As the pool season approaches, the idea of swim lessons and pool safety is on the mind of every parent. Let’s answer some of the biggest questions that almost every parent has about swim lessons.
- When should I start my child? As soon as possible! Many facilities offer swim lessons for kids as young as six months. These “Mommy and Me” classes are an excellent way to introduce your children to the water. Depending on their development, consider starting your children between ages 3-4. Some children are ready at age 3, however that is not always the case so be prepared for the instructor to suggest waiting a little bit longer.
- Should I be involved with their lessons? Almost all instructors encourage parents to not hang around on deck during the lessons. However, classes such as the “Mommy and Me” Learn to Swim programs will require parents to be in the water. As your child progresses and grows older, they will learn to rely on the instructor. Parents are encouraged to wait outside the pool for two main reasons; kids will want to cling to parents when scared and parents may not be completely comfortable watching instructors letting their children go in the water. Practice what kids learn but when it comes time for lessons, let the instructor take control and consider it as Parent Quiet Time.
- How do I know which instructor to select? Don’t be afraid to ask your instructor or the person scheduling your lessons a ton of questions about the available instructors. How long have they been teaching, what is their personality like, and what age group do they typically work with. You’ll find that some instructors are better with younger kids and those just learning than others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the preference of a male or female instructor. The more comfortable your swimmer is with the teacher the more they will succeed.
- Should my child be in private or group lessons? Group or private lessons really come down to schedule preference. If your schedule allows you to attend group lessons, consider this as a starting point. The ability to use positive peer pressure as a teaching tool has the ability to progress your swimmer. However, if your schedule does not allow for group lessons or you noticed your child doesn’t seem to be paying or attention or progressing at the same rate as the other kids, consider the addition of private lessons.
- How long does it take to learn to swim? The obvious response is all children progress at different rates, which is true. In order to retain what is learned in lessons and to avoid relearning techniques at each meeting, swimmers should participate in 2-3 lessons per week. Some kids may take a month to learn to swim on their own and some may take multiple summers. Remember your kids can always keep learning more about swimming and further education will only keep them safer in the water.