Menu
This school bus driver goes viral for stocking her bus with books 👏

Plenty of kindergarteners and elementary schoolers have fallen asleep on the bus ride home. It's hard to blame them—they've just had a long day and the bus is pretty boring, but when your kiddo falls asleep on the bus it can throw bedtime routines all out of whack.

But one special education teacher/bus driver (yes, this hard-working mama has two jobs) has come up with an idea that keeps kids awake and engaged on the way home from school, and it is going viral.

Julie Callison's "bucket of bus books" is a simple idea that is totally transforming the bus experience for her little riders. It's worked so well the Arkansas Department of Education shared the story on its Facebook page, and parents across the nation have been sharing this great idea.

When the kids climb into Callison's bus at the end of the day they get to pick a book from the bucket, something Callison put together with minimal effort and investment.

"The books on my bus were my child's old books and other books I found at garage sales," she tells Motherly, adding that any bus drivers or parents hoping to replicate her project should use "use books that [they] don't care about too much because there will be wear and tear."

The kids can choose books to read by themselves, but Callison also encourages older kids to read to the younger kids or have the younger kids read to them. Not only are the kids practicing their reading skills, but when they're helping each other out they are also practicing kindness.

On Fridays, a special guest reader (typically a middle or high school student) sits up front and reads a book over the speaker system. According to Callison, the kids love this and look forward to the Friday afternoon bus ride.

Now that Callison's book bucket has been in use for a few months, the kids have run through most of the books she brought on, and she's brainstorming ideas to keep the books fresh and expand the program.

"One idea I had was to put a bucket of books on each school bus—our district has 13 buses—then rotate them around every couple weeks. This will keep the books fresh on each bus," she tells Motherly.

That sounds like an awesome idea and one that could be replicated in other school districts.

The bus ride can be challenging for little kids, and parents are often worried not just about napping, but also about bullying and what kids might be exposed to when other children have phones or iPads on the bus. The book bucket changes the bus ride from something that can be kind of scary to a fun, educational extension of the school day.

You might also like:

They say necessity is the mother of invention—and nothing makes you more inventive than motherhood.

Sometimes that means fashioning a diaper out of paper towels and your older child's underpants (true story). Sometimes that means creating an innovative and life-changing weighted baby sleep sack and totally crushing it on Shark Tank. Tara Williams is the latter.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

For all the sweating and swimming I do in the summer, it seems illogical for my skin to be as parched as ever. But your mid-thirties (and 2020 in general) don't really seem to follow any rule book, so here we are.

A couple of months ago, I was on the lookout for a moisturizer that would not only keep my legs from looking like an ashy mess, but also truly nourish and benefit my skin. I've developed a deep interest in skin care for my face over the past few years and decided it's high time to extend that degree of consideration to the rest of my body. (After all, there's more of it, right?)

It's not that I'm too concerned with aging, but let's be real. If there's something that can be done to slow the Wrinkle Express, I'm going to give it a go. I also wanted to find something natural that wouldn't turn into a goopy mess the second I started sweating.

Enter: Esker's Firming Body Oil.

Keep reading Show less
popular

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

Keep reading Show less
Life