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Well, Mason just had his first day of ski school. He was crazy excited about it and reminded me of Nemo from Finding Nemo.
He was talking about it for days beforehand and nonstop on the drive up there. Of course when he met his teacher, he was suddenly shy and reserved.
So I know that we’ve talked here before about the importance of ski school, but honestly have not followed our own advice until now. Since Andrew and I both have taught ski school before, we have just relied on our previous experience and have been teaching Mason and Chloe on our own. However, since January is “Learn to Ski Month” we decided to check out the lesson program at Arapahoe Basin and see what they had to offer. Thankfully, we (and Mason) were not disappointed.
We decided to put Mason in the Little Legends program where he will meet three times and have the same teacher and class each time. This week, since there was a storm that hit the night before, the drive up was bad and several kids didn’t make it to the ski hill. For Mason, that meant a one-on-one lesson all day. BONUS! I think that was great for him because then the teacher could just focus on him and what he needed to learn. However, we are hoping that the other boy in this class comes this week so he has a little ‘competition’.
This week, his teacher was working on getting him out of his wedge and lining up his skis more. She did a great job working with him on some drills and practices that will help get him naturally out of that habit. Also, since it was just the two of them, she was able to quickly pick up on a few aspects of Mason’s skiing that got skipped when we were teaching him. Like remedying the fact that he could not sidestep up the mountain by himself. She also just picked a few key things he needed help on and kept working with him on those through play. Definitely the mark of an experienced teacher.
According to Mason all they did was have races and go on HUGE jumps (like a good fish story, the jumps get bigger each time he talks about them). However, after skiing with him that afternoon, I could already see a difference in his skills. His confidence had increased and his willingness to try new skills had improved. It’s amazing how much he learned just from having someone else besides Mom and Dad help him.
So if this lesson helped so much, why go back for more? Well this is why we are REALLY excited about this program he is in. This week, when we go up, his teacher will know exactly what he can do and what he needs to work on. She won’t need to spend several runs just assessing his skills. Also, she’s already worked to develop a relationship with him and now they just get to build on it. Last week, it took Mason until around lunchtime to finally come out of his shell and be comfortable in this new situation. This week, I know he will be able to just jump right in.
Overall, I was really impressed with our first experience. Everyone at the ski school was incredibly helpful and friendly. I even had other instructors come up to me at lunch and talk to me, just because they knew that I had a son in their programs. Also, it’s clear to see that all the teachers in his program are really experienced and great at what they do (Chloe and I were skiing by the other classes on the beginner hill most of the morning). Plus, compared with other programs in the area, A-Basin provides amazing value.