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What is the point of swimming lessons?

(45 Posts)
Stripybeachbag Wed 25-Apr-18 20:37:14

Ds (6) has been learning for a year. Can do the front crawl, backstroke and has begun butterfly. The emphasis is on technique. No goggles no swim is a basic rule as their heads are underwater so much. But despite going through 4 levels she still is unable to swim further than 10 m unaided. But this no problem as none of the kids can.

It seemed obvious to me to before: a child should learn to swim so they won't drown and can get themselves to safety. When I learnt to swim decades ago I was taught the front crawl, did a width of the pool, then a length and then carried on doing more lengths. Added other strokes after a while.

Now she has learnt the basics I can't really see much of a point in continuing formal lessons as she isn't learning anything useful iyswim. I am sure she isn't going to compete in the olympics.

SunwheretheFareyou Wed 25-Apr-18 20:42:10

I agree op, if child showed natural aptitude and loved it maybe keep going?

Yes it's a so called life skills but we live near river, growing up it was the so called strong swimmer who took risks in dangerous river! Never like me, the weak swimmer!

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 25-Apr-18 20:44:41

It's not just a life skill, it's a sport. But if you give up now they are likely to forget everything they have learnt.

BWatchWatcher Wed 25-Apr-18 20:47:07

You keep going until she is strong enough to swim 50 meters? 10 meters is nothing. She needs to build up strength and also learn how to tread water.

museumum Wed 25-Apr-18 20:48:15

We go to a technique focussed school with ds who is only 4 but a natural (20m on his back easily already, 10 on front).
Good technique early without bad habits is really valuable if they’ll ever want to swim for racing or fitness or other sports like triathlon or open water.

PerfectlyDone Wed 25-Apr-18 20:51:59

"What is the point of swimming lessons?"

- Life skill
- Potentially life saving
- Sport
- Social aspect

Also, she's 6. 6.
I was a reasonable swimmer from about that age, then my parents signed me up to a swimming club at the age of 9 and the first few times I want, I thought I was going to die grin - the demands of swimming whole lengths, whether 25 or 50m are totally different from learning a bit of technique.

I am now over 50, my competitive days are over, but I am a very good swimmer, diver, happy around water/boats/waves, done some life saving. So glad my parents made me persevere.

Just sayin'. It sounds like YOU are not fully signed up to it, not your child.

AmazingPostVoices Wed 25-Apr-18 20:53:29

She’ll build up stamina, strength and technique.

And it’s fun.

Wanderwall Wed 25-Apr-18 20:54:20

The point?

It could save her life one day?

Quitting because she can swim 10m won't make her a confident swimmer.

elQuintoConyo Wed 25-Apr-18 20:56:32

She's 6yo. Can she not jist do swimming for fun/exercise?

My 6yo can't swim without a noodle, can't jump in, doesn't like putting his face in the water, but the teacher is an absolute hoot and he loves going not just eye candy for me

Could you change pool or class?

Annwithnoe Wed 25-Apr-18 21:06:48

It’s excellent exercise. DS1 has asd so I’m hyper aware of the sensory and physical benefits- it’s terrific for core strength, bilateral coordination, it’s a full body sensory experience.

The better a child is at swimming the more fun they can have on holidays,... and the more fun you can have if you’re not limited to the toddler pool grin

My 3 dc have been having swimming lessons for aaaaaaaages with relatively little to show for my ££££ It’s been very slow, and there are no olympians in this family either.

I’m a bit dubious about water safety; swimming lessons have given DS2 a highly inflated sense of his own abilities, and I think he’s more likely to take risks than if he couldn’t swim. I’m hoping if I keep them in lessons long enough he’ll gain skills to match his imagination but at the cost of them that might involve a second mortgage hmm

Chlokinson Wed 25-Apr-18 21:09:23

It might save her life one day.

YBR Wed 25-Apr-18 21:09:47

I'd also say consider changing pool or class.
My DD(6yo) was learning nothing in her previous class (and it was obvious to my DH why). Now learning elsewhere and making good progress.

PlayingForKittens Wed 25-Apr-18 21:12:32

The lessons my kids do get them doing widths without floats, front and back and bring in arms then go to lengths. They do all the important stuff first, star floats etc, teach them to go to their back and float if they fall in water and do on. Then they start other strokes.

soulrider Wed 25-Apr-18 21:15:20

If she can't swim more than 10m then she doesn't know how to do front crawl or backstroke. Sounds like just the foundations of learning the strokes, not sure why you'd think further lessons aren't necessary?

madeyemoodysmum Wed 25-Apr-18 21:19:11

The national curriculum states 25 metres I believe which imo is still not enough. 100 metres should be minimum

Swimming in open water ( sea lake river) is much harder than a pool and a strong swimmer will potentially not drown if found in these situations.

