Both dcs (4 and 6) have recently stated swim lessons.
Stages 1-7 seem to be the learn to swim part, with Stages 8-10 more specialising in strokes. So would you say they're competent swimmers by Stage 7 and the rest is optional i.e. for those who wish to take it up as a sport rather than just as a life skill?
Assuming they go once a week, (with the odd family swim on top) how long would you expect it to take, for an average child to progress to Stage 7, or could could it go on for years to come?
DD1 (5.10) has just passed level 3. It's been a very long journey (she was water phobic for a start and the classes were very badly run for a while. Things are millions times better now) and it's taking a long time to progress (or so it seems from this thread!). Having said that, she seems to be picking up new stuff quite quickly and crucially, is confident now. She's one of two 5-year-olds in a class of 7/8 year-olds. Even though she's just got level 3, they've been doing level 4 stuff in lessons to, and their teacher pushes them: for level 3 they need to swim say 5m of a certain stroke or whatever: teacher got them to jump in at the deep end of the deep pool and see how far they got!
The teachers at this pool in general seem very keen on solid technique, so yes, it takes a while to do a badge, but by the time they do, they actually have the skill, rather than just doing enough for the badge, iykwim.
I think going in the deep pool can be really helpful for learners. Once you are past the initial stages, it does kids no favours to be able to touch the bottom, but in our pool they only move into the big pool at level 5.
I think my kids have made quite steady progress.. Level 5 in 2 years. I think if they had had individual lessons, or consistently good teaching, they would have progressed faster, but I feel they are both doing well, and having the lessons in the local pool is a massive advantage as I don't have a car.
It depends how confident they are in the water to begin with and what age they starting from. The average age for level 7 at DDs swimming classes is about 8 or 9. I found that how quick they move up also varies between teachers and pools. DD has friends who to moved up levels really quick while swimming widths in a shallow pool as opposed to lengths of a 25m pool.
Ds1 (11) and ds2 (8) started lessons just before Christmas 2011, so have been swimming for one term shy of two years.
Ds1 is now Level 6 and ds2 is level 5. They were assessed before starting, and ds1 started at level 3 (he could float and swim breast strokes already), and ds2 at level 1. Ds1s progress have been faster, but ds2s strokes are more refined.