Iowa Home-Schooled Kids Cant Take Driving Test From Parents - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Iowa Home-Schooled Kids Cant Take Driving Test From Parents

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Parents who homeschool their children oftenteach reading, math, and any other courses mandated by the state.

But in Iowa, by next fall, parents who homeschool will also have the option to teach their kids how to drive.

Rules and guidelines for the controversialnew law aren't expected to be completed until the end of the summer, but Iowadrivers are already divided on the issue. 

16-year-old Emily Hammer proudly shows offthe driver's license she received on Wednesday.

Hammer took a mandatory driver's educationcourse and spent six hours behind the wheel with a certified instructor.

"You had to be really good at it,"Hammer said. "You had to understand and you had to pay attention."

But she doesn't credit her formal drivinginstruction for her success --

"I've been driving for two years with myparents," Hammer said. "I drive on the interstates and I drive in thesnow, I drive all around the towns."

She says it's the hours spent behind thewheel with mom and dad that helped her learn. Hammer thinks kids who arehomeschooled are lucky to have the option of a parent-taught drivers educationclass.

"Parents understand their kids,"she said, "and they know how to get through to them."

But other drivers aren't so sure about thenew law --

"Math and science are still good,"said Iowa driver, Don Marple, "Parents can still teach that. But drivingout there on today's roads, they need an instructor to do that."

Marple says his grandson is homeschooled.Still, he doesn't think most parents would even want to teach an entire driverseducation course by themselves.

"I actually see them saying, 'I don'twant the responsibility,'" said Marple.

"I think it's definitely better forthere to be a formal education," said Shamalla Gibson, an Iowa driver atthe Davenport DMV.

"The relationship between a mother, afather and their children -- it's a lot more personal," Gibson said. Shethinks there's too much emotion involved in a parent-child relationship forparents to be objective instructors.

"You come to a professional and they'lllook at your skills," said Gibson, "what you're doing right andwrong."

Despite opinions, though, the new law isalready in effect. And, once the rules are in place by the end of the summer,parent-taught drivers education will be a reality across Iowa.

According to the Iowa DOT, in order to teachtheir children, parents will need to use a certified drivers education course. 

Thereare several internet courses already available but the Iowa DOT is still in theprocess of choosing which ones meet curriculum guidelines.


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