Swimming is the most important life skill you could give your child out of school.

Hours of fun.
Now mine are teens they go alone swimming with mates. It's cheap and they have a great time.

Bluelonerose Wed 25-Apr-18 21:25:59

Op I agree. I've not long stopped my ds2 going to swimming lessons as they seemed to focus too much on getting them moved up a level rather than them being confident at that level.
My ds2 went into the higher group for about 5 mins but hated it because it was in the deep end. So stayed in the lower level group just for confidence in the water.

After reading some pp I'm thinking there's a big difference between swimming lessons as in learning to swim and swimming for sport if that makes sense?

Stripybeachbag Wed 25-Apr-18 21:28:03

Thanks considered responses who read beyond the heading. I am thinking of continuing to do daily intensive lessons during the holidays and looking into other schools.

She is not enjoying the lessons so much. Out of 30 minutes most of it spent waiting for her turn as they only swim individually as the instructor gives them one-to-one in regard to technique. Also one lesson a week doesn't give a lot of progress.

That is the point of my OP. That in Dd's lessons technique is more important than distance. Whereas I considered distance to be the most important initially. For safety reasons.

What is the point of teaching 4-6 year olds the butterfly before they can swim a reasonable distance to save themselves?

I am in australia. Maybe lessons are diffent here. They certainly take swimming seriously. But there are also a lot of kids who drop out of lessons. As I say for us anyway it isn't fun and no real progress is being made in regard to water safety.

Logoplanter Wed 25-Apr-18 21:30:50

Is your concern the fact that your DS is learning different strokes but not actually becoming good enough at any of them that if he fell in to water he could get himself out of trouble?

I understand that. DS is 7 and working towards stage 5 and whilst he can swim 25m backstroke, breaststroke and front crawl to me he looks like a drowning rat and he just isn't strong. I'd much prefer they spent time doing one stroke and became strong at it rather than messing around learning the techniques of different strokes. Don't even start me on diving!

moreismore Wed 25-Apr-18 21:30:54

I read the OP as being more, what’s the point I’m formal lessons, not what’s the point in swimming at all..? So she’ll still get the opportunity to swim and build up stamina but you’ll just take a break from formal classes? Seems totally reasonable to me!

moreismore Wed 25-Apr-18 21:31:36

Sorry cross post!

BackforGood Wed 25-Apr-18 21:48:22

I do think butterfly is excessive, but that aside, I think that learning a good technique really helps them go longer distances as they progress.

All my dc learned with a swimming club and have superb technique. That means they can all do great distances without much effort as their technique means they can travel a lot further with minimal effort. I can swim 50m or so, but it is very inefficient as my technique is so poor.

Were we ever in a life and death situation, I'd be toast whilst they could slide home without breaking a sweat.

(Well, if I were with them, I'd like to think they'd save me too, I mean if I were on my own grin).

Stripybeachbag Wed 25-Apr-18 22:22:42

After reading some pp I'm thinking there's a big difference between swimming lessons as in learning to swim and swimming for sport if that makes sense?

Bluelonerose you summed it up perfectly. That's my frustration. I feel she is being trained for a sport instead of for water safety.

To be pp who said if dd can't swim 10 m unaided she can't swim properly: she has had weekly lessons for a year and two intensive week-long courses. Like I said she has moved up 4 levels and still can't swim 10 m unaided. I feel like this isn't great progress.

I guess I should look into other schools. But this is run by the national swimming school of Australia so assume that they know what they are doing and others will be doing similar.

Stripybeachbag Wed 25-Apr-18 22:30:58

DS is 7 and working towards stage 5 and whilst he can swim 25m backstroke, breaststroke and front crawl to me he looks like a drowning rat and he just isn't strong

Ha ha! That is exactly what they look like. It doesn't inspire confidence. But now having got my frustration out of my system I sort of understand the need to get a good technique. I will still look for other schools.

Also I thing I learnt was to go for lessons at awkward times so there will be less kids in the class.

PerfectlyDone Wed 25-Apr-18 22:34:19

She. Is. 6.

IMO order of priority ought to be:
- has fun in water
- can keep herself afloat
- can move in a direction she wants to go in
- technique
- getting faster.

As long as she has fun, I'd keep it going.

SockQueen Wed 25-Apr-18 22:44:09

As well as the safety aspects already emphasised, being able to swim is important not only for competitive swimming (which most kids won't end up doing) but for pretty much every other water-based activity - surfing, kayaking, sailing, scuba diving... If you can't swim reasonably, you wouldn't be able to enjoy any of those.

The class structure does sound a little odd if they're teaching butterfly already (which is a stupid pointless stroke IMO) without being able to go any significant distance, but that might just be that particular class?

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