09 Oct Skiing with Children; Group Lessons or Private Instructor?
So you have booked your family ski holiday, flights and transfers are all in place and now all you need to book lessons for the children. But what type of lesson should you book, a private instructor for the week? But what happens if the children don’t gel with them? Ok, we’ll put them into a group lessons, but do you pick a local Ski School or one of the independents? So many choices.
It can be an overwhelming experience and something that you want to get right as best you can. The team here at Kaluma Travel have a full ski schools’ worth of children between them and we’ve been there and got the T-Shirt. These would be our top tips.
- How many weeks skiing have the children done? What sort of character is your son/daughter? Did they enjoy their last skiing holiday or were there some wobbles along the way? These are important factors in determining what will be best for your children. Ski schools for little ones might be a little overwhelming if also taken in the native language but they certainly add to the experience once your children are confidently skiing on their second or third holiday.
- We only recommend ski schools that we know and trust. We have years of experience in our chosen resorts and we wouldn’t recommend anyone we wouldn’t use ourselves. So use this to your advantage. Ask us lots of questions, tell us your concerns and we will give you our best suggestion for you to look at.
- Check the ratio of instructor to student. The maximum should be between six – eight students. Any more and you have to question how much time your child will have with the instructor. We’ve heard some horror stories of twenty students to one instructor and this is something we would not recommend.
- Book early, especially if you are travelling during the peak school holiday dates. If you are looking at ski school or private instructors then the earlier you confirm your lessons the better. We will have more chance in securing the instructor or group you want. So, consider lessons at the same time as booking your skiing trip.
- Excitement and enthusiasm can at times outweigh exhaustion and ability. You might have picked them up from ski school and the chant of ‘one more run’ might tempt you to take them back up the mountain. The ski school put the safety of your children at the center of everything. There is a good reason why little ones only have a couple of hours a day. Much better to finish on a high, rather than a major wipe out at the end of the day.
- If travelling with another family it might make sense to look at booking a private instructor. Just be mindful that they are all of the same level and ideally attitude. You will have more flexibility in start and finish times, which may well aid the morning scramble and perhaps allow a longer lunch for the adults. After all it is your holiday too.
- Cost will be a consideration as well; group lessons are significantly cheaper. The private lessons will be more intense and your child will be very tried at the end of their lessons, but they are likely to progress quicker. There is a group camaraderie that children very often respond well to with group lessons and the element of fun is well placed throughout.
So in short there are options for everyone. From personal experience we have found that a mix of all of the above have worked really well for our children who have similar ability but very different attitudes.
Oh, and Dads, be prepared to lose a bit of hero worship when Henri the instructor performs a back flip off the air bag and your son looks on in awe. It’s a short lived thing, and we recommend that perhaps that your desk job isn’t conducive to trying to relive your seasons by attempting that 360!