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To ask if your children can swim? Is it important to you?

(315 Posts)
Lionking1981 Fri 12-May-17 23:50:28

Do you class swimming as important? We spend 100 a month on swimming lessons for our two sometimes leaving us short. My two were swimming with their cousins on holiday recently.My brother pointed out how much we all spent on swimming lessons and remarked none of them are great swimmers. They are 8,7,6 and 5. All in swimming lessons since they were 4. They can swim but we couldnt take our eyes off any one of them such is our confidence in their ability. Me and dbro were left in swimming pools by ourselves for hours from age 9. I have always thought it was essential and budget for it, going without other things.My class teacher told me probably only 50% of their 8 year olds can swim. Do you believe that is right?

offblackeggshell Fri 12-May-17 23:52:00

Yes, and it is very important.

VeuveVera Fri 12-May-17 23:54:10

Yes
Ds could swim when he was 4, but I only started to be confident that I could leave him when he was about 8/9.

shyturnip Fri 12-May-17 23:55:08

Don't they learn to swim at school?

Lionking1981 Fri 12-May-17 23:56:44

Not yet. 8 year old will go with school next year I believe from conversation with teacher.

NellieFiveBellies Fri 12-May-17 23:56:58

absolutely. i think it is an important skill to have. i took mine from when they were babies. i think it is easier to start then ime they just take right to it.

CotswoldStrife Fri 12-May-17 23:57:35

I do think it is important, but not every child will learn to swim at the same age - it suited my DD better to learn when she was older and more able (or possibly more willing grin ) to take it in.

NeverTwerkNaked Fri 12-May-17 23:59:40

All four of ours (age 3 - 10) are having lessons. We live near the sea, so as far as I am concerned swimming lessons are compulsory until they leave school! I trained as a lifeguard before stopping lessons and although I never worked as a lifeguard I am grateful for the training, for the water safety awareness it gave me. I want mine to all reach that level before they stop.

Birdsgottaf1y Sat 13-May-17 00:01:56

As an Adult whose Parents didn't make sure that I could swim, I'd say that it's very important.

More important is to have water confidence, so panic doesn't set in.

I discovered Snorkeling, but not being able to swim properly meant that I can't enjoy it as much as I would like.

It would be very unusual to not be around water, on a holiday, as an older teen, or even walking past canals, in the UK.

There's a suspicion that there is a serial killer about, pushing people, especially young men into Canals. The numbers have been to great to be accidents in certain spots.

CorporeSarnie Sat 13-May-17 00:04:47

Yes and yes. DC (5) can swim lengths, loves the water and is relatively safe, although not to be left. But our lessons not anything like what you're paying, and we get free swimming for us all thrown in. Are these local authority lessons? I'd be looking for cheaper provision or just making a family swim a regular part of the weekend if they're not progressing.

TheRealPooTroll Sat 13-May-17 00:06:40

If the 8yo has been having lessons regularly for 4yrs and still isn't confident I'd be looking at a different instructor tbh.
I think it is an important skill and important socially. Confident swimmers can swim unaccompanied at council pools in my area from age 8 and lots if kids have swimming parties.

wigglesrock Sat 13-May-17 00:08:47

My kids found it much easier to learn to swim when they hit 8 - in fact dd1 who I traipsed to lessons (never again) started swimming with the school at age 8 and she never looked back. Mine are confident in the water, they are aware of water dangers, they can tread water confidently which something I rate higher than how many different strokes they can do. My eldest has been going swimming with her friends without supervision from about 9. To be honest out of all the lessons and classes my three have done, swimming lessons is the one I wouldn't spend the money on again.

Littlepleasures Sat 13-May-17 00:10:25

It was the only after school activity I insisted the children couldn't give up. Didn't have a car at the time. It was a 40 minute walk there and back every week for about 6 years. Children in our school only got 4 lessons every year, not enough for the average total beginner to become confident or proficient. So yes, it was important. I didn't crack it till my early thirties so I was determined my kids wouldn't lack what I consider to be an important life skill.

megletthesecond Sat 13-May-17 00:10:34

Yes mine can swim. They've been having lessons for five years now. They're allowed to stop when they're teens and have completed the junior life saving level.

I had to swim every week for years and while I didn't always enjoy it it did do me good. I don't swim often as an adult but I still have the muscle memory to be a strong swimmer in the sea or do lots of lengths in the pool. I don't think I'd have that if I stopped at a young age.

ThePinkOcelot Sat 13-May-17 00:10:40

Because I wasn't a strong swimmer, actually I'm still not, I thought it was very important for dds to be good swimmers.
I took them to lessons when they were 3. They are both strong swimmers now.

