What age is best to start?
Especially if you (or your neighbors, friends or family members) have a backyard pool or live near another body of water, we recommend beginning your infant in formal lessons as soon as they begin to crawl. Babies who begin lessons early and are consistent in their lessons learn quickly and can begin to enjoy their new-found skills as part of family activities.
However, we also believe it is never too late to begin lessons either. If you have a toddler or preschooler, he/she can also learn very effectively. It's important to note that the benefits of beginning early go far beyond the water survival skills learned. Learning balance and basic motor skills in a relatively weightless environment improves muscle tone and bilateral coordination. Worldwide studies have shown that children who participate in early swimming programs were more intelligent, more socially adventurous, better coordinated, and had greater self-esteem, independence and confidence than those who had not participated in baby swim programs. (credit to Liselott Diem, German Sports College, Cologne)
How quickly will my child learn how to swim?
Generally, most students become skilled in independent swimming and floating in 20-25 private lessons, but it is impossible to give an exact answer because no two children are alike. Each child progresses at a different pace, has a different personality, and is at a different stage of development and coordination. Some will be very quick to acquire new skills, and others who may have a fear of water or who have learned ineffective behaviors in the water may take more time. Personality also plays a key factor in learning.
Whatever the case, we teach each student with a gentle and encouraging approach, recognizing that each child is uniquely different. Your child may learn one skill quickly and then it may take longer to acquire another skill. Like dance, sports skills or learning a musical instrument, learning to swim is a process that must be nurtured and developed over time. It is a motor skill that will improve with consistent exposure, repetition and practice. You may also notice that your child will learn some skills quickly and then be hesitant to learn anything new. This is perfectly normal for children (and adults, too!). Once a child has accomplished a skill, they will want to do it again and again. Just as we would, he/she feels secure, confident, and proud of their accomplishments. Rest assured that acquisition of new skills and allowing your child to feel confident with his/her ability in the water will be kept in balance throughout the learning process.
What if my child is afraid of the water?
Some of the more common causes of early fear of the water have to do with the way parents or caregivers relate to children in and around water. Being forced into water activities before being properly skilled, having parents who are afraid of the water and who have either knowingly or unknowingly communicated this fear to their children, being raised in an environment that prohibits childhood water play, whether as a result of lack of opportunity or parental actions, and experiencing or witnessing a traumatic water incident can all cause very valid fears in young children.
Because we understand this, we commit to be be relaxed, patient, and understanding toward your child, provide a reasonable amount of control to a frightened child, and create a positive learning environment with praise, fun games, toys and activities that promote the learn-to-swim process.
How can you teach a baby who cannot talk?
Swimming and floating are motor skills that can be taught to even very young babies through repetition, touch, and verbal praise but not necessarily verbal instruction. Our goal is to make learning as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, and our results speak for themselves!
Can babies really swim?
Generally, children do not have the motor skills to perform a correct freestyle or "front crawl" until about 4 years of age. However, babies can be independently mobile in the water, usually by mimicking crawling at first and then gradually learning more streamlined kicks and arm movements as they become developmentally ready and more experienced in the water. The primary focus of lessons is the rotation from face down to face up first, which will provide even the youngest of “swimmers” a potentially life saving skill while they are becoming developmentally ready for other swimming behaviors.
What if my child cries at lessons? Should I stop?
It is important to note that there are different reasons for crying and different degrees of crying. A certain amount of crying or complaining is to be expected from most beginners and is not cause for concern. At first, your child may show some reluctance. A positive attitude from Mom or Dad will go a long way in reassuring a reluctant child. You will see that as skills are developed, your child will settle into the lesson routine and may very well begin to enjoy his/her newfound skills. Our instructors use a variety of methods so that each child gains trust in the instructor and in the lesson process.
Important: We believe no child should be subjected to a fearful or intimidating learning environment. We oppose any method in which children are aggressively forced onto their backs while they are thrashing, crying and distressed, or any method that forces children to perform any learn-to-swim activities while they are crying and distressed. However, it is unrealistic to say that children never cry during swimming lessons. In some instances babies may become tired, hungry, cold during the lesson and sometimes they may cry as a means of complaining about having to work in the water. These cries are very different than the distressed cry and our instructors are in tune to those differences.
What if my child has a medical condition?
If you believe your child has any medical condition that might reasonably affect his/her safe participation in lessons, please explain the condition on your enrollment form and have your child's physician provide a written clearance to swim before lessons begin.
Does my child need earplugs or ear drops?
We recommend them only if recommended by his/her physician. If your child has ear tubes, please make sure to ask your child's physician for their recommendation before your child's first lesson.
Please use our "Contact Us" form if you have any special circumstance, or questions/concerns that are not covered on our website.