It's time to choose a driving school for our older son, Jack. Hubby and I have talked to different people about programs they've chosen for their children and weighed pros and cons. We've decided on AAA's program. For one thing, we trust it. We trust them with our son. And we trust them behind the wheel with our son in the car (even when he's driving it, eeeeek!). It's pricey -- $579 for driver's ed + 10 hours of drive time. That's four more hours than most programs offer, but it offers night driving and freeway time, which isn't offered by the competition.
On-line driver's ed is not desirable to us because we want our son to be able to ask questions and hear other people's questions. We believe in the Socratic method of learning, and practice it in our house. An on-line program may be able to ask the questions, but not facilitate discussion.
The abbreviated version of AAA (6 hours of drive time) is $388, $10 less than the competition. We considered that, too, but ultimately have chosen to bite the bullet and spend the money on the expanded version. AB Teen, another program we looked at, has driver's ed classes from 9-4, four days a week for one week. Triple A has classes two nights a week for four or five weeks. It stretches it out, which gives the student more time to think about the material and study on his/her own.
A friend's son enthusiastically endorsed AB Teen's approach, saying "You don't have to spend much time in class at all -- lunch and breaks take up a lot of time." Whoops! Wrong answer! I want my child to be STEEPED in driver's education. He's going to be maneuvering our car around town, possibly with his little brother (or me) as a passenger. He'd better know what he's doing. The less breaks, the better!
To me driver's education is a privilege and something to look forward. It shouldn't be onerous and unpleasant, like traffic school. Jack's looking forward to the opportunity to learn something new and gain new skills, and we're willing to pay for him to do it. I could teach him myself, but I really like the idea of a "pro" teaching him. I still remember my driver's training teacher and how endlessly patient he was with us kids. I hope Jack gets someone just like him.