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Teaching kids?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi folks-

 

Long time lurker/first time poster!  Great forum!

 

I'm looking for guidance on continuing to teach my 4 and 6 year old kids.  Both have been in ski schools for the last two years.  They're now able to stop and turn comfortably.  They're also able to "make a pizza" and "fries."  Last year they were introduced to the lift (although they need help getting on) and skiing down from the top.

 

I've been skiiing for 30+ years but always thought I'd let the ski school "get them going" and then I'd pick up.

 

Any guidance on how best to do this?  I understand I need to keep things fun.  Games like "follow the leader" seem to be effective.  Any other games/suggestions that I should consider?  I assume at this point continual reinforcement of the basic skills should be the objective?

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 6

Welcome to EpicSki!  It's such fun to watch the little ones get going on skis.  I started my daughter at age 4.  I also wanted her to start the right way by going to ski school.  She's a tween now but I remember the first season clearly.  Especially after last weekend when we took friends for their first ski trip.  Had a great time as the 4yo girl and her 6yo brother "got it" as well as their mother.  Massanutten ski school is even better now than it was for my daughter because the learning area was expanded.

 

Can you shadow your kids when they are in ski school without them seeing you?  Since Mnut is a tiny place, I used to do that or watch from the lift.  That way I had some idea what the instructors were doing.  I would also watch other classes at the same level for a few minutes as I was free skiing.  That gave me a few ideas of what to practice later on.  The instructors always gave me tips on one or two things to focus on at pick up time.  Red/Yellow/Green Light was a favorite game.

 

My goal was to leave the slopes before she was too tired.  When she was little, if she only wanted to do one more run after ski school that was fine.  By the time she was 6, I was the one who got tired first.  Sometimes we would take an early dinner break, then go back for an hour or so under the lights.

 

Where do you ski?  Around the southeast, ski school doesn't start until age 4.  Although private lessons are possible as young as 2 in a few places.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Welcome to EpicSki!  It's such fun to watch the little ones get going on skis.  I started my daughter at age 4.  I also wanted her to start the right way by going to ski school.  She's a tween now but I remember the first season clearly.  Especially after last weekend when we took friends for their first ski trip.  Had a great time as the 4yo girl and her 6yo brother "got it" as well as their mother.  Massanutten ski school is even better now than it was for my daughter because the learning area was expanded.

 

Can you shadow your kids when they are in ski school without them seeing you?  Since Mnut is a tiny place, I used to do that or watch from the lift.  That way I had some idea what the instructors were doing.  I would also watch other classes at the same level for a few minutes as I was free skiing.  That gave me a few ideas of what to practice later on.  The instructors always gave me tips on one or two things to focus on at pick up time.  Red/Yellow/Green Light was a favorite game.

 

My goal was to leave the slopes before she was too tired.  When she was little, if she only wanted to do one more run after ski school that was fine.  By the time she was 6, I was the one who got tired first.  Sometimes we would take an early dinner break, then go back for an hour or so under the lights.

 

Where do you ski?  Around the southeast, ski school doesn't start until age 4.  Although private lessons are possible as young as 2 in a few places.

 

Thanks for the reply!  We're in New Hampshire.  For the past two years, our kids have been in the "Knee High" program at a small mountain called King Pine.  They're great with kids.  This past Saturday, they didn't spend any time in the school.  They basically went up and down with an instructor.  After their lesson, they wanted my wife and me to take them up.  Then it became a game of who could beat Dad down!!! LOL!  Obviously not the intent. We did this a few more times (once we set the groundrules!!).  They're clearly ready to ski with us now (wife just recently started too.) 

 

I've done everything you mentioned above ("shadowing", etc).  So going forward, we plan to graduate to a bigger mountain with more beginner terrain and have them ski with us sinice they have been taught the fundamentals.

 

I like the idea of Red/Yellow/Green light.  Hadn't heard that one.  Follow the leader is another I plan to do.   

post #4 of 6

I taught many little ones back in high school at the local ski hill.  I'd recommend as many hours on the snow as possible, both with you and in lessons of all kinds, group and private.  Plus, the lessons give you some big kid ski time to yourself. Let them explore the mountain within their limits.  Play games with the trail maps.  Try to come up with stuff that relates to the trail names, songs, etc..

 

My kids have been coming to the mountains with me every year or two for several years now.  First time was just playing around the carpet deck run with dad holding them ages 4 and 5.  Then we went on a big (overnight-not really big haha) trip where they did half a day of ski wee at ages 5 and 6.  Lil sis bailed and sipped cocoa in the lodge almost immediately while big bro rocked the edgie wedgie all day.  After that only the boy kept interest.  He's been a couple times a year since then and just turned 10.  He's still only really solid on greens and easy blues.  Living 3 hours from snow and only getting on skis a couple times a year for an hour or two has really held him back.  Regardless, he LOVES to go and I really enjoy having a ski buddy even if he is not advancing very rapidly.  That's not his fault that we can't ski more than two or three times a season. 

 

FWIW, lil sis is about to give horseback riding a go.  Only fair since brother gets to go skiing sometimes.

post #5 of 6

Amazing, King Pine is smaller than Massanutten.  But King Pine averages 120" snow compared to 20" at Mnut so probably has a longer season. wink.gif

 

What I told me daughter was that we would explore other places once she could ski the two straight forward black runs at Mnut.  She did that at age 6 in the middle of her third ski season.  Definite advantage of a small place is that kids can progress to "blacks" relatively quickly.

 

I just took a friend and her kids for their first ski trip.  The 4yo girl thoroughly enjoyed beating her mother down to the lodge.  Her 6yo brother is already too good to ski with his mother after two days of ski school.  She'll be on greens for a while.  He'll be on the easy blues with me and my daughter their next ski trip in a few weeks.

 

Have fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lpaul626 View Post

Thanks for the reply!  We're in New Hampshire.  For the past two years, our kids have been in the "Knee High" program at a small mountain called King Pine.  They're great with kids.  This past Saturday, they didn't spend any time in the school.  They basically went up and down with an instructor.  After their lesson, they wanted my wife and me to take them up.  Then it became a game of who could beat Dad down!!! LOL!  Obviously not the intent. We did this a few more times (once we set the groundrules!!).  They're clearly ready to ski with us now (wife just recently started too.) 

 

I've done everything you mentioned above ("shadowing", etc).  So going forward, we plan to graduate to a bigger mountain with more beginner terrain and have them ski with us sinice they have been taught the fundamentals.

 

I like the idea of Red/Yellow/Green light.  Hadn't heard that one.  Follow the leader is another I plan to do.   

post #6 of 6
One thing I've learned along the way, is no matter how much fun you make it, kids like skiing with kids. At Crotched I teach kids a the seasonal program (Future Stars) most are only six, and all are girls, they arencompetitive, social, and get to plpay with other kids. I'm not saying you shouldn't coach your kids; but making sure you are aware of other aspects of the learning experience for them.

At Crotched I train with the kids for three hours and the parents ski with them the rest of the day. Being able to ski well and teach well don't necessarily go hand in hand, especially with teaching kids. I have friends that have done an incredible job with their kids in teaching them how to ski and race and others have struggled.

You should also do some reading on the physical/mental/emotional differences are for kids this age. It helps to understand why they do what they do and can't do what you want them too.

Have fun,
Ken
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