When learning to swim as a child it can feel like a roller coaster. They know that water can be a fun time but after seeing or experiencing learning to swim it can be more of a frustrating feeling. We want to start with a solid foundation.
The foundation of swimming begins with just 4 skills: breath control in the water, swimming horizontally on your stomach or back, floating on your back and coming up from a depth.
The simplicity of these skills gets over looked
too often in our industry.
The average swim school that teaches lessons in a group setting breaks down swimming into a level system. Each level usually has over 20 different skills a child must "pass off" to be ready to progress in the water. The problem with this system is that children are only performing the skill a handful of times before being checked off to progression. Is that enough for you as a parent to feel confident that they can now swim? Read why 1 lesson per week won't work.
Why do the fundamentals matter? Well because they are what your child will actually use when they go swimming. Its such a simple concept, but has been over complicated for decades! I have not met a single parent that did NOT come through our doors and have the goal of getting their child to be a safer swimmer in mind. So here is how we accomplish that, and the answer to achieving that goal is consistency. Practicing the same 4 skills each lesson, having a consistent schedule set up always produces the best results.
In the beginning of our programs development we realized that our students needed a slight alteration in how they were taught these skills. The lesson plans haven't changed, but instead we introduced personality profiling into our method. Children learn differently, they need a teacher that can compliment their needs to help them progress that much more. I wouldn't approach back floating for a timid child the same way I would a stubborn one. So understanding a child's natural learning tendencies changed the way we taught our survival skills. You can read more about our personality profiling here.
There is no perfect age set for when to start your child into swimming lessons. However putting it off year after year makes it that much harder. The older a child is the stronger they are, and if they have always relied on a life jacket or haven't been exposed to much water then there is a strong sense of hesitancy right at the start. So not only are we trying to teach them a new skill but they begin to fight us every step of the process.
It can be very frustrating and
confusing as a parent.
Maybe they love the water when it's time to play but when it's time to work on refining their skills they are unrecognizable, crying and screaming, yelling for you to help them. When in reality it's all a fight or flight reaction to being given structure in a place that has only always been fun.
Let us know in the comments what your personal experience was learning to swim or what your experience has been if your children have done lessons in the past.