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post #31 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post
Well, when you only quote the very first and last lines of my post you might miss the fact I agree with your approach. Note, you did spend the first two seasons skiing with your child getting him up and running and then moved on to group lessons. Which, is what I said ought to be done. You put in some hard time and sacrificed some of your ski days to get your child to a good baseline where lessons might actually make a difference. And he gets it that this is something you plan to do TOGETHER.
Just because I quoted only part of your post, because that's the part to which I wanted to direct my comments, doesn't mean I didn't read and consider it all. (Note - I'm going to do it again.)

My point was that I disagree that there is one correct approach. I chose to approach things as I did, but I'm not at all sure that it wouldn't have been as well (or, perhaps, better) to wait a year or two and put him in a lesson for his first skiing experience. Lesson or no, there's lots more going on that clearly conveys to him that skiing (and, more generally, snow stuff) is a family activity and something we do together. If you're merely opposed to parents who look to offload their kids at any opportunity, well, so am I, but deciding to put your child in skiing lessons right away isn't necessarily that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post
The first introductions and time spent together are the whole point of spending a day on the hill with your boy! How old is your child now? 4??? Probably not, right? A Sunday morning group lesson on a weekly basis is probably age appropriate-besides you and your wife already on 8 subsequent ski days did all the hard parts (Kudos, job well-done!). You're right when you say a paid ski lesson is not paying someone to parent your child-but dropping off a 4 year old for a first time in a day long ski school is paying someone to create experiences that you yourself should be the one creating...and how can someone be surprised when those purchased experiences are not as fulfilling than if they had actually spent the day with you??!? (Using the personal Pronoun 'You" collective here)
Actually, my son is 4 (turns 5 at the end of February). His first day on skis was a couple of days after his 3rd birthday. Lessons weren't really an option then (I don't know if anyone in Tahoe takes under 4's in group lessons, though I know some will take a 3 year old in a private lesson), and I was eager to give him an opportunity to get started as soon as possible, so we did the slide with Daddy thing. (Actually, we pulled him around on a pair of plastic skis the winter he turned two, so he's on his 4th season now!) I don't agree with you, though, that the only right way to approach things is to have the first (or first few) snow sliding experiences be with mom or dad. Whether or not a parent values the company of his/her children comes through loud and clear 24/7. That message is not going to be disrupted by the particular manner in which you choose to introduce your child to skiing.
post #32 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodstocksez View Post
Just because I quoted only part of your post, because that's the part to which I wanted to direct my comments, doesn't mean I didn't read and consider it all. (Note - I'm going to do it again.)

My point was that I disagree that there is one correct approach. I chose to approach things as I did, but I'm not at all sure that it wouldn't have been as well (or, perhaps, better) to wait a year or two and put him in a lesson for his first skiing experience. Lesson or no, there's lots more going on that clearly conveys to him that skiing (and, more generally, snow stuff) is a family activity and something we do together. If you're merely opposed to parents who look to offload their kids at any opportunity, well, so am I, but deciding to put your child in skiing lessons right away isn't necessarily that.



Actually, my son is 4 (turns 5 at the end of February). His first day on skis was a couple of days after his 3rd birthday. Lessons weren't really an option then (I don't know if anyone in Tahoe takes under 4's in group lessons, though I know some will take a 3 year old in a private lesson), and I was eager to give him an opportunity to get started as soon as possible, so we did the slide with Daddy thing. (Actually, we pulled him around on a pair of plastic skis the winter he turned two, so he's on his 4th season now!) I don't agree with you, though, that the only right way to approach things is to have the first (or first few) snow sliding experiences be with mom or dad. Whether or not a parent values the company of his/her children comes through loud and clear 24/7. That message is not going to be disrupted by the particular manner in which you choose to introduce your child to skiing.

Whether you agree with or not-it's what you did, you spent 8 days over two seasons (plus the around the yard ski tote the year before-another great one! kudos again)-and you've now got some results. Lessons make a little more sense now. And, like I said, from the time you put in since he was 2 (!!!) he knows this is something he's doing/ will be doing with his family!

