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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ski School!

Go ahead and ask my kids!  They'd tell you that I would bring 'school' anywhere.  It just so happens that we are on vacation and indeed school is in session!  Ski school that is....well, really Boarding School. Well, really...we're just snowboarding and skiing!  And I didn't bring 'school' here I just brought the kids to the mountain and the lessons are here waiting to be discovered!    
Okay - so what I mean is that there are ample opportunities for the kids to learn even while they are snowboarding. Take a look at a few of our lessons today.
Lesson 1: Elapsed Time!  What time will you need to wake up if it takes 40 minutes to get to the mountain? Make sure you plan to give yourself time for a 10 minute shower each (so multiply by 3) and grab a quick breakfast.  We need to arrive by 8:30 so you might need to work backwards.  (Elapsed time practice for kids).

Lesson 2:  Money! (at the ticket window)  Throughout the day the kids will be working on money concepts.  First up is to decide which value is better.  A one day ticket for $56 each or buying three 2-day tickets for a total of $270.  What would the savings be if we bought 3 teen tickets for 3 consecutive days?

Lesson 2a.  Money Continued (at the Lunch):  You will be given $20 to spend on food for the day. What will you buy so that you have enough for 3 trips through the lodge?  Will you save any to buy something for the ride home?   Are there any deals where you can combine your money. (Money practice for kids).

Lesson 3:  Geography:  Even though we have a GPS, we like to bring along a map to find our way to the mountain. Once there planning and creating a route on the trail becomes important and involves Reading a Map.  Although there will be no longitude and latitude, paying particular attention to the map key and following signs will be key to getting down the mountain.  Locating the lodges and first aide areas would be a great first step.  Approximate estimate of distance will also be important in the planning process.  

Lesson 4: Science:  From measuring the amount of snow on the trails, finding the temperature at different intervals and at varied elevations, factoring wind chill (and dressing for it), comparing and contrasting conifers to identifying animal tracks, there is a lot of science to be learned on the mountains. 

Lesson 5:  Social Skills: Waiting patiently in line, allowing others to go ahead of you, being polite, courteous and respectful, and taking turns are just a few of the social skills learned during this type of vacation.  This is where a parent's good teaching comes to fruition.  Realistically, this is probably the most important of the lessons being learned.  If your child can handle being in a crowd of people while behaving most pleasantly, then you did your job well!
Above all, even though there are lessons to be learned by all of us - being with family is just the best lesson in itself.  Making memories that will last a lifetime is also a lesson in its own right.  Spending time with family shows your children how important they are and how important it is to be with family.  Hopefully, this lesson will be paid forward in the future when the children grow up to have their own Family Fun!

Tell me, do you know of any lessons that can be learned on the mountain, at the beach or some other vacation spot? 


  1. Great blog. Great idea! Caught my interest right from the start. Fun and learning all at once.
    One lesson I learned on the mountain is not to run out of rope.
    Great job Nancy.

  2. Life, always a lesson. Thank you for the terrific post. I wish I was on that mountain!

  3. Great post! Great links too! Love the social skills lesson - nice touch. So, no Money Lesson #2b - if I don't budget well, I can hit mom up for some more? ;)

  4. This is awesome. There is also the lesson of learning something new, not getting psyched out, and knowing that practice practice will make you proud of your accomplishment at the end of the day. And, also, learning to listen to your body so when your body is tired, you know enough to stop. That is when most accidents happen. 10 cents : )"


  5. Great Post Nancy! Would love to know your thoughts on Gunstock.....they have an adapted ski program that we are looking to enroll Liam in but have never been to that mountain.

  6. Very creative Nancy – one of the things I learned was to stay away from the diamond shaped black things!


  7. Nice post, a creative way to get your kids thinking about what they're up to from different angles. The most obvious lesson is how to manage your speed - your motor skills are in an extreme test when you are skiing, especially with so many distractions on the slopes. You can certainly improve reaction/response-time!


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