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Is it really bad for a (nearly) 8 years old child to be on a school bus both ways?

(29 Posts)
LovetheHarp Sun 09-Oct-11 18:13:05

posted on here before about my DD1 and considering all options at the moment as not very happy with schooling at the moment.

One of the options is an independent junior, but due to logistics (other children, etc) she would have to go on the school bus both ways (a journey of 30 minutes each). Questions are:
1 - is it too much for a nearly 8 year old
2 - is it going to cut us off from the school (will not see teachers every day or other parents, etc)

Would you consider it? Any advice appreciated!

Choufleur Sun 09-Oct-11 18:16:34

I don't think it's too much. No practical advice but I used to have to get a bus to and from school at that age.

MMQC Sun 09-Oct-11 18:16:44

I have two children, a son of seven who has been on the bus every day since he started in year 1 and a daughter of five who has been on the bus since two days after she started school. The bus trip is only a couple of miles but takes the best part of half an hour with all the starting and stopping and general faffing around! You can probably guess what my answer would be.

inkyfingers Sun 09-Oct-11 18:46:40

If you like the school, the travel is nearly always do-able. It will seem less of a deal as she gets older and she can use it to read or chat.

doesntfitin Sun 09-Oct-11 18:49:04

I wouldn't consider it.

mixmouse Sun 09-Oct-11 18:59:38

School bus journey is usually fun for dc, ds has been going on his school bus since year 1 and he is now in year 8 the journey time is about 30 mins each way definately not too kuch for the right school. Just make sure that you attend all the social events at the school to keep contact. Take time to chat at the bus stop with other mums too. Talk to the class rep and try and attend social events with the other mums and you should be fine

LovetheHarp Sun 09-Oct-11 19:09:38

Thanks for that, sounds promising. She knows some children on the bus as we live in a very small village and some of the children were at her current school, so that would help a little. I will give this more thought then!!

lostlady Sun 09-Oct-11 19:16:07

I moved my child from a school at which she was doing badly, but we could walk to, to a school which is great, but needs a 25 min bus journey. I am so pleased I did; well worth it!

LovetheHarp Sun 09-Oct-11 19:22:41

PS I forgot to say she would be in Y3 and when I mentioned it to her she seemed really really keen.

PalmTrees Sun 09-Oct-11 22:11:16

At least 60% of the children in my school are on the bus twice a day from reception age, causes them no problems at all.

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Mon 10-Oct-11 08:55:37

My DD did this from yr 3 and she loved it - the bus journey was the highlight of the day for her!

It was a great time to chat to friends and lots of screaming as far as I could tell!

As your DD is keen I am sure she will have no problems at all.

If it is a dedicated school bus the school will very likely have a buddy system in place for older ones to look out for the new younger pupils - though after the first few days i doubt if your DD will need it.

At her school most of the pupils used the bus sothere was very little school gate culture to miss out on. I still got to know other mums and everyone at the school through class events, coffee mornings etc.

Really, don't worry about it.

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Mon 10-Oct-11 08:56:08

doesntfitin - why not?

marialuisa Mon 10-Oct-11 09:45:15

DD started using the school bus (for an even longer journey!) in Y3 and it's been fine. She is on with secondary aged kids and their behaviour can, naturally, be less than ideal in terms of language or whatever at times but it's done DD a lot of good. I come from a very rural area where you're expected to put reception age kids on the bus so it wasn't such a big deal for me, but i know some people find it odd.

TipOfTheSlung Mon 10-Oct-11 09:52:37

Mine used to go on the school bus aged 4, 5 and 7
it is not too much for a child of that age


it does cause problems with communication with the school. We rarely went in though because I don't drive and DH was at work. Such major problems in fact that when we moved we moved to a town to makes sure I could be at the school gate.
Sore point because then only dd could get a place at the local school and now they're being taxied to a school in an outlying village.
We had tears (mine) only this morning because ds2 was asking if he could stay for football and I had to say no (even though we had said hopefully he could when we moved to a town)
I feel like i have let them down.
They don't get to have friends over to play because I don't know th eother parents and they can't do any after school clubs, going to school discos is normally impossible and they have to miss any fetes held after school

Bramshott Mon 10-Oct-11 09:54:29

Both DDs have been on the school bus since Reception - aged 4. They both love it, to the extent that when DD2 started school and I took her in for the first week, DD1 didn't want to come with us, but to keep on getting the bus with her friends!