I think what I'm really railing against is scooping up your 4 year old for a 5 hour car ride to ski wth dad, but sticking him in an 'all-day lesson', for his first experience. There's no level that seems right to me. And, judging by the OP's first post, it didn't work out for him either! And the Ernie Blake school IS a good ski school.
post #33 of 49

Really!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chanwmr View Post

....

Yup, working inside a good program, absolutely. I see that all the time.
In two hours my typical preschool privates are, like August, riding the chairlift securely, gliding, wedging, and turning on gentle terrain. They are also having big fun.

Please name the ski school program that accomplishes all this in a group setting "all the time."

Quote:
Assuming that you have 100% success with you 4yo privates (which wouldn't be the norm), the only difference here is with the kid being in a group he/she is sharing his joy with others, they are feeding off each others (can you emulate a 4yo skiing), they are taking breaks together and they are making friends. In a private, he/she has ONE authorative figure to impress. Which is healthier and what would a typical parent of a 4 yo prefer?
As to what a typical parent would prefer, I haven't the foggiest. But I know from experience what works, and privates work consistently better. I doubt that health is much of an issue here, but if you mean safety, no instructor can supervise a group as well as a single kid. The point isn't really arguable.

Of course, the main difference between a group and a private isn't merely the number per se, it's the individual attention and focus it affords as a consequence. For instance, I take some of my first-time students with me right to the lift while others might need a little sliding, shuffling or boot work first: in a private lesson, I can tailor this decision, and every other choice, precisely for each child instead of the lowest common denominator. That's the real advantage.

FYI, a kid's teacher's job isn't to "emulate a 4yo skiing," and the implication that demos should emulate the student has the whole thing rather backwards. Furthermore, one should strive to teach not as an "authoritative figure" but as a supportive coach. Perhaps your own misconceptions on this role are why your comments here are so misguided.
post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post
Joseph...excellent job with August. He is learning to ski at the same spot I did back in 1965...at the same age too. My Dad was too cheap for lessons so he taught me. Worked good enough I guess. (Not that good enough is good enough though) Was on Sugarbowls race team for awhile. Still at it 43 years later.
Kudos, and thanks for the complement.

I love the job.
post #35 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post
Joseph...excellent job with August. He is learning to ski at the same spot I did back in 1965...at the same age too. My Dad was too cheap for lessons so he taught me. Worked good enough I guess. (Not that good enough is good enough though) Was on Sugarbowls race team for awhile. Still at it 43 years later.

Catdaddyxx...We're neighbors. I live on a ranch on the north side of Lake Meredith, near Bugby, and I need my Jeep detailed! Will call you.

Taos does indeed have a great ski school program, one of the best. Call them up midweek and explain, they may generously resolve the dissatisfaction.
The first part of this post is what I'm getting at-your DAD took you skiing-maybe wasn't the best skier/teacher (and maybe he was!), but he got you loving skiing, he shared something that no all-day drop-off ski school for toddlers can get across. Along the way you got stoked! And motivated enough for racing-and now look at you-late forties and splitting time between Telluride, Taos and Silverton!?! Right on, man!-sounds like you got turned on to a life long love of the sport from the get go!

Of course lessons and camps (and as they get better, race teams etc) all add up to better skiing, but every partent ought to have the expectation to get out and be the one that shapes, introduces these sort of experiences for their kids-and not expect some ski school to do it.

Alright, I'll let it go-I'm too long-winded on this topic..Sorry for the blowhardish nature of these posts.
post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by catdaddyxx View Post
I would take that lesson so fast my head would spin off axis.
Believe it or not, this is a new program for us this year. I'm a little leery of how it will work out, but it looks like I'll be Guinea Pigging it. it's called "Dads, Moms and Groms". It will be a three session program, 2 hours each, for a parent and child age 4-7 on basic instruction and how to teach your kid.
post #37 of 49
catdaddyxx,

There are some instructors on epicski who work at Winter Park. daysailor for one. Consider posting a query regarding WP's program for 4-year olds. I found areas have very different approaches to how they handle kids of that age.
post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by catdaddyxx View Post
no parents allowed inside

Am I way too out of line?
No, sir, you are a fool.

