Summer is here and this is the time for families to register their children for swimming lessons. After 20+ years spent as an aquatics director and swim lesson instructor-trainer, let me share some ideas and tips to assist you with this important learning activity.
Regardless of your child’s swimming ability, you can play a critical role in guiding, caring for, supervising, motivating, and working with your child during the experience of participating in swim lessons.
Most communities have public or private swimming pools with a variety of aquatics programs for all ages (even adults!). Here are some things to consider when choosing the swimming facility:
- Is the pool is indoors or outdoors? Dress appropriately and wear sunscreen.
- Is the pool heated? Cool water is still OK to swim in.
- What is time of day the lessons are offered? Usually classes are offered in the mornings or evenings.
- Does the facility offer group and private lessons? Children really learn better when placed in a group situation. However, if your child has special needs, most swim programs offer private or specialized lessons tailored to the child’s needs.
It is very important to carefully review the swim lesson program offered by your leisure provider. Prepare your child for this experience by first visiting the swimming pool where the classes are held.
Tips on Placing Your Child in the Right Lesson
Many swimming programs are seasonal, meaning that lessons may only be offered in the summer months.
- If your child has taken lessons before, you may want to repeat the last level that was completed the summer before as a review.
- Most children remain in the same level for two or more sessions.
- It is easier to move a child up a level than to move them down.
- The pool staff may make the final decision in placement of your child into the most appropriate class level based on the child’s skill.
- Do not over-schedule your child. One lesson per day is enough.
Once your child starts the swim lesson session, here are some suggestions to help you provide the best experience for your child.
- Be on time and attend every lesson.
- Follow the pool rules and encourage safety around any body of water.
- During the lesson, sit in the parent viewing area so as not to distract your child.
- Dress your child in a swim suit. Swim goggles and rashguard may be worn. Bring a towel.
- Leave questions for the instructor for after the lesson or ask the facility director.
- Have patience and give positive praise.
- Provide encouragement and opportunities to practice new skills during recreational swim.
Above all, just have fun and let your child soak up the experience in this fun learning environment. Swimming is a life-long leisure activity with endless benefits.
I’m joining Debbie in Shape for Tip Tuesday.