Google The Unplanned Homeschooler: Turning bad moments into valuable lessons

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Turning bad moments into valuable lessons

Today's unplanned adventure wasn't any fun at all. It all started with a hot summer afternoon and a trip to the local Sonic Drive In to get some big, icy happy hour drinks for me and the kids.

As I pulled into Sonic's U-shaped drive, I came up behind a pickup truck that had pulled out, moved forward, and then come to a stop. I waited as they sat there, not moving, and cars began to line up behind me. Then, suddenly, the driver in front of me put her truck in reverse and started coming back. I honked repeatedly, and my kids and I screamed out the window, but she just kept coming. CRUNCH!

Truck's bumper smashed several inches into the front of my van.

My poor van. I got out of the van, took a picture of the collision and the other driver's license plate, and asked for the other driver's insurance information. Then I called the local police department and asked the other driver to pull around to a parking space and wait for them to arrive.

Lots of lessons to be learned


It's no fun to be in an accident, but at least this was a low impact collision that took place at a slow enough speed the air bags did not deploy. No one appeared to be hurt, and for that, I was immediately grateful.  

Since my kids were with me, we talked about what was going on as things happened. I told them that it was important to exchange insurance information immediately and document the damage if possible. We also talked about how the officer who arrived on the scene was there to help.

After we got home, I explained to them how our insurance policy works, and how the other driver's policy should cover the accident since they were responsible for the collision. I showed them the police report, and explained how I would contact my own insurance company first and proceed from there, possibly contacting the other driver's insurance company as well.

We talked about why it is always important to carry your insurance verification in your car, and what happens if the other driver is not insured. 

More lessons to come


Like a set of real life word problems, there will be lots of math to be figured in calculating the settlement of this claim. There will also be opportunities to read and understand forms and paperwork. And these will be memorable lessons, because they are tied to the vivid memory of an out of the ordinary experience.

When something bad, like a minor car accident, happens to your family, don't forget to look at the potential for learning. Nothing will help set a lesson firmly in your children's long term memory like being tied to an extraordinary experience, either good or bad, so use the experience however you can to help further your kids' education.