Any time you see a child place where parents are not allowed, you take your child and RUN the other way.

Besides: Why the H*** didn't you teach your own child?

Now he will remember his first time as being bored, hassled, possibly irritated with you as his first ever ski experience.

Thanks but no thanks.
post #39 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zippy View Post
Now he will remember his first time as being bored, hassled, possibly irritated with you as his first ever ski experience.
Are you kidding me? At 4, the changes are he won't remember a thing about this. Especially when there was no excitement to speak of.
post #40 of 49
Are you kidding me? Children at four don't remember parental involvment in NEW activities? They look to their parents first, and if they are not there, the look to the teacher.

That's why you don't sit around in kindergarten watching the goings on....
sheesh.
post #41 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Are you kidding me? Children at four don't remember parental involvment in NEW activities? They look to their parents first, and if they are not there, the look to the teacher.

That's why you don't sit around in kindergarten watching the goings on....
sheesh.
Please read I was responding to. As far as what a 4 yo remembers... Parents involvement and bond: yes and always. But, the actual events and what goes on on a particular day, I remain to say likely no -- unless something dramatic or traumatic happened. That is not to say that he/she didn't understand what went on at that moment.
post #42 of 49
To the OP: Given that it looks like a beautiful day with decently comfortable temps, yeah, I think that a half hour at a time probably is less than I'd expect. To me, that's more like what my kids got when they were three; by the time they were four, the only reason for that would be that the weather sucked.

That said, there's a lot of difference among three year olds -- a kid who's three years and 11 months old has about an extra quarter of his life under his belt than one who's three years and a month, and having twins certainly confirmed for me that they develop at different rates. Throw in the fact that it's early in the season, and it was his first time, and realistically, if at the end of the day, he ends up with a grin on his face and asks when you get to go back, well, mission accomplished.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post
Well, you never get the results you want when you pay someone else to do your job.
Are you a total control freak? I don't homeschool my kid either. The instructors are paid professionals who are, at least in theory, properly trained to teach kids how to ski. That's their job. My job is practicing law, not teaching skiing, and the instructors better not try that. And that's not even considering the fact that kids respond differently to teachers than to their parents.

Sounds to me like the OP is mixing it up between letting a professional teach his kid and getting out there and skiing with him. That's a wise choice, in my opinion. The only times I've had successful skiing teaching experiences with my kids were when they specifically asked me to show them how to do something -- usually, how to pick a line, but sometimes something more technical. Most of the time, when we're skiing together, we're just skiing together, and if there's teaching going on, it's just because I ran into them on the lift and their coach invited me to take a couple of runs with the team -- in which case he's coaching, and I'm just skiing and maybe helping keep the group. Technique is his department; fun is mine. It's a great division of labor.

EDIT TO ADD: I just clicked over to my eight year old sons' coach's Facebook page to say hi for them, and saw that his new profile picture is a shot my mom took of the team on the last weekend they skied together last year. I'm a little teary-eyed, and not just because it's 1:30 in the morning. If you don't understand the benefit that both the kids and the teachers get out of these interactions, well, I hope you don't have kids of your own yet. Because one of the most important things you can do for them is to give them freedom to explore, not just with other kids, but with other adults you can trust.

