Knowing When To Sign Up For Lessons


I get this question all the time: “How should I get my child started skiing?” The A-typical choice is to wait until they are old enough for group lessons (usually 4+) and then sign them up to learn the basics.  Mamas are most often looking for their child to gain enough ski skills in their group lessons to be able to join them on intermediate runs, without being stuck in power wedge. But, I’ve never been A-typical, so my answers to this question may surprise you.  

First, I suggest you introduce your little’s to skiing long before they are old enough for lessons.  It’s a slow introduction but, it’s a process that leaves them confident and rip rearin’ to go when their little bodies catch up to their excitement.  

Second, there are really only four scenarios under which I suggest you sign them up for lessons.  

  1. You’re learning yourself – If you are still a beginner yourself and you want your children to learn at the same time, sign everyone up for lessons.  Some ski schools will even offer a Mommy and Me type lesson where you can learn right alongside each other.  Another option is to pay for a semi-private lesson for the whole crew.  Make it a family affair but, be warned…they will probably surpass your skills in one short season.  So you might want to get use to saying, “hey, wait up for mom!”
  2. You are struggling to teach a specific skill – If you are working on a specific skill and struggling to reach your child’s understanding, it can sometimes be a good idea to sign them up for a 1-2 hour private.  Be sure to let the Instructor know exactly what it is you want to accomplish during this lesson time and ask, at the end, for some suggestions as to how you can carry that learning forward.
  3. You need a break – You have been working hard to teach those kiddos to rip up the bunny slopes but, there’s fresh powder on the summit and your legs need a break from making “pizzas”.  Sign them up for a lesson and take advantage of this time to ski hard and fill your soul.  Don’t you worry, all your hard work and patience will pay off soon!  Before you know it, you’ll be chasing those same kiddos from the summit to the day lodge because you said first one down get’s whip cream on their hot chocolate. Note:  Catching a break doesn’t always mean you have to sign them up for lessons.  Many resorts have daycare available but, if your child wants to be on snow, lessons are the way to go.
  4. They are begging you to take lessons – This does not happen all that often.  Most children are more excited to ski with their Mama than head out on the snow with a group of strangers.  However, personality plays a big role and there are always a few kiddos who love the idea of hitting up the Ski School.  You know best what motivates your child.  If Ski lessons have a strong pull for them, go for it!

That’s it!  These are the only reasons I suggest you sign those little’s up for lessons.  Instead of lessons, I suggest you teach them yourself.

Are you wondering how you are going to teach them like a pro?  

That’s what I’m here for! Teaching children to ski certainly has its ups and downs but, with the right tools (and maybe a few tricks) the experience can be both joyful and productive for you and your child, strengthening your relationship for years to come. To support you in this adventure, I’ve taken my 17 years of experience teaching children to ski (including my own 3) and created some amazing resources. Check out our LEARNING page where you will find everything you need to know and all the support you could desire.