"They're all jazzed up about riding on the bus," Jon Gosselin says of his children. "I'm happy too, because now I don't have to drive them to school."
At the bus pickup point in a local parking lot, Jon and Kate arrived in separate cars around 7 a.m. Twins Cara and Mady, 9, rode with their mom, then ran to hug their dad before boarding. Kate walked onto the bus with them, stayed a couple minutes, then got off – as Jon remained in the parking lot, pacing and appearing to be texting on his phone.
While Mady and Cara were shipped off to the third grade Thursday, Friday will see the sextuplets start junior kindergarten, which is only three days a week, says Gosselin. "Next year will be kindergarten for the little kids, and it will be five days a week," he says.
Not All the Kids Are PreparedGosselin tells PEOPLE that 5-year-olds Hannah, Leah, Alexis, Joel, Aaden and Collin are not all ready for kindergarten yet because they were "preemies."
So, despite their same ages, when it comes to class assignments, "They'll definitely split them up by personality," says their father. "Alexis and Collin are definitely not going to be classmates."
While the twins are "definitely" the most excited to go back to class "because we live out in the middle of nowhere and all their friends are close to school," Gosselin says their little brothers and sisters are not at all anxious about their first day of junior kindergarten.
"They use each other as a security blanket," he says. "So as long as they're all going, [they're not nervous]. If I would send like one, they'd probably freak out."