Re being cut off from school - this was a worry, but I always make sure I pick up on a Friday, and go in to help with reading once a week, so I still feel quite involved.

startail Mon 10-Oct-11 10:09:49

Liketipoftheslug says. Nothing wrong with them going on the bus, but they do miss out.

DD1 does go on the bus to secondary, it is ridiculous, takes an hour to do a 15 minute trip.
DD2 could go to primary on the bus, but again it takes 40+ mins for a 10 minute journey and I have to pay because its 2.9 milesangry several other children don't use it for the same reason (the route is such that children 6 minutes from school would spend a hour going round our tiny lanes, clearly their mum brings them)
Small village primary so everything revolves around the school gate and chatting in the park after school.
At least we now have a text system so working mums and those reliant on the bus do get information. It used to be if you didn't see the poster you didn't know.
Residents near school moan about school run parking, but until we get two mini buses doing sensible -25 min routes instead of one coach doing a huge loop round the lanes on both sides of school no one is going to use the bus unless they have too.

LovetheHarp Mon 10-Oct-11 11:23:12

Having read this I think I ought to pick up once a week, and maybe DH could do another time in the week, so that at least we get some occasional contact there with the school or parents should they need a quick word or just generally get some of the "gossip". I suspect this will be less necessary as they get older, as secondary school children tend to go to school themselves anyway?

VivaLeBeaver Mon 10-Oct-11 11:27:40

Ask the school what methods of communication are available as you won't be picking up or dropping off. Can you email with any concerns, etc?

Abra1d Mon 10-Oct-11 11:35:36

Mine have used the school bus since they were five.

It didn't bother me at all missing out on school playground stuff. There are always newsletters and PTAs, etc. I volunteered for class rep stuff to keep in touch, and organized a few events.

Ragwort Mon 10-Oct-11 11:39:14

Another one who's DC used the school bus from age 4 - and loved it - like Albra I kept in touch via the PTA etc - probably picked up at least once a week due to an after school club or something.

Really liked it (both me and DS grin) - now we have to walk every day !

IndigoBell Tue 11-Oct-11 09:47:17

Don't the leave all their belongings on the bus? No way my kids would get all their stuff to and from school if they went on a bus.

And you do miss up if you don't do the pick-ups. Absolutely.

Most schools aren't very good at communicating with you if you don't do the pick up.

cantspel Tue 11-Oct-11 10:15:04

Both mine went on the school bus from 5 including my oldest who went to a sen school.
They never had a problem with not coping with school bags or losing stuff. My youngest even managed his guitar, together with swim bag and school bag without a hitch. Teach them to be responsible and organised and they will cope and amaze you with what they are capable of.
My sen son had a comunications book so we never missed out on any info and my other son just put notices and letters into his bag which i would check each evening.

Bramshott Tue 11-Oct-11 10:32:47

They soon learn Indigo!

Our school doesn't really go in for classroom door chats, so there's not much to miss out on - we get the newsletter weekly, I communicate with the office via phone and email, and see the teacher on a Friday when I go in to hear reading and pick up.

I guess maybe rural schools who have a significant proportion of kids travelling by bus develop ways of communicating which don't require parents to be in school?

Abra1d Tue 11-Oct-11 10:36:03

They learn NOT to leave things on the bus and to be organized, which is part of the point.

We have pursued the bus with flashing lights, though, to retrieve homework/phone/PE kit!

And once my son, then aged 14, fell asleep on the bus and nearly ended up in the depot.

But these episodes are rarer than you might imagine. And they do build up a bus community. Last night my daughter was given what amounted to almost private tuition in one of her language homeworks by a group of older boys.

cantspel Tue 11-Oct-11 14:09:21

Abraid your child might not have learnt to be organised but mine and many more did/do.

My 14 year old now travels by train and there is no one to wake him up, remind him to pick up his bag or chivvy him along. There is nothing special about my son as most of his year group will be either on a train or bus and they all manage fine.

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