End rant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chanwmr View Post
As far as what a 4 yo remembers... Parents involvement and bond: yes and always. But, the actual events and what goes on on a particular day, I remain to say likely no -- unless something dramatic or traumatic happened. That is not to say that he/she didn't understand what went on at that moment.
My twins haven't been back to Squaw since they were four -- half their lives ago -- and they remember specific runs. They remember specific, non-traumatic events from at least age three. This is what they're built to do at that age: remember, forget, screw up, and most of all, learn.
post #43 of 49
No Alpinedad, I'm not a controlfreak. I don't homeschool the boys--however, as sure heck read to them frequently long before they set foot in a classroom. And, I endeavored to teach them quite a few things long before I relied on the public school system to do it for me. And because I did this, their school experience has been better and more fruitful...Isn't that what you would do???? Is it school that will give them the joy of reading, discovering and learning? School is there to help enhance and promote the attributes that you have already instilled through time, work and skill. Why should skiing or any other big learning experience be different??

This is what I'm talking about, Pre-K kids (again, 4 year olds, man, not kids ready for focused coaching) going out with Dad for a day of winter adventure, it pays to lay down some good groundwork and important time together before any paid for lesson is worth a damn. And again, I'm not just talking about them learning to ski-it's about learning to love skiing-I'm sure even if you warehouse your 4 year-old kids in all-day lessons and camps every time you go skiing they'll certainly learn to ski, but I think there's a lot more going on here, and a lot more to gain than just learning to ski.

Liam.
post #44 of 49
This thread keeps on going, which is a good thing because it is an important subject. It seems to me that both Liam and alpinedad are actually closer in thought and action than it would first appear. I believe in a mix of instruction. Like alpine dad I turned my son over to instructors at an early age, then spent time skiing with him, giving advice only when really needed, say on a difficult section, or when asked, mostly letting him follow me to learn about line choice. Like Liam I spent some time with my son before he ever had any formal instruction. We put on his boots and skis in the house, then out in the yard, skiing between my legs down our front yard.

I strongly feel that the most important part for a kid is becoming comfortable moving around on skis. I always included a lot of snow play while on skis. Things like having him chase me around on the flats, snowball fights, learning to throw snow with his skis.

I know there are bears here who's fathers threw them out into the freezing cold at a bare bones area with naught bt a rope tow and they somehow came to love skiing. I myself was given a cheap pair of skis at the age of 5 and learned on my own climbing the local sledding hills. What I'm saying is that there is no right answer. Individuals - even 4-year old individuals will have their likes and dislikes, talents and issues and will respond differently.
post #45 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post
Pre-K kids (again, 4 year olds, man, not kids ready for focused coaching) going out with Dad for a day of winter adventure, it pays to lay down some good groundwork
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post
and important time together before any paid for lesson is worth a damn.
Here, you have the sequence almost exactly backwards.

Until I started patrol training, I hadn't snowplowed in 30+ years. Why would I be any good at teaching my kids how to do that? Most of my skiing technique was ingrained at such an early age that it's automatic now, which is great for me, but makes it difficult to articulate to others, particularly pre-schoolers. Not to mention, it was learned on straight skis, and before decades worth of improvements in teaching technique. So even if I remembered what I was taught, it would've been counterproductive.

If I'd tried to start them myself, I'm 100% sure that I would have started them off wrong, and they would've spent lots of time unlearning the wrong things I taught them.

That's not to discount the value of time spent skiing with them, even when they're first learning. Ideally, there will be at least a collective run at the end of each day in lessons. But to suggest that they should start with a noninstructor is bassackwards.

In the end, of course, if it works for your kids, fine. Different kids are different. But you basically slammed the OP when all he was asking for was a reality check. That's just being a jerk.
post #46 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
Agreed.


Here, you have the sequence almost exactly backwards.

Until I started patrol training, I hadn't snowplowed in 30+ years. Why would I be any good at teaching my kids how to do that? Most of my skiing technique was ingrained at such an early age that it's automatic now, which is great for me, but makes it difficult to articulate to others, particularly pre-schoolers. Not to mention, it was learned on straight skis, and before decades worth of improvements in teaching technique. So even if I remembered what I was taught, it would've been counterproductiv

If I'd tried to start them myself, I'm 100% sure that I would have started them off wrong, and they would've spent lots of time unlearning the wrong things I taught them.

