Swimming lessons, bit bloody dear, aren't they?!

(37 Posts)
eisbaer Fri 01-Feb-13 22:48:18

So I want to know if anyone taught their kids themselves. It can't be THAT hard, right?! And if you did, what did you do? We can't pay any more, it's totally spun out to make you pay more, and just want them able to enjoy the water independently(ish). Any tips very welcome!

Sommink Thu 28-Feb-13 20:03:04

I am a swimming teacher and cannot teach my own dd to swim, she will not listen to me, as a result her friends who come to lessons with me are far better technical swimmers then she is, although she can swim further just because i take her to a club i run for 2 hours every weekend so she has huge stamina for just 5.

Saying that I am lucky to have friends who are teachers and can teach her to swim for me.

Please don't leave it to the school to teach your child to swim, Primary lessons are not good enough atm, as not enough time is focused on them to teach the children to swim and one swimming teacher can have up to 30 children, if all of them relied on schools to teach that's 30 children in armbands to teach in just 6 hours, and by high school many children who aren't strong swimmers are to far behind to bother trying to catch up.

I understand people think swimming lessons are expensive and that swimming on the whole is an expensive activity, my answer to that is i bet you couldn't take a family of 5 to the cinema for £10.35, thats the cost of a family swim at our local centre.

Bakingnovice Mon 25-Feb-13 14:21:44

I pay £18 a week for my two a week. Half hour lesson with just them in the group. It's expensive but invaluable. I can't swim well as I came from a poor background and the only swimming I learnt was at school. It makes me so proud to see my kids swimming, and when we go on holiday you can see how much they love being able to enjoy the pool instead of clinging to the edges as I've seen some kids do. My eldest seems to be especially talented and wants to take up swimming more formally.

It really is worth the money and hopefully in a few years there will be no need for lessons and they will have a skill for life.

myBOYSareBONKERS Fri 08-Feb-13 12:37:55

I am in Northampton and my boys lessons work out at approx £4.60 a lesson. If any-one wants to look:

www.swimforlife.me/

mikey9 Wed 06-Feb-13 21:44:08

Aye - tend to agree that lessons/water confidence form age 2.5 si is a good thing. By 4 ds2 is happily floating on front and back with floats and no panic - and 6yr old ds2 is happily backstroking down the pool in random zig zags and diving for bricks and through hoops.

35 years ago in York we were paying for swimming lessons from prob about 4 yrs - led to me being very confident in the ater - dw is th same - both used to race a bit too....

Last years Gairloch Canoe tragedy - regardless of other mistakes that were made that day - demonstrated the value of an 8yr old being a strong enough swimmer to cover 500 yds in the sea.......
Certainly made a lot of people up here increase the value they put on swimming as an early skill.

bruffin Wed 06-Feb-13 13:41:41

Swimming lessons were not a thing when I was little (30 years ago shock) and most people I know who are roughly my age and grew up in the UK can swim just fine
I had swimming lessons and I am 50. We also went with the school. We were also given free swim passes once we got out red badge. Most people cannot swim just fine, they dont know how to breathe and you can always tell the kids who have been taught by their parents as they cant swim properly.

Lessons earlier are not a waste, they teach water safety even to babies ie train them to automatically turn to the side when they jump in, no to panic in the water etc
My dcs had lessons from 6 months until mid teens so has cost me £1000 over 17 years and I dont regret a penny of it. DS 17 now has a p/t job as a lifeguard while in 6th form and they both do water sports. DH sometime grumbled at the cost, but in the summer when he watched them water skiing said he realised how well the money was spent.

blueberryupsidedown Wed 06-Feb-13 13:13:01

Agree with some of the others. I used to take my kids to the pool every weekend, and when they turned 5 they started lessons. Now at 7 DS1 can swim a lenght, and DS2 (nearly 6) can swim a width. I know some people will disagree but I feel that it would have been a waste of time to have lessons when they were younger.They learned very quickly. It's 15 pounds a month for each child for a weekly half hour lesson, with 7 other kids.

I'd pay £17 for DD to have swimming lessons with Rebecca Adlington lol!

mikey9 Wed 06-Feb-13 13:02:23

Wow - £17 per half hour.....I reckon skiing lessons are cheaper.... now that really is an incentive to teach them yourself.

This must be Rebecca Adlington lessons I guess!

bluecarrot Wed 06-Feb-13 01:56:09

Individual lessons here are £17 per half hour session or £10 for a group session. I wish I could afford for DD to go to either!

EssieW Tue 05-Feb-13 22:35:22

I've taught DS. He had a few lessons that stopped for pool repairs. I carried on taking him myself and have got him swimming. I started doing some of the things he was doing in lessons but managed to progress really quickly. The repetition in the lessons wasn't helping - he needed to spend more time actually trying to swim.

There are some good videos with tips on - some really good ones from australia.

DS probably will go back to lessons at some point but will be able to start learning strokes. I'll still take him to pools to practise - there's no substitute for that.

mikey9 Tue 05-Feb-13 19:46:46

In the Highlands we still have a combined "Hi Life" pass - £25 per month for the family. This includes swimming at any tome as often as you want - AND lessons are included (although there are long waiting lists). When you do get your heads around the lessons (half hour slots - times are 4:30 - 5pm - 5:30 and 6 with others in the daytime and later ones for older/better classes and on diff days of the week).

