Issue 45 | February 15, 2013 | Featuring Leif Harfst


Mogul skiing is a freestyle snow sport where skiers display their tricks, jumps and incredible turning abilities for onlookers on a mogul slope making high-quality, aggressive turns while remaining in the fall line (an imaginary line that combines the steepest pitch and most direct line, from top to bottom, of any slope). Skiers absorb the impact of the bumps by bending at the knees and hips. In a good run, shoulders remain parallel to the finish line, turns should be quick and short, and skis should not leave the snow surface".(Wikipedia)

A YouTube example of this demanding sport can be found here:

A home school graduate of 2012 is competing his way to the World Cup in Mogul skiing. Read about Leif Harfst in the FEATURED STUDENT section. 



INSIDE NARHS: Literature Study Guides

A number of our students are taking a course this year called "British Literature" because of the interest generated by The Hobbit coming out in theaters.  The Progeny Press study guides have a guide for each of these:  The Hobbit,  (and then The Lord of the Ring trilogy)

The Fellowship of the Ring,   Two Towers, and The Return of the King.   Each of these study guides is worth .25 credit, thus making one full credit of English when the four are completed.  To round out a good British Literature course, have your student report on the life of Tolkien in an essay format that can be graded with one of the Quick Guides in our Resource  Advisor. 

    For an American Literature Course, you could assemble these Progeny Press study guides:

*The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby  (roaring 20's), The Last of the Mohicans, *Red Badge of Courage (Civil War), The Scarlet Letter (Puritan era), *To Kill a Mockingbird,  and *Uncle Tom's Cabin.  Since Lincoln is out now in the theaters, a study could focus on the Civil War using those guides marked with an asterisk.  

Save $50 per student 
Use promo code: 50OFF (Five-Zero-O-F-F) at checkout at, or mention this deal over the phone to save $50 on NARHS Tuition when paid by February 28, 2013 and receive a free Log Book or Resource Advisor by mail.  Offer applies to any school year not yet paid for.  Free book may be subject to shipping fees.
Feel free to share this offer with anyone you think would benefit from NARHS!
Offer Expires: February 28, 2013

Leif grew up in a German family who have lived here in the U.S. on a visa since 1995. When Leif's dad, Lutz, was an exchange student in the U.S. during his college years, he loved the country so much that he wanted to build his life in America instead of Germany.    After the family of three arrived in their new homeland, Leif's brother Hauke was born. 


Since home schooling was the parent's choice from the start, Leif's work and play schedule was adaptable giving him opportunities away from the very busy weekends to try out skiing at White Pass in the Cascade Mountains.  By age 10, he had already discovered his daredevil knack for risky moves on the powder, especially the jumping, flipping / twirling through the air, and skiing steep runs.  Has he ever broken anything? Not yet, but almost.

The White Pass Ski area held yearly, low-key races in which Leif excelled leading to larger regional competitions requiring some travel to Montana or Idaho.  The success in those events along with the contacts he made opened up other opportunities. By the 3rd year, Leif got serious about the level of competition he sought.


Come February of 2013, Leif has now trained in Australia and Europe, but currently in Utah where he is attempting to qualify for the German ski team competing at the World Cup.  "Qualifying" happens with points earned through winning events.  If that goal is met, Leif hopes eventually for a spot on the German Olympic ski team. 


With a few concussions and one almost-serious spinal injury behind him, you might wonder what keeps him going.  Leif will tell you.


"Two years ago at one of my annual competitions in Montana, I realized that if I tried hard enough I could take skiing to the next level.  At that competition my speed was faster, my jumps were bigger, and most of all, I was having more fun than I ever had before.

       Later on that summer, I was invited on a month long training trip to Australia. My coaches were former world champion and Washington local Patrick Deneen, and his father Patrick Senior. The training I received on this trip was yet another big step towards my ultimate goal of making the German team. This trip helped me realize that now is as good a time as any to give my skiing career the best shot possible.

        While I was on this trip, I made an important decision. Then and there I was giving this sport my all for the next couple of years. I found that while I have the chance, I might as well use it. There is only a short window of time in everyone's life where one can do these things, and right now was that time. My goal was to use every bit of this opportunity. I know that one day, when I've completed all of my academics, and have started my adult life, I will look back on this time with satisfaction. Even if I didn't make it to a world cup or the Olympics, I can still be proud of one thing, I gave it everything I had in me. There will be no regrets!

       Homeschooling has been an amazing blessing to me. It allowed me to travel all over the country and still keep up with my academics. It allowed me to train when I had to and study when I had to.  I should have called it my portable school. Such a funny thought in today's technologically advanced world. We strive to make everything as portable as possible phones, computers, tablets, even houses! Yet somehow many have managed to miss the chance to make school portable."


This gives new meaning to "Learning anytime everywhere."  Portable learning can happen on ski lift chairs, before the fireplace in mountain lodges, during air trips to Australia or Switzerland, and in hospital beds.  Learning never needs to stop.