To wonder if DS is not progressing well at swimming?(35 Posts)
Ok - appreciate not a serious problem but would like to hear others' experiences of swimming lessons. My DS is 5 next month and has been doing Stage 1 of swimming lessons with the local authority since September. Everyone else has passed through the group, children have been and gone, but he's still in there and making painfully slow progress. I work full time so would find it hard to go with him any other time - my partner works evenings and we also have a young baby. Neither me nor my partner are particularly "sporty" - I just don't want him to be the worst in his school year at swimming (as I was) and obviously be able to save himself if he fell in somewhere.
I'm not trying to get the next Rebecca Adlington here - I just wonder if I am missing something or if a lot of children are like this? Thanks.
Dd is like this, we have ended up getting her private lessons and are finally seeing some progress.
he won't progress quickly without lots of practise. you'll either need to take him to practise or get some 1-2-1 lessons to bring him on a bit
I hear you, mines been in stage 2 for over a year I'm bored of seeing everyone else progress and him stay in the same place
He's only five, give him a chance. It often takes a long time to click. Perhaps give him a pair of goggles to play with in the bath. Could you take him twice a week instead of once?
My DD does swimming lessons at school (Y1) and she still can't swim nor can about 1/3 of the class. It tends to be the nervous ones that progress a bit slower at first, the ones that dive in the deep end before they can even stay afloat tend to move more quickly. It's fine she'll get there.
I think I do just need to be a bit more patient...me and my partner are both quite risk averse and I think we've inadvertently passed it on to him (I really tried not to!) :-/
Both of mine took over a year plus lots of practice with me to get out of stage 1. After that they progressed quite quickly but it was very frustrating at the time.
How is the lesson structured?
Do you have access to any kind of online progress check?
Can you speak to the teacher find out what needs working on?
I took my boy from 6 months then lessons from 3, nothing eventually at 6 I put him in private 121 lessons now he's smashing it.
It only cost £4 more for the 121 lessons as opposed to being in a class with 9 others.
Money well spent.
My five year old twins had six months of swimming lessons and still could not swim, paid for a crash course at October half term but still no break through. Then started taking them on a Saturday afternoon and teaching them ourselves, within a few weeks they could got their five meter badge. Our lessons were group ones.
DD took two goes to pass level 1 (10 week course) and is now on her 3rd go of level 2. She is progressing though. When she started she didn't even like getting water on her face, now she can lump in, dive down and swim on her front a bit. She has trouble on her back though, that's where she is stuck.
She has 1 30 min lesson a week and we take her ourselves at the weekend.
What was your DS like when he started? If they are nervous or scared it takes longer cause get have to get over that before they even really learn everything. I would say you do need to take him yourself in addition to the lesson though.
Try a smaller independent swim school rather than one of the council ones. The teachers are often less experienced and the pay is lower with the council. With a smaller swim school the classes are often smaller (say 1:4 for beginners!)
My ds is 4 and has been in stage 1 since September.
I have had the odd moment of being a little frustrated and thinking he is going to be there forever, but he still won't put his face in the water and still clings on to the teacher a bit sometimes.
I just keep reminding myself that he is only little and he wouldn't cope with stage 2 if they rushed him anyway. I keep taking him because he does enjoy it and is happy paddling about with the floats.
My dd has been swimming about a year and is in stage 3 but she was a lot more confident from the start.
My DD's swimming teacher said there was a point when they click with keeping themselves afloat. It seems to make a huge difference reaching that point and all of the lessons on technique can't really make them swim if they haven't had that click.
However that was said by her 1:1 teacher who I switched her to when she looked to me like she probably could swim without arm discs, but they never seemed to move them on from wearing them in her group lessons. Her 1:1 lessons made a hue difference, but I think it is vital to get a good teacher for them.
How many children are in the class? My 5 year old made no progress when she had lessons at a local leisure centre. There were about 8 in the group.
We moved to a different swim school with only 4 in the group and made much better progress. A combination of better teaching and smaller class.
She is now in a class of 2 and making really good progress. This is partly the benefit of such a small group and a good teacher. I also think though at age 6 now she is at an age where she is finding learning to swim a bit easier.
Took mine out of lessons in the end he became so distressed, one day he just sobbed in the changing room refused to go and I thought hang this I am not going to put him through it any more. Went to Lanzarote on holiday he was swimming within days. I think having fun with other children did the trick. He is still not the best swimmer. What I did not know until years later was my Mother had told him graphically how she had nearly drowned as a child was terrified of water so had never learnt to swim, she passed this little gem onto him which sank in to his little head.
Ask the teacher at the end of each session what he needs to do to progress. Also ask about length badges he could be getting while he works on stage Badge skills. My dd and her class have been working on stage 5 for a LONG time.
im a competant swimmer and never needed butterfly and every so often ive asked the teacher if then can do another length badge as it keeps the children motivated! --and stops me
Feeling like im wasting money--
There are about 7 or so children in the class. I suppose he has made progress in that he would barely even get in the pool when I took him before the lessons. This week for the first time, he put his face in the water for a few seconds on a couple of occasions while swimming with a float.
I'm not sure really why he is so nervous, as even though I'm not a great swimmer I am not nervous about it.
Dd1 started when she was 4 and quickly progressed from level 1 to 4 but then we felt that she just wasn't making progress so she now gets 1:1 lessons too. We have booked a block of 10 and will reassess the situation once she finishes them - she has still been going to her group lessons too.
It might be worthwhile thinking about 1:1 lessons to see if he respond better to the focused teaching
My personal feeling is swimming lessons are another modern con. As long as you take your kids regularly they will swim.
My grandson wanted lessons with his friend when he was 6. By the just going with me every week since birth He could swim 1/2 mile - 32 lengths, dive, swim down to bottom of 3m deep end etc However he was put into a group lower than his friends because he could not do a handstand or a somersault in the water. He sort of did a sideways roll thing. None of his friends had ever even swam 1 length ......but by the end of the first half term were two stages above him when he could out swim them 10 times over.
I ask you who had the best change of surviving if they fell in a river?????
We simply did not go back - swimming grades are like SATS in the water - they show how well your child performs trained tricks like a monkey but are no indication of actual swimming ability.
Agree with Sundance. Also all swimming lessons are not equal. If he's not progressing then definitely change lessons. Smaller classes and a deeper pool can often do the trick, however confidence comes from practice and will be very slow if you only swim st lesson times.
My son has being going to lessons for nearly 2 years since he was 5 and he's only just about to move up to stage 3. It has been soooo slow, but we've persevered.
I think having a good teacher for the early stages is key. We had to move him because he had a teacher who just wasn't right for him. The teacher was far too soft and profess was really slow.
Our current teacher is excellent. She is strict and makes them work hard, but she gets results.
My daughter had two years of swimming lessons, then a year of lessons at school. She still can't swim at almost 11 years old.
DD can swim well now, and dive from the side, and jump from the 'second' board at our leisure centre.
We gave up on official lessons a while back though, as she was a bit crap at following instructions.
Now we take her regularly with her friends. She is 10 btw.
Not sure that she could do that much apart from paddle about at 5, if I recall.
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