Driving school provides routine, structure for teens

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Teens can find much-needed routine through driving during this never ending summer

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — This seems to be the never-ending summer vacation. For kids especially, the routine and structure of school have been missing — now many parents want some of that structure back.        

One idea on how to reengage kids involves driving. A big focus for teenagers is getting ready to drive when they turn 16. While the licensing departments have slowed down their work or even stopped — there’s still lots of work to be done for kids learning how to drive in summer driving school.

Just because school is out does not mean teenagers have stopped learning.  At Vancouver’s 911 driving school, driving instructor Lee Tangen runs through the many concepts and techniques he’s imparted to thousands of young drivers over the years. 

Lee has a simple solution for bored teens looking for something to engage with — other than a screen.

“One of the best things with weather like this is this is the best time to learn how to drive,” he said.

Part of that learning, Lee says, is about teaching observation skills while driving. They don’t come instinctively to kids and they’re essential for staying safe on the road. The curriculum at 911 involves 15 classroom sessions and five behind-the-wheel driving experiences 

“We start in the parking lot driving the basics,” Lee said. “We move to the neighborhood and start working on turns — making sure they’re not cutting the corner and going too wide.”

Driving school is one of many activities kids can immerse themselves in. Be it driving, yard work, doing some chores — this seemingly never-ending summer has parents looking for ways to add some structure into young lives that desperately need it.

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