View Full Version : Driver's Ed--eep--any advice?

05-14-2013, 03:30 PM
Ds is officially signed up for driver's ed this summer. (I feel like the dude in The Phantom Menace--"We will not survive this.")

The class starts at the end of July. In the meantime, he should get started on his 40 hours of out-of-class driving. I'm kinda terrified. :)

If you've done this before, can you offer any advice or suggestions, especially for the first time he's behind the wheel?

05-14-2013, 04:11 PM
My dad would get me up at 6:00 a.m. on Sundays to drive when there was absolutely zero traffic around.

I'm hoping for cars that drive themselves by the time ds gets to that age ;)

05-14-2013, 05:19 PM
I havent done it w my son yet, but with my daughter, we drove to a commuter parking lot, on a sunday, to start with. After she felt comfortable there, we started driving around our block. Then to her high school . . .

05-14-2013, 05:32 PM
Pretty much what the others said. We started with a big empty parking lot, then moved to the road after the kids had the feel of the car. You can also set out cones (i've also seen resin chairs used) to drive around, park between, etc.

05-14-2013, 06:08 PM
You could send him to Finland like I'm planning to do. :p

Sorry. Not helpful.

I remember learning in the parking lot, too. Good luck!

05-14-2013, 09:09 PM
Well . . . officially here kids aren't supposed to drive until they've had the classroom and in-car portions of driver's ed.

Unofficially . . . most people get their kids started on the fundamentals of driving before then. Same story as everyone else -- DH took the boys out on Sunday mornings, first to large empty parking lots and then to neighborhood streets. In our oldest vehicle.

Jen Law
05-15-2013, 11:56 AM
I have never learned to drive - partly because I live in Finland and it is too fracking expensive. When I was 18 and my parents said they would pay for part of it as a birthday present I was in my "I'm going to save the world - cars areevil phase" and I haven't had the money for it since.

05-15-2013, 02:52 PM
Before having him drive, make him navigate while you drive. Many teens have not been paying close attention and can't remember exactly how to get to the places they go regularly.

05-15-2013, 02:58 PM
Before having him drive, make him navigate while you drive. Many teens have not been paying close attention and can't remember exactly how to get to the places they go regularly.

Can I like this several times?!? We did this with my daughter about a year before she started driving. With all the time spent in the car with her nose in a book, she never really paid attention to where we were and where we were going.

05-15-2013, 04:08 PM
Great ideas, thanks!

I've been trying to think of a parking lot nearby that might be empty sometime in the daylight hours--most of the parking lots are for businesses that are open pretty much all the time, so it's surprisingly hard! Maybe the middle school, or an employee's lot somewhere on a Sunday evening.

Good idea with navigation. I thought of doing that before, but forgot all about it. We're going to the comic book store today, so we can give it a try.

I decided to wait until the packet from the driving school arrived, in case it contains any pertinent materials. He very much wants to start the lessons, though. When he finished school yesterday, he donned his bicycle helmet and announced he was ready to go. :_laugh:

05-15-2013, 04:57 PM
Parking lot when the place is closed. THat's where I learned (on a stick shift). :D

My kids are still years from Drivers' Ed and being indoctrinated with the notion that a license at 16 is not only not a given, but getting a license before 18 is unlikely unless it serves MY purposes or they are already in college AND need it.

That said, I've already begun giving them "lessons" in terms of encouraging them to pay attention, understand what I am doing when I am driving, the communication going on (for example my dd asked why I waved at a cyclist and they nodded back and I explained the preceding series of events where the cyclist had chosen to stop short of the intersection to make it clear they weren't entering which made it easier for me to make my turn, I acknowledged that my my wave which they acknowledged with a nod. My 9yo understands why I look left-right-left when turning left, how to accelerate a turn (in theory), and a dozen other bits that should make it a lot easier when she starts operating the car herself.

There is a lot more to driving that steering the car and pressing on pedals, so I would use the time to make sure ds has a grasp of those things. At 15yo you might ask questions like, "Why do you think I just did X?" as you drive instead of TELLING him what you are doing. THat might encourage him to pay attention. Anyway, just a thought.