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How from starting swimming lessons to swimming?

(40 Posts)
Rainbowandraindrops67 Fri 17-Nov-17 18:14:53

Just wondering how long it took for peoples dc to progress from their first swimming lesson to 1) ‘swimming’ doggy paddle without arm bands or floats and 2) to doing proper swimming stroke. My dd is 4 and just started.

chanie44 Fri 17-Nov-17 21:02:33

DS took ages. DS is 7 and stated lessons at 5 and I think it was only this summer where things started to click. But he’s a slow starter, some of his peers moved up a stage after about a year.

I have a few thoughts;

It does depend on the child. DS often just went through the motions of swimming, where he wouldn’t really ‘try’ in lessons. Plus he had a fear of getting his face wet, so that set him back.

The quality of the lessons are really important. We had lessons at the leisure centre and there were up to 12 in a class with one teacher. This meant the teacher didn’t have enough time with any child. The children were only swimming a couple of widths because there were so many of them.

All the teachers have slightly different methods and this can be confusing for the children. So watch staff turnover and cover.

Older children learn quicker than younger ones, probably because they are more motivated and understand what to do. Sometimes, I could see that DS didn’t understand what the teacher was trying to show him.

We recently abandoned the Leisure centre lessons in favour of private lessons. The groups are smaller and the teacher is always in the pool. He enjoys the lessons and

We’ve just started DD (aged 5) and she’s in a group of 6 with two teachers, but as she is new, practically has 121 support.

My advice is to observe the quality of the lessons and if they aren’t working, try a new swim school or teacher.

Rainbowandraindrops67 Fri 17-Nov-17 23:27:44

Thank you
Wow 12 to a teacher seems quite a lot
I guess you are right it’s not the time in lessons it’s the quality of the lessons.
My dd used to hate getting her face wet hence why we stopped baby swimming (she just screamed all class) and are only getting her back into lessons now. Is it realistic to think she’ll be water safe by next summer? Sounds like it’s very variable.

UserX Fri 17-Nov-17 23:34:59

What do you mean by “water safe?” My 2 are 10 & 11, been doing lessons since they were each 4 and are like fish now but I still keep an eye on them in the water.

CountFosco Fri 17-Nov-17 23:37:50

DD1 started lessons at 3 (a week after her birthday) and joined the swimming club at 8 having completed all 10 levels of the lessons.

I think it very much depends what you consider a proper stroke, at 10 she now can swim twice as fast as me doing front crawl and all her strokes are more attractive and effective than mine. But she's been swimming recognisable strokes for a year or so before joining the club. TBH I wouldn't trust any child under 8 in the pool by themselves, it's as much about maturity as about technique.

Notcontent Fri 17-Nov-17 23:41:28

If she is 4 then I think it is unlikely that she will be a good swimmer by next Summer!

Rainbowandraindrops67 Fri 17-Nov-17 23:41:31

Good points about water safe - I guess being able to swim a few metres. But true they probably need more watching when they can swim a bit and have confidence then not at all!
5 years to do 10 levels seems very good progress to me

Rainbowandraindrops67 Fri 17-Nov-17 23:42:19

Not good swimmer but just able not to worry so much about her falling in without arm bands etc - or does this worry never go away?!

Bubblebubblepop Fri 17-Nov-17 23:44:28

My children started swimming lessons at 8 months grin I am starting to fear I have wasted much time

OhThatsMyMonkey Fri 17-Nov-17 23:50:10

Depends on the child, and depends on lessons.
My dc2 hated getting face head wet, we perservered through lessons for 3 years (brother was in and didnt have same problems so just kept at it).
In the end changed swim schools and the have him swimming without floats in a number of weeks. Although still opposed to getting his face wet.
I think you have to consider what you mean by 'water safe'. To me (i.e. what i'm happy with with my dc that finds swimming a challange) that is: doesnt panic, swims for side of pool; holds on to side of pool; and can climb out

Waddlelikeapenguin Fri 17-Nov-17 23:54:57

DD started lessons at 5 & a half, was swimming in a couple of months & considered "club ready" before she was 8 BUT she swam with us twice a week since she was 2 & contines to do so AND we are definitely a family of swimmers.

DS started at nearly 6 & he can do lengths safely a year later BUT he wont move up the groups because he doesnt have good stroke differentiation.

I dont think kids are ever water safe as in unsupervised tbh. I would focus on teaching water safety smile

squiggleirl Fri 17-Nov-17 23:55:06

Not good swimmer but just able not to worry so much about her falling in without arm bands etc - or does this worry never go away?!

