drop her off, then I would do it. There is no benefit to riding the bus. I drive my kids as often as I can. However, when my older daughter (13) rides the bus she complains about their being too many kids on the bus (three to a seat, which is crazy for teenagers because they're just too big to sit like that). Also, it can be a bad idea if your daughter is riding with older kids because she may pick up on their bad behavior.
I don't think the school bus is more dangerous than riding in the car, but it is irritating to me that they don't have the kids in seat belts when they're on there.
I also think that this was a good question and you shouldn't listen to the people that are basically calling you stupid. And I also think it's kind of funny because some of the other comments make it sound like she's ON THE BUS for 10 hours. I don't know how long school is, but I'm sure it's not more than a couple hours on the bus, which is still a lot. Anyway, tons of kids ride the school bus and I can't say that they're all bad parents because of it. You do what you need to do.

R - posted on 10/17/2013

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I feel Children under the age of six years riding in a school bus along with up to thirteen year olds for any length of time is not good. You might have to put your child in that position due to being a single parent and/or you must work to earn a living, but think of it as: this is your child’s environment for half of their life, that day, you are not there, when the child gets back with you how many hours do you see each other before bedtime? Maybe three? Some kids are on that buss longer than the time spent awake at home with the parent. HOW SAD

Angela - posted on 09/13/2013

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My exhusband left our 5 year old at the bus stop by himself....I think it is wrong, but he said he didn't break any laws.

Total - posted on 11/17/2012

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First of all, the title for this web site is sexist. It gives the impression only women are capable rearing children and watching your local news will burst that bubble. Yes that is too long and it's unsettling you would value outside opinions in this matter. This isn't like figuring which shop to take your car for repairs. Keep in mind all parents are not protective of their children, why entertaining suggestions is unwise. It's okay for a 5 yr old to ride the bus, until something happens. Many parents are lazy but they will never admit it. They cleverly hide that fact under seemingly educated reasons, why they would allow a 5yr old to ride bus.

[deleted account]

My school aged kids were 5 and 6 (turning 6 in sept and turned 7 in june) this yr and begged to ride the bus. We are close enough I can walk to school for them, drove them typically due to our extreme weather, but they wanted so badly to ride the bus. I noticed a change in my younger child (5 yr old boy, immature for his age and had adjustment issues w/kindergarten) for it. It was not a bad change, he started coming out of his shell more, being more responsible for his school work and daily behavior sheets. I think every kid is different, but my kids both were super happy about riding the bus and I don't regret letting them, but especially my 5 yr old.

Stephanie - posted on 07/11/2012

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i would never let my 5 year old go to and came back from school without a responsible adult. i stress to you that anything could happen while your child is alone in this world , please reconcider your options

Amber - posted on 07/09/2012

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Tasha,

You mentioned that you own your own business. Is this a business in town or closer to town? If so you could maybe have the bus drop her there after school so it would maybe not be as long and just take her in the morning. That is what one of my friends does, she owns a businees in town and the bus ride is about 30 min on a heavy traffic day.

Kimberly - posted on 07/09/2012

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I would take her to school. Five is very young, and I remember older kids giving me a hard time when I was that young and on the bus. The bus driver isn't watching all the time!

Virginia - posted on 07/07/2012

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I think it would be better if you took her to school...but I guess it also depends on what works out best for you in that situation :)

Melody - posted on 07/02/2012

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If I let my 5 yr old ride the bus he woould be gone from 6:30 a.m. till 4:30 p.m. there's no way he'll make it home without having a melt down at least once if not twice, I would prefer to drive him at keast the first quarter then maybe the second quarter he could ride it home, I would prefer to leave it at that for the rest of the year and maybe make it both ways when he's 6 or 7

Cathleen - posted on 07/02/2012

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I agree. I think if she wants to ride the bus and seems to be ok with it let her do it but if she is uncomfortable maybe try to drive her but I do think the socializing and independence is good for them!

Natasha - posted on 06/20/2012

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I let my 5 year old son ride the bus to and from school, about 35 minutes each way and he was fine. At first I had been driving him and it felt weird putting him on the bus but once I saw he had no problem with it, I felt better. Do whatever you're comfortable with. My little cousin went through all 12 years of school never having caught a bus in her life, her mom drove her. I don't know what I think about that.

