John was getting into this co-pilot job.
Usually I don’t let him have electronics in the car.
I want him looking out the window, talking to me.
Being “mindful” as a kid.
But, let’s look at the Garmin or other phone-based GPS (Waze, Google Maps) navigation as something to learn.
There is clock sense, direction (left, right, north, south, east & west), distances in miles, street names, speed limits, and developing “earth sense” to master.
When we have other kids in the car, they show him all the menu options, turning features on and off.
Some features are voice-activated, and that is a whole new playground.
There are look-up menus for names of places.
He gets to practice spelling and typing.
When he looks for a place and finds it, he gets excited.
And when our destination wasn’t in the database, we found a place next door, and used that to navigate our way.
Once we arrived, we walked over to the other storefront, and had a little teachable moment on the power of substitutions.
So, now John is in charge of driving shot-gun, and giving me driving directions.
He has been elated with the fun-ness of it.
In the light of day, or the dark of night.
He always has had a great sense of where he was (in the car), and this reinforces that problem-solving.
Let’s just not tell him that he is learning.
I hope this helps at your house with all your young drivers-to-be.
Peace be with us,