Why group lessons? Aren’t private lessons better for my child?
We believe that small group lessons are a more effective and fun way for most children to learn to swim. We have found that over the long term, private lessons are not as enjoyable for a child. Private lessons make it more challenging for an instructor to hold the attention and focus of the child on the material of the class, which increases the possibility that the child may tire of the activity and possibly lose interest altogether.
We believe that the small group format is beneficial to our students because of the social interaction it allows, as well as the opportunities it provides for our students to learn from watching each other – there is a lot to be said for the power of peer demonstration.
Why once a week classes?
We recommend classes once a week because it keeps students engaged while promoting a high level of retention and progress week to week. Swimming much more than that at a learn-to-swim level can cause burn out. Our students build anticipation for each class and they talk excitedly about their lessons. Most have their suits on and goggles in hand before they even get to our parking lot. Repetition over time builds the muscle memory to become a proficient and confident swimmer. Once a week lessons is also a reasonable schedule for busy families to keep and consistent attendance is a key ingredient in a child’s success.
Why year-round swimming?
Swimming year-round is the best way to protect your child from having a water-related emergency. Year-round swimmers retain a healthy respect for the water and build skills way beyond those of seasonal swimmers.
Like any other sport repetition over time is what develops muscular “memory” and endurance. Failure to maintain a year-round commitment to this muscular stimulus will lead any athlete to a decline in performance. This is why crash-course swim lessons (i.e. two week daily swim sessions) do not create optimal results and why children that only take summer lessons seem to have to relearn the same skills each year.
Our on-going enrollment process allows families to start, stop and move classes whenever they need to. It also means that our students will keep the same teacher for a longer period of time. Even when students graduate or age up to the next level, we can usually keep them at the same lesson time with the same teacher. This is the best way for children to keep building the trust and friendship they have with their teacher and it is also the easiest way for busy families to keep their time slots.
What are themes?
We use theme days in our Teddy, Panda and Koala Bear classes (ages 2-6) because they create a deeper level of fun and focus in each lesson. The more we can motivate these young students to think about fun theme ideas like “space,” “bugs” or “prince/princesses” the easier it is to help them overcome any swimming related fears they may have. Each week we have related inflatables/decorations in the pool and each student receives a prize at the end of lesson. Click here to view our weekly themes on our calendar.
Do you offer make up classes?
We do not offer credits, or make-ups for missed classes unless you sign up for our Golden Bear Program. If your child is unable to attend, we look forward to seeing him or her at the next scheduled lesson. Consistency is one of the keys to our program. We ask that you do your best to attend. However, if we cancel a class for reasons beyond our control, we will apply a credit to your account.
What is family swim?
We schedule at least 4 family swim times a month. We encourage all students and their families to attend these open play sessions. It is very important for students to be able to practice their skills outside of lessons and push themselves on their own terms – this is especially true for fearful and anxious students. It is also great for students to “show off” to their parents and siblings.
Family swims are free for all of our enrolled students and their immediate family members.
What is the Golden Bear Program?
Being a Golden Bear member is the same cost as our standard enrollment package – $90 a month. In return for making a 6-month commitment to the school (standard enrollment is a 3-month commitment), Golden Bear members receive one make-up lesson a month, discounts on retail and parties and exclusive Family Swim times each month.
What is the 30-day withdrawal policy?
We require 30 days notice to withdraw from classes. We must have the withdrawal in writing; a form can be obtained from our front desk or click here to download from our website. Withdrawals can be hand delivered our faxed to us at 775.852.0663.
How quickly will my child learn how to swim?
Each swimmer is unique and many different factors determine how quickly he or she will learn to swim, including his or her developmental stage, any previous experience in and around the water and the ability to adjust to a new environment. Please be patient and do not expect your child to make equal progress during each lesson. It is normal for a child’s learning to be a series of spikes and plateaus. However, we believe that many small steps lead to great achievements and to lasting self-confidence. We also believe that every child can ultimately learn to swim with proper instruction and continual support.
Please note that consistency over time is one of the keys to success in our program. We ask that you do your best to attend.
What if my child is not feeling well?
If your child has a cold, but is eating well and acting normal, you may bring him or her to class. The pool chemicals meet the highest health and safety standards, and the humidity in the air will be beneficial to their respiratory system. Please do not bring a child who has a fever, is not eating, or shows signs of bacterial infection.
What if my child cries?
Let us start by saying that it is completely normal for a child to cry during their first swim lesson(s). Consider the child’s perspective—they are in a strange environment in the care of an unfamiliar instructor. That said, we train our teachers to try to understand the nature of a child’s fear. The instructor will then work to gain the trust of the child, in part by acknowledging their fear and helping them to work through it. Often, a simple reassurance makes all the difference.
As a parent, the best thing you can do for your child is to keep bringing them to swim class. Continuing to do so sends the message to your child that you, as their primary caregiver, approve and trust in this new activity, in turn, helping them to better adjust and overcome their fear. Please consider that delaying or avoiding swim lessons may serve to reinforce your child’s fear and create a situation that is more difficult to overcome.
The next best thing is to praise them for their participation in class. We are going to tell them how brave and what a big boy or girl they are, but we are certain that these compliments will have a greater impact coming from you!
At what age should my child begin lessons?
In accordance with guidelines set forth by both the United States Swim School Association, we believe that children are ready to begin swim lessons at any time after they have reached six months of age. The earlier a child is enrolled into a learn-to-swim program, the better. We find that young children who begin swim classes before they reach one year of age, generally accept the water more readily than older children.
Fear of the water is acquired over time. The older a child is when first beginning a learn-to-swim program, the more challenging his or her fear will likely be to overcome.