Janaye - posted on 11/14/2011

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If your child was home would you allow them to go full tilt for 10 hours without resting? If the answer is yes, let them ride. If not, then make arrangements to drop off/pick up. As a teacher and now school principal for 16 years and a mom of a 5 year old, that many hours is too much in my opinion. But, as moms we need to be careful to compare our kids with others. Just because there are other 5 year olds on the bus doesn't mean it's a good idea for yours.

Sherry - posted on 11/10/2011

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no its not my 5 yr old day is consistent mon-fri he gets picked up at 7:21 am and get home at 6:10 pm....i would let her ride the bus

Lora - posted on 11/09/2011

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Yes, I wouldn't want her on the bus that long. That would be to long for me to ride and I'm not 5. Take the child to school and enjoy her while she/he is are young.

Krystal - posted on 11/09/2011

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My son will be 5 in March, He rides the school back front to headstart. That part he likes, Because he feels like a big boy. Is what he tells me anyways. But only you can decide that. I would say let them try the bus.

[deleted account]

My 5 year old daughter was getting picked up at 6:20 last year and coming back at 2:45. This year she gets picked up at 6:40 and 2:45 drop off. The most important thing for me is bedtime. Lights out by 7:30, usually earlier. I also take her to school if for any reason we are going to be out the night before. If we are having a rough week (a cold, waking up in the middle of the night etc) I take her in.

Cyndee - posted on 11/07/2011

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Be careful of others opinions on this one. only you know your child, and the degree of growth, dependance that you want for your child.

Katy - posted on 11/07/2011

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We have to face the same decision in Fall of next year, and I'm not too happy about it. :(

Sharon - posted on 11/06/2011

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I live in country Australia and most people who live out of town here don't have a choice - the cost and logistics of transporting the children themsleves is simply too prohibitive. Some children adapt and some don't - you could trial it. If the bus has the same kids on it every day, chances are they will form a little community and look out for each other. Perhaps you could try to find out more about the route/passengers/driver and see if you are comfortable with what you find out? My kids have caught the bus since they started school and they have been fine, but we are in town (small town) so it's only a short trip.

Tanya - posted on 11/05/2011

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What time does school start and when does it end? It depends on that. My 5 year old LOVES it!

Tiffany - posted on 11/04/2011

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My son been riding the school bus since he was 3yrs old and he loves riding the school bus too!!!! I think that you should let your son experince riding the school bus for couple of days and ask him how he likes riding the school bus then go from there to decide if you want him to ride it or not!!!! I dont think that is to early in the morning and I dont think that is to late in the afternoon either!!!! Good luck with deciding to let him ride the bus or not!!!!

Susan - posted on 10/26/2011

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I wasn't going to let mine ride the bus, but I am glad my mother changed my mind. She loves riding the bus and has made more friends.

Andrea - posted on 10/26/2011

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I think so yes. your child will most likely fall asleep and then might get left on the bus. its happened to my boys many times.

Tikidra - posted on 10/23/2011

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Yes my son loves it but the daycare provider picks him up now but he still wishes he could ride the bus.

Tiffany - posted on 10/22/2011

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My kids get picked up right at 7, there school starts at 7:45 and ends at 2:30 and are home by 3 but we live right down the road from the school. I mean the timing is reasonable cause of all the stops along the way. And we live inside city limits which I would figure in being a factor as well.

Bonnie - posted on 10/19/2011

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Yes, that seems like an awfully long time to be on a bus for a 5 year old! If you can, I would continue to drive. Also, I have a friend who is a principal and says that 90 percent of all problems that happen at school start on the school bus!! Good luck!!!

Julia Bailey - posted on 10/18/2011

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i think that if your able to pick your child up and drop her off them do it! I only work monday and tuesday so on those days my 5 year old takes the bus but then again she does have a 7 year old brother who is on the bus with her.

