Below we describe our typical approach for teens who have a 6 hour package (three 2‑hour lessons.)
This meets the legal requirement for teens, but some families elect
to pay for more lessons. Your own training experience will
be tailored for your specific needs.
Training As a "Jump Start" For Practice
Driving is harder than it looks, and six hours is not enough time to become a safe
driver! Even when you have a highly‑trained instructor,
most teens will improve the most during 50
hours of practice with parents. So your instructor's
number one goal (after safety) is to empower you to make practice
with parents as effective as possible.
Our training is extremely effective at "jump starting" your practice
time. There are many reasons we encourage parents
to ride along. The techniques we reveal to teens are most
effective when parents are also familiar with them. Parents also
provide a "second set of ears" which is very helpful because very often,
students become so focused that they can miss details as the instructor
speaks... And our instructors have a lot to say!
Your First Two‑Hour
We show you how to adjust the seat, wheel, and mirrors. We
explain all the controls in the car. Before you drive, we demonstrate
basic steering, braking, and acceleration techniques. Then "we"
(teen at the helm, instructor in the co-pilot/passenger seat) will drive
slowly around a nearby block with
right turns. Next, we'll work on "posturing" the car for
turns, smooth braking and acceleration. Later we'll demonstrate more
advanced steering techniques: controlling the wheel as it
straightens with acceleration after a sharp turn, 3‑point turns, edging forward
for a better view after braking at stop signs. Before we continue, we provide a general review of the rules of
In the first lesson, most new drivers become ready for their first drive
on multiple‑lane streets
up to 45MPH. This does NOT mean you're ready to
drive the same streets with your family. We train this way for one
reason: Before you practice new skills with your family, you should
learn proper techniques with
specially‑equipped cars and professional instructors who can
reliably intervene if necessary for safety.
During your first
lesson, your instructor will sign and stamp your permit, and you'll be
legal to drive with a parent as your passenger-side front seat
Your First Practice with
In the first lesson we introduce you to some pretty advanced skills. But
you're probably still getting used to steering, braking
and acceleration. So the first time you practice with your
parents, go directly to an
empty parking lot and zigzag around concrete barriers. Do this for
an hour or two. Accelerate reasonably; slow down for turns.
Work at a pace everyone is comfortable with. Before
the next lesson over the next few weeks, advance to residential areas,
then work up to the
multiple lane roads. Try not to drive the same route every day.
Take your time; there's no rush. Remember, you must wait at least
six months to get your license, and your permit is valid for a year.
Your Second Lesson
(Track A - Typical scenario)
be taking only three lessons with us, try to get about
2-3 months of practice before the second lesson.
By this time, you should be able to make successful lane changes, even if they still need improvement. Ideally this will be your first
time on the freeway. We'll go to downtown Sacramento where we'll
work on freeway merging, one‑way streets, narrow alleys, lane
changes in heavy traffic, and a wide variety of other scenarios. We
specific route in the downtown area to cover as many situations
Your Second Lesson
(Track B - If
the family has trouble with practice)
or your parents find practicing overly stressful, or if you weren't able to advance to multi‑lane streets
during Lesson 1, it's a good idea to call us so we can arrange Lesson 2
sooner than usual.
It's usually not lack of skill, but fear that makes this type of lesson
worthwhile. In this case, Lesson 2 will reinforce Lesson 1 and
further focus on helping the family practice driving together with less
stress. (Training and practice should stretch
your abilities, but no lesson should ever go beyond your comfort level.)
The goal, as always, is to empower the family to work
together. Although the legal requirement is just 6 hours, you can
always take more lessons if you or your parents feel you need them.
The final lesson should take place about 2-3 months after the second
lesson. Schedule the last lesson for at least 2 weeks before
your drive test. It's not a good idea to take this lesson
the test because we will probably identify areas to practice
first. This final lesson is the most flexible. By now, most
students have adopted a few bad habits which can cause them to fail the driving
test. This may include driving past limit lines, not coming to a
complete stop, speeding, or not checking blind spots. We'll identify areas that need attention and work on
ways to improve
them. If we have time, we will run
through a simulated test. We always make the best use of your
time for driving safely and passing the test the first time.
After Every Lesson
If a parent doesn't ride along, we ask to meet with a parent for 5 or 10 minutes if they're available.
During this time you, your parents, and your instructor can discuss
your progress and your most challenging areas. We discuss ways to work as a team to
target and overcome every issue.