Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Surviving Parent Taught Driver's Ed

My gray hairs? I earned them.  I attribute many of them to student drivers.

I suppose a few gray hairs is a small price to pay for making sure my children are competent drivers.

When it comes to driver training, there are options.

1.  You could pay a driving school to teach your child and hope they do a good job.

2.  You could purchase a driver training curriculum and teach your child yourself.

We chose option 2 for all our children and are now on driver number 7.

I purchased Driver Ed in a Box for my first student driver.  I chose this curriculum for its thorough, step-by-step approach to driver training.  

Instead of just letting my student drive anywhere as soon as she obtained her permit, Driver Ed in a Box starts in the driveway.

The driveway lesson makes sure the student knows where all the controls are in the car as well as teaching them where the blind spots are and how large an area it encompasses.

For actual driving, the student moves to a large (preferably mostly empty) parking lot to practice turning, parking, and stopping.  This gets the student comfortable with controlling the car without having to deal with traffic. 

The training continues incrementally to get the student driver comfortable with more and more traffic.

Driver Ed in a Box gives very detailed information for the parent to teach a student to be a defensive, safe driver.  It also has advice to the parent on how to stay calm while teaching a student to drive.

Driver Ed curriculum has changed in the last 12 years and most of them are now online.

Drivers have also changed in the last 12 years. Driving practice is much scarier now than it was then because of all the distracted drivers on the road.  Teaching your teen to be a defensive driver is more important than ever.

Recently on a driving practice day, we had 2 close calls.  One driver was veering over the center line, but corrected before completely coming into our lane.  Another driver had to skid and turn onto the curb to avoid hitting us because he was going too fast and didn't intend to stop at the intersection.  

What is the cause of all the distracted drivers?  Cell phones.  

So, how do you survive parent taught driver's ed?

1.  Get a curriculum that focuses on making a safe, defensive driver (and follow it).  Driver Ed in a Box requires 50 hours of behind the wheel practice.

2.  Only practice driving when you and your teen are not stressed or in a hurry.

3.  Put your cell phone away and make sure your teen does, too.

Am I glad that I am on my last round of driver training?  Yes, yes I am!  

But, I survived and you can, too.


Anonymous said...

I can't remember if that's the program we used or not. I need to be looking around because I'll have another one getting ready sooner than I'd like to admit. As far as driving though, we have an advantage living in a farming community in the boonies. Ours learn to drive through pasture paths & down dirt roads as soon as they can see over the steering wheel. I'll look at this program though. Thanks!

karentrina said...

You definitely have an advantage! I'm just glad we don't live in a really big city. We have some heavy traffic areas, but nothing like Dallas!

grtlyblesd said...

With our first, we waited until he was older, and my husband taught him to drive. But with more up & coming teens, I'll have to check into that program. I remember hearing about it a long time ago.

Jackie Ryan Masek said...

The thought of teaching my oldest child to drive makes my gray hairs fall out. I had no idea there was such a thing as boxed curriculum for this! Thanks for the review.

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