Have you been wondering how your homeschooling teen will learn to drive? Homeschoolers have several options for completing driver’s education. This article provides an overview of choices and considerations.
Why is Driver’s Education Necessary?
The first and most obvious answer is that driving a car is dangerous and a huge responsibility and it is important that teens are equipped to perform this life skill. Safety isn’t the only reason though. Many states require some proof of driver’s education in order for students to be licensed. Also, insurance companies can require driver’s education either for coverage or for reduced rates.
State Laws Vary Widely
The requirements for driver’s education and licensing vary widely from state to state. Gone are the days when all sixteen year olds could take the driver’s test and become full licensed drivers. Following research that documented the high rate of accidents among younger drivers, many states now require longer permit periods or have restrictions on the time of day or number of passengers that can be transported by younger drivers. Parents should also consider contacting their insurance agent to find out about rates, discounts for driver’s education and also good student discounts and how homeschoolers can qualify.
What are Driver’s Education Options for Homeschoolers?
Local public school: It varies greatly from one area to another, but it may be worth checking with your public school. Many public schools no longer offer driver’s education even for public school students. Others do offer driver’s education and may allow enrollment by private or homeschooled students.
Private Driving Schools: Most communities have local driving schools that offer behind the wheel driving instruction. Quality seems to vary widely so I suggest asking your friends and other local contacts for recommendations.
Parent Led Instruction: Many families find the most economical and effective driver’s education approach is to homeschool driver’s ed. There are several options available.
Wait Until Age 18: This idea is sure to be unpopular with most teens, but with the high cost of auto insurance some families are opting to have their children obtain and keep a learner’s permit for a longer period of time. Waiting until past age 18 often removes the state imposed requirement of driver’s education as well.
Do you know what insurance companies offer discounts for homeschooling teens.
Companies vary in how they apply the good student discount to homeschoolers. Some companies will accept parent issued grades and others require standardized test scores to stand in for grades. I know homeschoolers who have had good experience with Allstate, Nationwide, and USAA. But, I hate to generalize because it does seem to sometimes come down to the individual agent. Homeschoolers should understand that many homeschool students are getting the “good student discounts” and of your agent is giving you the run around be persistent.