That's not to discount the value of time spent skiing with them, even when they're first learning. Ideally, there will be at least a collective run at the end of each day in lessons. But to suggest that they should start with a noninstructor is bassackwards.

In the end, of course, if it works for your kids, fine. Different kids are different. But you basically slammed the OP when all he was asking for was a reality check. That's just being a jerk.

Wrong. Just wrong.


You've skied for 30 years and you think the people ski-schools peg to do the kiddie-toddler lessons were better equipped to teach your kid?? Ha! (haven't you ever worked in a ski school-don't you know who they fob of the kiddie lessons to???).

There is nothing, absolutely nothing 'earth-shattering' being taught in Pre-K toddler ski lessons. In fact, almost every outfit goes to great lengths to talk about how they'll 'just focus on fun'' and 'learn in a safe enriching environment'. you know, the same corporate gobblety-gook that daycares use to make parents feel better about dropping their kids off there as well.

BACK TO THE OP-To expect that those Taos lessons would be anything more than 'active daycare' was the mistake. They took decent care of the kids, with a little productive on snow time so the parents could enjoy a day of skiing. I'm calling it what it is. Yeah, I inverted the question, I don't think it's 'what's wrong with this Taos product' but rather 'what's wrong with this whole picture?' He posted the question-if he wants a better experience for his child, he needs to take a more active part in creating it.

And, Alpinedad, I don't care if you think I'm a jerk saying that. Everyone can use all the cyber-space this forum allows to shout me down. Because that's what happens when you post a strident opinion-I don't take it personally and i won't think you're a jerk for strongly advocating a contrary opinion.

Liam
post #47 of 49
When someone asks a reasonable question, and you respond by telling them their question is stupid, and their real question should be something they didn't ask, that's not called "strongly advocating a contrary opinion." That's called acting like a douchebag.

As for the meat of your threadjack, the vast majority of the instructors my kids had as 3-6 year olds were great skiers who loved kids and taught them well. And yes, I watched them during the lessons and talked with both them and my kids before and after.

At very least, I think any reasonable person would agree that this is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Different kids, parents, and instructors can produce different results with the same setup. Our approach -- catch as catch can half and full day lessons mixed with family skiing for several years, then noncompetitive team mixed with family skiing for the last three seasons -- has left me with three kids who can rip up anything on the hill and have a blast doing it. YMMV.
post #48 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
My twins haven't been back to Squaw since they were four -- half their lives ago -- and they remember specific runs. They remember specific, non-traumatic events from at least age three. This is what they're built to do at that age: remember, forget, screw up, and most of all, learn.
I guess I generalized a bit too much. But, so did the response that I was responding to. And, it sounds like you are somewhat doing so too.

As you probably already gathered, I have kids of my own too. I'm more involved than most when it comes to my kids' businesses, friends and activities. Anyone that knows me can attest to that. To be very honest, my kids (and as far as I know their friends also) don't remember much dating back before they were, say, 4 (my older has no clue with anything prior to 5/6), with the exception of certain dramatic (note that I call this out these moments as well) and traumatic events.
post #49 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post
You've skied for 30 years and you think the people ski-schools peg to do the kiddie-toddler lessons were better equipped to teach your kid?? Ha! .
I have been skiing 37 years or since I was 3 yrs old.

I definitely think that team of instructors at Alpine Meadows Kids' Camp did a better job with my oldest when she was 4 yrs old than I could have been.

Now, we did have her "on skis" at 2. At 3 she had real skis and we did a couple privates with her. But, progress she made at 4 was very impressive and the credit goes to the instructors at Alpine Meadows Kids' Camp. We just re-enforced what they were doing with her.

As a kid I was in a few useless lessons and I was a little disappointed in the instruction at Kirkwood last year with at the time my 5 year old. But a good program can work.


catdaddyxx: I've been to Taos a few times and have put my kid in day care at Taos. Very disappointed to hear your story and I think you are right to be a little upset. Hopefully they were just having a bad day.
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