Image Credit: Jen Wright / flickr
Now that summer’s over, many school systems are going back to full-time, in-person teaching. And that means the fleets of school buses left in storage during the vacation are returning to the streets. Understandably, many parents — after having their children at home all last year — are anxious about entrusting them to someone else to drive to school. But letting your kids ride the school bus doesn’t have to be a source of anxiety. As you’ll find below, there are plenty of reasons why riding the school bus is good for kids.
It Teaches Kids Time Management Skills
For most kids, their days are rigidly planned out by parents and teachers, which means there aren’t a lot of chances for them to practice managing their own schedules. While this is by no means a criticism, it does make it more difficult for kids to find opportunities to develop time management skills. Riding the school bus is a safe and low-risk way for kids to learn how to manage their time and stick to a schedule. As they get older, kids will benefit from having learned these skills now, instead of having to catch up on learning them later.
It Teaches Kids to be Responsible
Just like with time management, parents are usually the ones responsible for their children’s actions. And while this is normal, it’s important to encourage kids to take control of their own actions when appropriate. Letting your kids ride the school bus is one way to safely encourage them to take on more responsibility. They’ll need to know when to get to the bus stop, how long to ride the bus for, what to pay attention to while riding the bus so they don’t miss their stop and a multitude of other unforeseen responsibilities. While this may seem overwhelming to them at first, with a little practice and patience they’ll develop the confidence necessary to handle more responsibility.
It Offers Kids the Chance to Socialize and Make New Friends
The bus is an excellent place for kids to practice their social skills. There will be children there from different backgrounds, financial situations, and grades who they’ve probably never met before. And after a little practice, it’ll start to feel natural to socialize with new people. Who knows, they may even make some new friends. Not only will this extend their friend group, but it’ll also broaden the types of people they’ve interacted with, helping them learn how to handle a large number of social situations.
It Teaches Kids Resiliency
Not every day on the school bus will be a pleasant experience. It’s only natural for kids to bicker and sometimes get angry with each other. Learning how to handle these situations with grace and fortitude is critical to developing a resilient mindset; something they’ll need more of as they get older. They’ll probably also be given the opportunity to step in and diffuse tense situations in a safe environment, increasing their conflict resolution arsenal and teaching them that words are better for resolving disagreements. As always, the bus driver will be there to handle any situations that get out of control, serving as a safety valve for situations that kids aren’t ready to handle yet without an adult.
It Provides Kids with Freedom
While school buses are of course supervised by the bus driver, students are essentially left to their own devices throughout the trip. These moments of quasi-freedom are rare for kids and should be cultivated as much as possible to allow them opportunities to learn and grow. As we mentioned above, they’ll have the chance to socialize with new people and spend time with friends they may not see anywhere else. Kids can speak their minds more when they’re on the bus and feel more in control of what’s happening to them. These few minutes, away from family and familiar friends, also provide kids with a chance to reflect on their day or process their personal thoughts.
It Relieves Stress in the Mornings
Mornings can be hectic, especially when you’re trying to shepherd more than one kid to school and also get to work on time. School buses help alleviate some of this stress by keeping everyone’s schedule intact. You can use programs like Stopfinder to locate the nearest bus stop to your house and also track the bus’s schedule every morning, so your kids make it there on time. Less stress in the morning ensures that kids leave the house with a more positive mindset, ultimately improving their concentration and performance while at school.
It’s a Safe Way to Get to School
School buses are safe in every sense of the word. Safety is prioritized in their construction with an emphasis on impact cushioning and crumple reduction. They’re built to stand out, making them one of the most recognizable vehicles on the road. Safety also factors heavily into the training bus drivers receive. Before stepping into the big seat, bus drivers will receive extensive training and need to be properly certified. What’s more, maintaining a bus driver’s license requires continual training and certification upkeep. Lastly, parents can monitor the location of the school bus with Transfinder’s Stopfinder software. It provides real-time updates on your child’s status, as well as the most accurate bus schedule information.
Riding the school bus isn’t just about transportation, it’s about making a positive impact on children’s lives. At Transfinder, we believe that taking the school bus should be a beneficial experience for kids, which is why we’ve focused on building safer and more effective bus routes for over 29 years. We’re dedicated to helping school districts face new challenges with our innovative and ever-evolving software products. No matter what school bus routing problems you’re trying to solve, Transfinder is here to support you with faster and smarter solutions, without compromising on what matters most — safety.