Amber - posted on 10/18/2011

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My daughter (4yrs) started preschool this year and rides the bus home in the afternoon. She likes riding the bus. Here they have 5-point restraints for pre-k children that ride and they have to sit near the bus driver, also only an approved list of adults are able to take her off the bus. (we have to physically unbuckle her ourselves). I don't have any problems with it. I take her in the mornings because I am able to, but i let her ride home on the bus because it gives me more time in the afternoon to get things done that I need to. School doesn't start for her until 8:15 and they get out at 2pm so she's home by 3:30. Over all I think it just depends on the child and the school. If they didn't do things the way they do here I don't know that i'd be comfortable with her riding.

Cheryl - posted on 10/17/2011

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The school bus picks up the kids right in front of our house but I still take my 5 year old to school with his sister in the mornings. I don't think that it is wrong to put your child on the bus, really your preference. If your daughter starts to express concerns then maybe you can take her to school in the morning and let her ride on the way home, or vise versa. Listen to your heart and go with what it says!

Brittany - posted on 10/17/2011

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My 4 year old is in pre-k and I take him to school in the morning and then in the afternoon he rides the bus home. The first 2 days didn't go so well but once he made friends on the bus and then got the understanding that mommy would stand by the mail box to get him off the bus he was okay. now he loves to ride it and then acts crazy when i try to pick him up from school because he would rather ride the bus.

Sangene - posted on 10/13/2011

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Hi Tasha, I agree with the others that advised that if you can drop her off and pick her back up it would be better...being on the bus for that amount of time I think is too much for a big kid far less more a small one. I'm from Barbados and here school generally starts at 9:00am and ends at 3:00pm; my kids go to a private school which starts the same time as the public schools but finish at 2:30pm. I'm a stay at home mom so I'm able to drop them off and pick them back up, we live about 8 mins drive away from school. I understand that you own your own business so it may not be as easy for you, but still see if you can manage to work something out. My Son Liam is five years old today and his brother Nathan will be nine on Monday October 17th...everyone always me if I planned it. LOL.

Catie - posted on 10/12/2011

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My kids ride the bus and love it! I thought that I would take them at first but I am glad that I didn't. I have a baby at home as well and I would have to get her up and out early to take them and it would be hard on her and on me. As long as you feel that the bus your child is on is safe, than I think it can be good in helping build independence!

Melinda - posted on 10/07/2011

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my daughter is 4 yrs old and she's in junior kindergarten..she ride the bus eversince the first day of school..at first i was hesitant to let her ride the bus for the reason that shes too young..but as a single parent, with a full time job, i dont have much choice do i? but i did ask her if she does like riding in a bus and she said she likes it..and i like the idea that the bus driver let the toddlers sit in the front..i do pick her up @ school when i get a chance but thats rarely..as for you, you do have a choice of dropping her off and picking her up..but if the child likes riding the bus then let her be..

Maya - posted on 10/04/2011

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I agree, but be sure to be there to drop off and pick up from the bus stop! Too young to walk home alone... WAY too young

Lindsy - posted on 10/04/2011

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My little 5 yrs bus gets here at 3:25pm and she is let off at the bottom of our hill. I can see her get off. Today I didnt have no one here to watch the baby and I walked out to watch her get off and she was not there. I got scared had to have the school find her. What had happen is she fell asleep on the bus and missed her stop.. She usely has someone on the bus to get her but today she was on here own.. Im getting a stroller and walking to the bus stop from now on Or picking her up!!!

Melody - posted on 10/03/2011

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I have a little 4 year old and I'm not ready to let him ride the bus yet. My situation is different, my son special needs and he isn't able to talk yet so I prefer to drive him and pick him up. I'm also a SAHM so until he can say he wants to ride the bus, I am content to taking him and picking him up.

Tiffany - posted on 10/01/2011

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I let both of my school aged children ride the bus at 5. I like the idea because for 1 they are being supervised by an adult and 2 they really enjoy the independence of being able to ride the bus by themselves. It is a start to letting them grow up instead of hanging on our hips. Not in a cruel way but with the world as it is today, we have no choice but to start teaching them independence and responsibility at an early age.

Teresa - posted on 09/30/2011

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If you have the option (i.e. time and resources) to take your child to school, I would do it. My son goes to a charter school here and there is no bus service. We use the time to eat breakfast on the way, go over spelling wordds, say a morning prayer, and just plain communicate and bond. But if your child has to ride the bus then he just has to ride the bus. It does seem like a long time, but kids adapt easily, it seems more easily than us adults do.

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