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swimming leesons

(80 Posts)
iloveswimming Sat 15-Sep-12 22:00:43

i have recently signed my child up for local lessons, she;s 3(pre-school) and i thought there would be someone in the water with the class helping them, there is no-one. The pool is 1metre deep so deep for little ones(only 1 out of the 8 can touch the bottom) and there are 8 of them in a class.
I find this crazy-if i go swimming with my other kids i need a friend or my DH to make the councils ratio policy of 2 children under 8yrs to 1 adult-yet at lessons there seems to be no 'nod' to this policy.
Its hard to watch as i'm paying good money for lessons, i'm frustrated , the instructor spends more time reining in the floaters than teaching, my daughter isn't 100% sold on swimming being fun.
I used to be a swimming instructor and club swimmer/helper so don't know if my expectations are from 'the olden days' but would like to know AIBU to expect someone to get in the water and help the children learn to swim and enjoy the water??
or at least change their entry policy so that i can take all my kids(with me in the water) swimming at once.

squeakytoy Sat 15-Sep-12 22:02:49

Group lessons are always like that, so that the instructor can easily see all of the children.

If you are a swimming instructor yourself, then why are you not in there teaching her and use the money you are spending on lessons to pay a childminder if you need one for your other children.

GrassIsntGreener Sat 15-Sep-12 22:04:24

I have a very water nervous 4 year old and am taking her to swimming lessons where I go in with her still. They offer it here up until 5 years.

WorraLiberty Sat 15-Sep-12 22:04:45

The swimming lessons and their entry policy are two different things entirely.

I've not seen an instructor in the water when my local pool gives lessons to kids aged 3 and up so I suppose they don't see it as necessary.

Why bother getting her lessons though? Why doesn't your DH look after your other DC while you take your 3yr old and teach her yourself?

nancy75 Sat 15-Sep-12 22:07:40

Have you asked the teacher? My dd has always had an instructor in the pool with her group, most of the other groups seem to do it too here.

terrywoganstrousers Sat 15-Sep-12 22:08:11

My DD has swimming lessons with an instructor on the side now but she is 9yo. The younger children having lessons (certainly up to 5/6 year olds at least, as I know some of the children having lessons) have an instructor in the water with them and the classes are no more than 5 per class. So perhaps look around for a different swim school?

Aboutlastnight Sat 15-Sep-12 22:09:10

We just chose lessons where the instructor was in the water with them for the first couple of levels.

twinklytoes Sat 15-Sep-12 22:09:59

sounds like we are lucky then... can't do lessons till 5 but then there's a teacher in water helping the less competent and the main teacher on the side.

though, even to a non-swim teacher..swim lessons are frustrating, doesn't look like they are learning anything, big groups, mixing two ability groups up when a teacher is off sick etc..always wonder what I'm paying for.

my youngest (4) is taken to the pool for half hour every week with his grandma..she's not a swimming teacher but he's learnt loads and so much more confident then his elder sisters.. can you not achieve this instead.

Panzee Sat 15-Sep-12 22:11:24

It might be legal, it might be fine but I wouldn't like it for my 3 year old. I teach school swimming and I'm not happy with a group over 8, and that is 7+ year olds.

iwouldgoouttonight Sat 15-Sep-12 22:11:44

My DD is three and the teacher is in the pool with then in her lessons. I would find it odd if the teacher wasn't in with them when they can't swim yet. DD's teacher helps support her when swimming with floats, holds her on her back (DD doesn't like lying flat back with her ears in the water yet). Also if there are 8 children there are always two teachers in the water.

WorraLiberty Sat 15-Sep-12 22:14:34

On a tangent here but...

When I think back to my childhood (I'm 43) it was very rare for kids to have swimming lessons except with the school.

Parents and older siblings would take their kids swimming and teach them themselves.

I wonder why this seems to happen less and less now?

Is it time? Lack of money? Or H&S rules that say you have to have a certain ratio per adult?

It's most odd.

allagory Sat 15-Sep-12 22:15:45

You know I am not sure there's any point teaching most kids to swim until they are 4 or 5. As you say, you are just paying for them to jump up and down in the water and then get told off.

At son's swimming lessons they have 8 in the class and for beginners there are 2 instructors in the pool. Each instructor takes 2 of children across the pool at a time.