I don't think the worry ever goes away. DD is 9, and a very good swimmer - swims 1.5km+ in every lesson, and I would still worry about her falling into a pool. There's a big difference between a child being prepared to swim, and the shock of falling in and having to swim. I know she'd panic, and I wouldn't be sure the panic wouldn't take over and she end up in trouble.

Lucked Fri 17-Nov-17 23:56:48

We are about 10 lessens in. DS 5 is making slow progress Dd4 (was 3 when lessons started) has not progressed at all but it is the highlight of her week and I can't keep sending her brother and have her on the sidelines when she loves it so much. There are 4 and 5 year olds doing better than my kids though.

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Sat 18-Nov-17 00:03:21

DS1 is making slower progress than his peers, but seems to be getting the hang of it now. He moved from the parent and child classes to Foundation stage around his 4th birthday. It took him 18m to move up, although he frequently missed classes due to meeting clashed in my temporary job. Its taken him 14m to move up again to stage 2, but is on the edge of independent swimming now with a 5m badge and reasonable technique. He's not the most coordinated child, and his brother is progressing quicker.

He's at council run lessons with an assistant in the water too. I'm not convinced that the additional cost of smaller classes would have had significant benefits at the point where he was struggling to coordinate. We did an intensive week when he was on the cusp of Foundation to Stage 1, and it did help polish the last bit of technique and got him moving up.

Hopefully if he slipped into water, the odds are favourable that he could get himself to the side, however being able to do that in a pool/ setting is different to an unexpected circumstance.

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Sat 18-Nov-17 00:07:42

We started "classes" at about 5 months. It was an activity that we both enjoyed, and it had the bonus that both DCs were happy in the water which is one less battle for learning to swim.

I don't regret all the money spent on being waist deep in cool water, but it helps that I wasn't aiming for Olympic champion children from it either grin

wendz86 Sat 18-Nov-17 00:11:04

My daughter started lessons at 3 years 8 months . I would say she could swim about 5 . At 6 she can swim 25 m front crawl or back stroke .

WeAllHaveWings Sat 18-Nov-17 00:16:05

Ds started lessons at 7 (couldn’t swim or put head under water) and completed all Stanley levels and then bronze rookie life guard within 15 months.

We did group lessons at the weekend and a 1-1 lesson mid week. This was after speaking to a colleague who advised spending a lot of money to progress quickly in one year before he got demotivated rather than the same money and enduring lessons over 4-5 years. I thought it was great advice and worked well for us.

Rainbowandraindrops67 Sat 18-Nov-17 00:20:42

Oh that’s interesting wehave - definitely something to consider maybe doing an intensive course and blitz it

Novemberblues Sat 18-Nov-17 01:29:12

About 8 nealry 9, she had about five private half hour lessons then got her in swimming school shortly after and she was afloat after about two months. It's taken a further year for the strokes to click. She is no natural but can do a mean breast stroke and front crawl. I am happy with this level, she can do a good few lengths and will probably stop lessons soon

Novemberblues Sat 18-Nov-17 01:31:02

Tony address both dc were taken swimming from toddlers and neither ever had fear of water etc provided or lack of confidence in it. They just couldn't swim.

Novemberblues Sat 18-Nov-17 01:31:28

Ha!! To be clear that should say!!

SummerLightning Sat 18-Nov-17 01:36:33

Four years and counting for 2). My kids are 7 and nearly 9 and been having lessons forever.
They are spectacularly untalented at swimming though.
I don't worry about them in the pool though as they can doggy paddle.

LadyGAgain Sat 18-Nov-17 03:00:44

Started lessons at 3 months and at 3 years 6 months she has just swam the length of the pool unaided.

BradleyPooper Sat 18-Nov-17 03:21:20

How often do you take her swimming between lessons? This will have a huge impact on how soon she is confident and independent in the water.

BarchesterFlowers Sat 18-Nov-17 05:05:20

DD took years, probably four years, she wasn’t keen and wasn’t confident.

It sort of clicked at 8 and she decided she loved it.

Within 3 months, DH, 6’3, serious swimmer, struggled to keep up with her backstroke - like a steam train.

She now swims competitively and went straight onto the secondary school u13 team after moving up to high school in September.

She had to decide she loved it to progress and be confident.

I never imagined she would love it or want to swim much, very surprising

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