Being a full-time mother is definitely no walk in the park, especially when it comes to school days. The stressful business of having to wake up early in the morning to prepare meals for the kids and get them ready for school is no joke at all. Add to that the hassle of driving the kids to school and making sure they get there on time, and you get a frazzled mother needing some serious rest and relaxation in the middle of the day.
So how do we as mothers maintain our sanity during school days? Organize a school carpool for our kids, of course. School carpools are great at saving time, effort, and gasoline for groups of parents who wish to get in on some much needed relief from the struggle of chauffeuring kids to and from school. Here are a 6 tips you need to bear in mind when starting a carpool.
1Find the Right People to Carpool With
Finding people to organize a school carpool with is easy; finding the right people to carpool with, on the other hand, is a different story. Ideally, you want to set up a carpool program with kids whose schedules and after-school activities match with those of your children’s. You might also want to consider proximity; the closer your homes are, the easier it will be to pick everyone up and make sure they arrive to school on time.
To find people to carpool with, you can start by asking other parents when you drop your kids off at school, or post on social media to see who’s interested in being a part of a carpool program.
2Consider Safety in Advance
Safety is of the utmost importance, especially when kids are involved. Being in a car with kids can cause drivers to easily lose focus especially when kids start to demand something. So before anything else, set some ground rules with the kids and the driving parents so that accidents can be avoided. And just in case accidents do happen, make sure that the program is protected by getting the assistance of a lawyer that’s well-versed in road accidents and personal injury cases.
3Determine the Number of Kids in the School Carpool
While it’s true that the number of participants in a carpool program can be dictated by the size of the vehicle, ultimately it’s all about how many kids the carpool driver can manage. A good rule of thumb is to remember that the lower the child’s age, the less you should carpool. Preschoolers and first graders are harder to manage than kids in say, middle school or junior high. While you can always accommodate more children in the carpool, remember that at the end, your goal is to make your life as a mother much easier and less stressful.
4Organize the Parent Drivers
Unless you are already familiar with all the parents of the kids in the school carpool, it might also be a good idea to have a sit-down with all the parents just get to know each other; your children’s safety is at stake, after all.
Take some time to exchange contact information and set up a schedule of who will be driving on which day, and whether they will be doing pickup or drop-off. It might also help to have a chat group and a shared calendar, that way everyone stays up to date on the carpool program. You can try using an online carpool signup sheet to help manage everybody on the program.
5Set Some Ground Rules for the Kids
Having a lot of kids in one vehicle can easily become stressful if not handled correctly. One way to avoid any trouble on the road is to establish some ground rules in the beginning. Some parents might be okay with eating in the vehicle, but some chauffeuring parents might not. Make sure the kids know whether it is allowed or not.
Talk to the kids before they join the carpool program and make sure they understand the rules that the parents have set. Let them know about the rules surrounding the noise levels that are tolerable, their seating arrangement, or even the music that will be played in the vehicle.
6Make Sure Everybody is on Time
Apart from relieving parents of the stresses of picking up and dropping off their kids at school, the secondary purpose of organizing a school carpool is to make sure that everybody’s children get to school on time. So when organizing a carpool, make sure that the driver is on schedule. One easy way to ensure this is to have the driver text or notify everybody as they are stepping out or on the way to another stop. This gives parents enough time to prepare their children accordingly, avoiding any delays at one stop and affecting everybody else in the carpool.
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