BackforGood Sat 13-May-17 00:12:04

Incredibly important, not only for the possibility of ever falling in / getting into trouble, but for years and years of enjoyment and pleasure - be that on holidays with family or entertaining themselves with mates at weekends and school holidays. Also all the possibilities it opens up when they are teens and young adults to enjoy kayaking, surfing, sailing, canoeing, rowing, stand up paddle boarding, as well as fun stuff like rope swings over a river and just going for a swim with mates and then, as they go on holiday as young adults and want to go on those inflatables or sea kayaking etc.

Mind, £100 a month (£50 per child) seems to be a lot for 4 years to not have a fairly confident swimmer in your 8 yr old at least.
I know I'm going back 8 - 10 yrs, but £50 paid for all 3 of mine to learn to swim at a swimming club, with the older 2 able to go several times a week for that price. By 9 they were all able to do 1000m / 1500m / mile type badges.
Council lessons - ie1/2 hour x once a week are about £4.

Zoflorabore Sat 13-May-17 00:13:08

Dd taught herself to swim from around 3.5-4 years old. She is now 6.

She has been taken twice a week since she was 3 months old and has always loved the water but has no fear which I'm not sure is
a good or a bad thing.

Most of her class- year one, do swimming lessons privately and school take them in year 3.

LordTrash Sat 13-May-17 00:13:55

Yes, I live in a seaside town and my dc primary school taught all children from reception (it had a pool on site).

However, despite all that, only one of them is a strong swimmer (both at secondary school now). The other is dyspraxic and hates the beach though.

Orangebird69 Sat 13-May-17 00:14:42

I think it's an important skill to learn. Saying that, my ds is 19 mo and hasn't been swimming yet. I'm aghast at the amount of money people pay for swimming lessons for infants/toddlers. What a rip off. My dad taught me to swim when I was maybe 3 which was then topped up by school swimming lessons. I'm a good swimmer. As soon as I feel swimsuit ready I'll teach my ds. Simple.

elephantoverthehill Sat 13-May-17 00:15:08

My DCs are not cut out to be brilliant swimmers but they are ok. In my book it is a life skill akin to reading or writing. That said, we do live next to the sea so it is an essential.

JoandMax Sat 13-May-17 00:15:18

Yes very important for us, we live in a hot country so spend a lot of time either at the beach or in the pool.

Schools here have swimming lessons every week all year round right from pre-school so at 7 and nearly 9 they're both confident swimmers. I wouldn't let them go alone yet but I don't need to be in the water with them, I can sit in the sun and keep enough of an eye on them!

ScarlettFreestone Sat 13-May-17 00:18:22

I agree with TheReal I'd be a bit concerned about the quality of the instruction if half their pupils can't swim after four years of lessons.

To answer your question yes, we consider being able to swim a key life skill. It was the only extracurricular activity that wasn't considered optional.

However my DC stopped lessons at aged 8, at which point they could both do the crawl, breast stoke, back stroke to a high degree of competence and a pretty fair butterfly stroke. They can also dive and do a racing turn.

They actually both swim much better than I do.

We do supervise them in the water but more to make sure there's no high jinks not because they aren't safe.

relaxitllbeok Sat 13-May-17 00:20:52

Yes... but I don't get the swimming lessons every week for years thing! Mine learned to swim in the "won't drown in a swimming pool" sense from (a few) school lessons and splashing around on holiday and occasional going to a pool for fun. Then when he was 12 he had 8 or so individual half hour lessons, with some practice in between, to learn proper strokes. Done, I reckon: he swims faster than I or most other people at the pool do and looks more like the YouTube videos too. If he'd ever been interested in swimming classes, grades etc, fine, but I don't regret not forcing it!

CrazedZombie Sat 13-May-17 00:21:26

I would have changed instructor with the 8 year old. 4 years is a long time not to be confident.

My children learned quite late (age 7) but could swim a length after an intensive course at half term. They went regularly after that and within a year could be unsupervised while I watched the youngest or swam laps myself.

Wondermoomin Sat 13-May-17 00:26:24

Yes, it's an extremely important life skill and the only extracurricular activity I won't compromise on.

It sounds like you might have to change classes - you should be seeing better progression than that. We pay less than £50/mth for 2 kids in public swimming pool classes that teach to a very high standard (not our local pool, which is meant to follow ASA as well but is of a visibly lower standard). Have a good look around.

Shyturnip please don't leave it down to school swimming lessons! They get 2 blocks in the entire primary school age - hardly enough! School is not responsible for teaching them everything, some things come down to parenting!! You wouldn't expect school to teach kids how to cross the road or ride a bike, same with swimming - teaching that or arranging lessons is part of parenting.

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