I agree, keep at it. It just takes some longer to get the hang of it. My DD1 started lessons at 3.3 and it took forever for her to make any real progress. She's 5.5 now and in a class with 8/9 year olds. Bless her, she struggles sometimes but is completely undeterred. She has had the same teacher for a while now and he has gently pushed her without making her feel uncomfortable.
Maybe what he needs at the moment is to keep going and gradually get used to getting his face wet. Once he has taken that step he might suddenly relax a bit and make progress very quickly, catching up with his classmates within a few lessons.
The most important thing at the moment is that he is happy to get in and nobody is pushing him out of his comfort zone.
I think you have a good instructor there who understands that children must feel safe in order to learn.
My 4.4yr old DS has been going to swimming lessons for a couple of months now and I can't see him making any progress. I'm not expecting for him to be swimming at all, but just things like holding on to a float and kicking, he is not doing, whereas the rest of the class are. He is the only one walking around the pool, rather than doing whatever the others are doing. The class is for 4/5yr olds, so it's not like all the others are much older than him. The swimming instructor is nice and encouraging and tells him to kick his legs or whatever, but DS does it once or twice and then that's it. He is always hugging the side of the pool.
He complains that the water is too cold. It is not. The other children manage fine. He even wears a thick wetsuit unlike the other children. One of his things is that he hates getting splashed and getting his hair and face wet...hhmm He just wants to play in the heated baby pool, paddling around.
Do you think we should perservere with the lessons, or take a break and try another time?
He doesn't complain about going to the lessons, he normally runs in and joins in readily. If I had to take him there kicking and screaming I would have stopped by now ofcourse. So it is difficult to know what the right thing is to do.