7 reasons kids should go to ski school

Nov 1, 2020

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As a family who lives in sunny Miami, we appreciate the special joy that comes from a ski vacation. Since our family only makes it to the mountains once a year or so, ski school plays a major role in our trips. We’ve ventured to California, Colorado and Wisconsin for ski lessons.

And while ski school undeniably makes a family ski trip more expensive, no matter where we’ve enrolled our girls into ski school, it’s always been worth it. Here’s why.

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Taking the gondola to ski school! (Photo courtesy of Monet Hambrick)

Get Them Started young Before Fear Kicks In

We have always been firm believers in not letting our fears stop our children from experiencing new things. At 4-years-old, our youngest has been introduced to activities like surfing, zip-lining, and parasailing.

For many adults, their first time skiing is a terrifying experience that brings up a lot of fear. This is because adults are fully aware of the risks and have already created assumptions in their minds — whether they’re accurate or not. Kids, however, come in with an open mind — unless they’ve been told otherwise — and since they usually don’t understand the risks, they are way less fearless and that creates less tension and can mean a better student.

I remember the first time my girls went to ski school. They hopped on the skis so excitedly, ready to conquer the bunny slopes without a second thought.

Of course, this year is going to be different on many ski slopes. Many resorts aren’t operating ski school for ages 3 and 4 this year — unless you book a private lesson. Be sure to check your ski resort for details about its ski school offerings for the 2020–2021 season.

Kids Pick Up New Skills Quickly

There’s no argument that kids pick up new skills more quickly than adults.

You won’t know if you’re kids will fall in love with skiing and continue to do it for the rest of their life. But, chances are the earlier they start, the better they’ll be. My husband’s first time skiing was at 30 and let’s just say our kids did better than he did.

In a normal year, lots of ski schools offer lessons for kids starting at 3 years old. While it’s hard to know the right age to start kids skiing, if you think your kids are ready, sign them up and see how they do. You might just be surprised. This year, your best bet for the littlest of skiers will be to schedule some one- or two-hour private lessons and go from there.

My daughter’s first time off the bunny slopes, successfully skiing down a short green run with the help of her instructor. She skied for six minutes straight and we were all so proud of her! (Photo courtesy of Monet Hambrick)

Ski School is Fun

I’ve spied on my kids during ski school before and I’ll just say it: I was jealous.

Their ski lessons looked much different than mine. They got multiple breaks to play in the snow, snacks like cookies and ice cream were included and they eventually get to ski through forts and fun trails. Unless they’re doing a private lesson, they also have other kids their age to play with. This year many ski school group lessons that are happening will be capped at four to six kids, so it shouldn’t feel too overwhelming.

When it’s time to pick them up, even if they’re tired, they love telling us about all their new friends and the fun they had.

My daughter enjoying an ice cream break at ski school at Beaver Creek. She also loved the sled ride to ski school every morning by her instructor at Breckenridge. (Photo courtesy of Monet Hambrick)

Kids Learn Better Away From Parents

Have you ever tried to teach your kids something and they either didn’t get it or got frustrated, but as soon as you were taken out of the equation everything changed?

There is less whining, less resistance and sometimes more motivation with trying to keep up with the other students in their lesson. Oftentimes, we want to be the ones to teach our kids new things but that doesn’t always mean we’re the best ones to do it. Putting your kids in ski school will ensure they are taught not only the proper technique but all the safety measures they need to take while on the mountain as well.

Allows Parents Some Free Time

Selfishly, one of the best reasons kids should go to ski school is so you as the parents get some free time.

Whether you’re taking lessons of your own, skiing down runs your kids can’t yet, enjoying the hot tub, working out, hitting the spa or just relaxing, you’ll have some hours of free time.

My husband and I happy after dropping our girls off at ski school (Photo courtesy of Monet Hambrick)

It’s probably safer

While the vast majority of skiers and boarders learn the sport without an issue, there are some inherent risks to the sport. If you aren’t experienced in how to safely teach a young, novice skier to stop, make turns and on and off-load a lift, it can be a wiser choice to leave that to the professionals who do those skills day in and day out.

Related: Avoid these 13 beginner ski mistakes 

Creates Another Way to Bond as a Family and Keeps Adults Young

Once your entire family has taken lessons and is comfortable on the slopes, skiing together becomes a way to bond as a family.

There is nothing like watching your kids succeed in something new, falling in love with it and doing it together. I love how each year my daughters ask if we’re going skiing again. I also love how them wanting to ski keeps my husband and I going back year after year. If nothing else, their learning how to ski well, thanks to ski school, plays into our whole family taking an active ski vacation.

Monet Hambrick and Sunshine Abou Bakar of @africanboheme skiing with their daughters. (Photo courtesy of Monet Hambrick)

Bottom Line

Ski school has become a yearly tradition my family truly loves. No matter the age you introduce skiing to your kids, ski school is a great idea to increase the speed of learning, minimize frustrations and allow them to have fun with other kids while they are learning. While there are endless quality options to choose from when looking for ski schools, here’s a round-up of some of the top ski schools across the country.

Featured image by Imgorthand/Getty Images

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