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Behind-the-Wheel Training with Varsity Driving Academy


How time flies…my first-born is 16 now and a junior in high school! Seems just like yesterday when he was first placed in my arms, after the emergency C-section we experienced…

Anyway, 16 = DRIVING!!! Another one of those bittersweet (or anxiety-causing) moments of parenthood…

First time in the driver's seat!

First time in the driver’s seat!

He took the online Driver’s Ed course through his school district. It took him about a couple of weeks to finish and pass the test. Couple of months after that, we went to DMV and he passed his written exam, which got him a permit.

But before you can actually drive (even with Mom/Dad), you need to complete a 2-hour session of Behind-the-Wheel Training with a licensed instructor.

My son with Varsity Driving Academy's Owner/Operator, Mark McKinney.

My son with Varsity Driving Academy’s Owner/Operator, Mark McKinney.

The mandatory 6 hours of Behind-the-Wheel Training is divided into 3 separate dates. We have been very fortunate to take these classes with Varsity Driving Academy. The Owner/Operator, Mark McKinney, is my son’s instructor for the behind-the-wheel sessions. I was very lucky (?) to tag along with them on the first 2 hours! Let me just say that both my son and I were very nervous at first, to say the least. But Mark is amazing! He is the most patient person I’ve met in a very long time. And he is very knowledgeable. And kind. And very zen. And did I mention, patient??? At the end of the 2 hours, I was not afraid of my son’s driving any more (ha!) and my son was definitely more confident and at ease driving the training car. Another bonus of tagging along: I “re-learned” quite a few tips and tricks myself!

Instructor's brake - very important!

Instructor’s brake – very important!

My son has finished 2 sessions (4 hours total) and is regularly practicing with his dad. He has improved immensely and as a parent, I am starting to feel more and more comfortable with the idea of my child, driving, in the real world…It’s a very tough concept to swallow – knowing all the things that could happen out there, without you next to him, not being able to fully protect him from scary things that may happen on the road…But knowing that he’s getting a solid training from a very knowledgeable and well-qualified instructor, well, that makes me feel a whole lot better!

Careful instructions and instructor's mirror.

Careful instructions and instructor’s mirror.

Hand-over-hand turning technique.

Hand-over-hand turning technique.

Varsity Driving Academy offers online and in-class driver’s education, in addition to these behind-the-wheel training sessions. The classes are not only for teens, but for adults as well, so if you know anybody who needs to learn/relearn how to drive, I highly recommend Varsity Driving Academy!!!

Kiomi is a happy Mama of a big multi-blended family, with little kids, medium kids, and big kids. Born in Japan and raised in SoCal, she loves sharing her bilingual/bicultural background with her family and friends. Find her volunteering at her kids’ schools, running errands around town, and connecting on various social media (mrsnovak777 on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter).
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