Unless your child really takes to it, I would wait a year or two and find another swim school.

edwinbear Sat 15-Sep-12 22:18:04

I take both DS (3) and DD (10 months) to swimming lessons at our local pool, and they have both a teacher and a parent in the water with them. They don't have lessons without a parent in the water until they are 3.5 at our pool.

squeakytoy Sat 15-Sep-12 22:20:00

"You know I am not sure there's any point teaching most kids to swim until they are 4 or 5"

I find it sad and worrying when I read or hear people say that.

Most children who drown are those who cannot swim. Most children who drown are toddlers who do not have a healthy understanding of water.

Swimming is a life skill that should be taught from the earliest possible age.

It is something that is easy to learn, and invaluable.

When we go on holiday, there are always a handful of kids aged 3 upwards who are miserably sat by the pool, while all the others are having a great time, getting an occasional glance from their sunbathing parent telling them not to go in because they cant swim.

AChickenCalledKorma Sat 15-Sep-12 22:21:28

I've used two different providers for swimming classes and both of them had someone in the water for the beginners' group. When DD1 went, it was the teacher. For DD2's classes, the teacher is on the side, but they have 2 or 3 teenagers who act as helpers and they are in the water.

Can you find out about other classes locally, or is this the only one?

Craftymoo Sat 15-Sep-12 22:22:20

Swimming pool here has an instructor in the water until they are in the deep end. DS can just about swim 25m without help and his teacher is in with him. The earlier classes have 2 instructors in there, but the children don't start those until 4 I think, they are parent/ child until then.

DorisIsWaiting Sat 15-Sep-12 22:23:16

DD1 has had lessons with 2 diferent swimming schools locally. BOTH had the instructor in the water.

With the current swim school there were 6 instructors in the water last week with class sizes ranging from 4 (dd2 non swimmer) to 8 (DD1 swim 200 m+).

I like that they are already in the water with the children, the parents are usually on the edge watching too (especially during the free for all playtime.

Personally I would look for another class, ask for word of mouth recommendations til you find one you like.

seeker Sat 15-Sep-12 22:24:18

I think there is a massive swimming lesson industry that has somehow convinced people that a) it's incredibly important that children learn to swim as early as possible and b) you need a professional swimming teacher to do it.

I think it's a huge con.

ladygoldenlion Sat 15-Sep-12 22:25:41

DD age 4 sometimes has her instructor in the pool with her, sometimes not. She will swim in the lanes if by herself, with her instructor walking along beside the pool giving her advice / encouragement.

She (DD) does prefer it when the instructor is in the pool though as they play games and it is less intensive.

snowpo Sat 15-Sep-12 22:25:47

Wow, that sounds awful, surely they just lose confidence. My 2 and 3yr old are in the same class and they have 3 teachers for 6 kids. They do not go in the water unless the teacher takes them, they sit on the side and wait their turn. It works out £5each/30min session. I didn't think that was too bad but don't know how it compares to other classes.

ladygoldenlion Sat 15-Sep-12 22:26:35

seeker I disagree - we are going away at Christmas and I want DD to be able to play in the water and be safe.

Money well spent IMO.

omfgkillmenow Sat 15-Sep-12 22:27:32

Im gonna get flamed here, but I think swimming lessons are a load of b*lloc*s
I took mine to the baths soon as they had their jags and just let them go. They swam. Babies have been swimming for nine months before they are born its natural. you have waited too long to get them in the water. Mines swim in rivers and lochs now well not the oldest one any more as shes 16 and ew rivers are dirty, but the local swimming hole when its not pishing of rain is full of weans jumping off the 8foot banking into the pool. And out there floating in the middle like baloo in the jungle book. fab.

iloveswimming Sat 15-Sep-12 22:27:48

I do take the kids swimming individually and as a group if friends/partners available. Think I missed the main 'jist'-i believe in lessons for water confidence/social skills/class skills etc. but when i signed up they had been running the lessons with the teacher in the pool(which had worked great with my other kids)- just feel a bit let down that they changed their policy without letting us know and now feel like lessons are a bit of a waste.

WorraLiberty Sat 15-Sep-12 22:29:11

I agree seeker

All my kids learnt to swim in the pool on holiday...just as we learnt to swim by our parents teaching us.

Obviously we'd take them to our local pool as well, but it was mostly a week or two of swimming on holiday that meant they actually learnt to do it properly.

squeakytoy Sat 15-Sep-12 22:29:11

I agree that swimming lessons are over priced and unnecessary. Parents or a family member can easily teach a kid to swim.

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