Since the boy doesn't want to do track this quarter (that is the only sport offered), his after school options are school tutoring or take the bus to the bus stop and walk an hour and a half home. At the end of last quarter, when soccer practice was over, I often received panicked text messages that tutoring was cancelled and how was he getting home??? It dawned on my that the city bus is just around the corner from his school bus stop and a 10 minute ride for a dollar fifty will get him within a 15 minute walk from home. This gets him home around 4pm and he gets some exercise in exchange for an hour and a half of free time before I get home from work. I'm ok with that because I have security software on my computer and so far he sticks to the free games or cartoons on TV which I can monitor with the Netflix's Recently Watched page.
On Monday we tried the city bus. He was apprehensive but got to the bus stop and then started the text messages, "What time does the bus come?" "Can you pick me up if I miss the bus?". The bus comes every 30 minutes so I told him I could pick him up at 5 but three buses will have passed by then. The next text said he made it off the bus and was headed home.
Today, he had a doctor's appointment for a sports and camp physical. I gave him $5.50 and told him he could buy a snack at school but to keep $1.50 for the bus. When school was out, I got another panicked text, "Does the city bus give change?". Nope. I guess he didn't have time to buy a snack. I told him to either stay for tutoring or try the front office for change. He was able to get change and off he went.
I am thrilled that this has worked out and he now has another option to get home. I expect the panicked emails to subside after awhile. This will relieve some of the work pressure I have since I won't have to leave early to get him at the bus stop if my boss needs something at the last minute. Oh and I ordered a bus pass today so that he doesn't have to have correct change in the future. Now, if he can just keep track of the bus pass...