I don't think many up here realise how lucky we are to still have included lessons and reasonable times

Lesbeadiva Tue 05-Feb-13 09:36:57

My DS is 5 and dd is 3. Ds has been swimming for two years at £3.70 a lesson. He can swim a full length unaided and confidently. It is so worth it for me. If I were to take them and teach them each week I would have to pay the same for them both plus myself. And I am not qualified. I feel lessons are a good investment. But if we couldn't afford it, they wouldn't go. When DS reaches his next level he is trialling for a swimming club. He is such a keen swimmer, we would cut back in other areas before we stopped. He is convinced he will be the next Olympic medilist.

I guess what I want to say is how well do you swim yourself? And do you think you can teach them well too?

My parents taught me and I wish they had paid for lessons. I can swim but not very well.

Adversecamber Mon 04-Feb-13 23:08:21

My DS had free lessons via his primary school at the local swimming baths.
I grew up by the sea so we just piled down the beach.

IDreamedADreamOfSausageRolls Mon 04-Feb-13 21:48:58

Swimming lessons were not a thing when I was little (30 years ago shock) and most people I know who are roughly my age and grew up in the UK can swim just fine. File kids' swimming lessons under "things we have been suckered into thinking are essential that actually aren't". Don't even get me started on baby lessons!

eisbaer I agree the priority is safe and confident in the water. As long as they can swim a good distance style and technique is not important and can be honed later.
I think paying for babies and toddlers is pointless. You just need to play with them.
After experiencing group lessons v one to one I would never recommend group lessons again. A private teacher can have them swimming in a fraction of the time, and can cover stuff they don't do in lessons. For example before we went on holiday I asked her to spend time in a lesson on pool safety.

sunnyday123 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:06:25

I pay £15 per month per child inc 30 min lesson per week and anytime social swim. Both dds started at age 3 but tbh I'd not bother before the age of 5 as its pretty much a waste of cash as they only really pick up the technique as they get older, before then its just about confidence which you can do yourself.

My dd is 7 and her friend only started learning last year and is already the same stage as her. I've also been watching the 'school run swim lessons' at my local pool and the kids in years 3&4 who can't swim get one to one! Sometimes I think we are the daft ones paying out each month when they can get one to one with school and learn in a few weeks! It's not like I'd leave a kids unattended before year 4 anyway!

WheresMyCow Mon 04-Feb-13 11:51:54

We must be lucky at our local baths because lessons also happen on a Saturday afternoon, DS would never go otherwise. His lesson is currently at 4:30, but will be at 5:00 when he moves up to the next class which is perfect for us. He's 2.3 and is in a small group session with 3-4 others of the same age. Terms are 10 weeks long and it costs £39 per term - so £3.90 per week if you go every week.

I don't necessarily agree that lessons are pointless until over the age 4. Granted, he may not be able to swim properly until that age, but he already has the foundations of how to swim, is water confident and will make a much better swimmer than I am!

As we both work full time and are lucky to have his grandparents look after him, it is the one thing that we can do with him.

sparkle12mar08 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:35:42

Group lessons are about £3-£4 for 30mins locally, in a group of 8 children and you commit on a yearly basis, but the waiting list is 12months, and regularly closes so you can't even put your name down. Next best option is private lessons (with the same group of instructors) at £22 for 30mins for two children, or £14 for 1-to-1. Waiting list is still around 4-6months though.

It's utterly extortionate and if you're a working parent group lessons are an impossibility - they only run from 9:30 to 4:30 Monday to Friday!!!

Molehillmountain Mon 04-Feb-13 08:06:06

Our dd1 (7) wasn't keen on lessons and dh has got her to 25m + stage. I'm sure there are technical gaps but she's water confident and enjoys swimming. And ds, 4, is heading the sane way. I have to be honest and say if it were me doing the teaching they'd be having lessons-but dh is more patient! The added bonus is they go on a Sunday morning so I get a bit of time just with dd2.

eisbaer Sun 03-Feb-13 19:31:01

Have tried this wknd and think my DS1(6)and DS2 (4) fall into the "wanting to play, not bothered about swimming" when I take them category. What I had noticed was that the lessons a) had them at the side of the pool waiting most of the time and b) meant we rarely took them as a whole family due to cost and the fact they were already going once a wk. so, having taken on board all the points above, we've decided to start all five of us going every wknd(as it's fun too) and then if we can't eventually persuade them to ditch the armbands, we'll call in a one-on-one pro at that stage! Technique- that's for a later date. I'm a strong swimmer and only honed my technique when i joined a swim club. I now see more of the benefits of the lessons, but I think it depends where you live, value-wise, and the time slot we had made it a ball-ache most weeks. Thanks for all the input!

DizzyHoneyBee Sun 03-Feb-13 15:22:28

I suppose it depends on what you want and what would suit your children, I taught my oldest to swim but my youngest was scared of the water so we just went to play and then booked lessons once the fear had gone. Both of them now swim like fish and both swim for the local swimming team. The youngest has the best technique and will be beating the oldest before much longer - oh the joys that that will bring!!

BackforGood Sun 03-Feb-13 15:06:19

I too assumed we were talking about a child / children over 4yrs - no point before that, i's just about them getting used to being in the water, which everyone can do themselves.

I wouldnt pay for lessons for a baby or even a child under the age of about 3 as they are not going to be able to swim as such and it is more about water confidence. You can get the same water confidence from taking them to normal family sessions at the pool. I personally think baby swimming lessons are a waste of money

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