What I Learned About My Kid’s Swim Lessons
I was surprised by how many people were interested in swim lessons when I shared ours on my Instagram. Not that I don’t think swim lessons are important, I think they are very important!
I just thought everybody had information about swim lessons in their area, so I wasn’t expecting so many questions about it. Here is what I learned about my kid’s swim lessons.
Find a pool near you
Originally I didn’t really know where to find information for swim lessons but you can look on your local parks and recreation website and they should have a separate section for pools. Then you can see which pools, in your area, offer swim lessons.
You could also do a search on Google for pools near you and look at their specific website to see if they offer swim lessons. Facebook is another great place to ask/find swim lesson recommendations. Just type in the search or ask on your own timeline!
Swim lesson type
Not all swim lessons are created equal. There are two main types of swim lessons. One is the more traditional type where lifeguards and certified swim instructors teach your children (usually in a group setting). The other one is survival swim lessons. I have only done the first kind, with the certified instructors at a local pool.
A lot of factors will go into which one you choose for your children but in my experience, children three and under probably will not do well in the first type of class because it’s pretty instructional, structured, independent and a long class for them. And I’m not sure how much information they’re actually retaining.
The survival swim lessons are geared for infants (6 months) to 6 year olds. I’ve seen my friends have great results with these classes for their babies!!
They are a much shorter time frame, which could be inconvenient for parents. And they’re pretty expensive, so that may prevent parents from wanting to invest in those types of swim lessons too. I think both are extremely beneficial and helpful but it does depend on your child’s age and skill level.
I think it also depends on how often you will be near a body of water. If you’re only going to be at the pool once or twice this summer, your young kiddos probably don’t even need swim lessons. Just stick em in a puddle jumper and call it a day!
But if you’re going to be near the water all summer or you have a pool, you’ll want to invest in some survival swim lessons - especially if they’re infants/toddlers.
Check the calendar
This is the part that gets me every year up until this point. I didn’t check the schedule, so I didn’t know the dates when swim lessons were offered. When I was finally able to do it, because of vacations or whatever we had going on, I was always too late.
This year my friends signed up for a swim session together and when I saw I couldn’t do the same one, I realized I only had one option left. Thankfully it was still within the timeframe for me to sign them up for that one.
So my tip is to make sure you check the calendar in May! Set a reminder on your phone calendar every year so you don’t forget!!
If they happen to have classes in May, then your child could learn how to swim earlier in the summer and actually put to use what they’ve learned through out the season.
If you have to wait till June, at least you'll already have looked at the schedule and you can get your choice of weeks when you are actually available instead of scrambling around at the last minute to make it work.
Calculating the cost
I hinted at this earlier but from what I’ve seen, swim lessons can range from $35-$600. It just depends on what type of class you choose.
The swim classes with the certified swim instructors taught at a local pool are going to be more affordable and for a longer period of time.
The survival swim classes are going to be expensive and a very short class. But I think, ultimately worth it!
And then of course you could have a private, semi-private or group class class setting. It really just depends on what you’re going for in terms of skill level and attention.
What to expect
Again, it depends on what kind of class you are enrolling your children in, but with swim lessons at a local pool, you can expect them to learn some basic swimming skills. But I would not expect them to know how to swim (depending on age!) or survive in any type of underwater incident after only one lesson.
With the survival swim lessons, the end goal is for infants & kids to be able to survive in the water without help. So you would hope that they would learn how to swim/survive in a life threatening situation… That’s what you are paying for!
So first off, I have a 4 year old and a 1.5 year old. Neither one of them had ever taken any kind of swim lessons before.
I really wanted my youngest in survival lessons, but I knew my oldest needed some swimming skills too. And we couldn’t afford to put both of them in survival lessons ($1k +). So I went with the one that made the most sense for us; swim lessons at a local pool taught by lifeguards.
The way it worked for us was my oldest sat with his class on the side of the pool & in the water and my youngest did too, but I was in the water with her as needed.
We let the teacher help her until she wasn’t having it anymore and then I would get in the water with her and do the same things as the teacher. She let the instructor help her for most of the class on the last few days and that was so encouraging! But she also had a very short attention span, she is 1.5!
I say these types of classes aren’t great for 3 & under because of their lack of attention span & listening/understanding skills. Her longest time in the water was 20min. She did swim the longest on the last couple of days, but it was only for 10-15min intervals.
And she didn’t get the movements we were going for. She could kick, but needed help and sustaining the motion. She wouldn’t fully lay on her back for floating, stuff like that.
I think my oldest did really well in this type of swim lesson though! He was a decent listener (as much as any distracted, wild 4-yr old boy can be).
He understood what the teacher was asking of him. He was able to follow basic instructions and movements. He got braver and better.
BUT he still can’t swim. He kind of learned how to float on his back and kick his feet. He can kind of jump off the end of the pool (it’s more like a belly flop)...
He won’t put his face in the water and he’s still somewhat scared. Still think it was definitely worth it!
Our swim lessons were $35 for two weeks, four days a week, 45 minute classes. No, my children cannot swim, yes they did learn some basic swimming skills and get used to the water.
It was something I wanted them to learn, a productive way to get out of the sweltering summer heat for a couple weeks and be around new people. It was affordable for our budget and a convenient location. And I would most definitely enroll them in this type of swim class again!
Instagram Questions (Q&A)
I asked Instagram (@valuemindedmama) if anybody had specific questions about swim lessons and these are the ones I haven’t already addressed above:
How I felt during the experience and suggestions for working kids up to it.
I thought it was a great team teaching the kids. Their teacher was always coming up with new ways to keep Genevieve (my 1.5 yr old) engaged and on task. She really worked to include her (I mean, I did pay for her to learn the same things!) and she knew what she was doing.
I felt they could’ve charged more for swim lessons because she was such a great teacher and very patient with all the kids. I had no expectations of my kids at all, so everything good they did, I was pleasantly surprised!
As far as working my kids up to it, they were both really excited to go. I told Silas when I was signing him up and then I reminded him every day before we went. Even when he didn’t want to go, we still went… every day counts with swim lessons.
Tips on getting swim lessons when both of your kids are toddlers. Hard to find a time that works and help.
Do what I did! I took both of mine with me and got in the pool with the youngest one. If they are too young for one to be by themselves, you’ll probably have to pay for survival swim lessons and those would be most beneficial to young toddlers anyways.
But it will be expensive and inconvenient. So you have to figure out what you’re willing to do and what your goals are. Or you just might have to wait till the oldest is ready without your help. Ideally you’ll want to do them together to save time and it would be the most convenient!
Hopefully this post was helpful for those of y’all looking in to swim lessons! I’m not sure what we’ll end up doing next year (traditional or survival) but I love that there are so many options and that we’ve at least experienced some swim lessons for both our kids. Which option is looking the best for your family? Tell me in the comments below!