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Swimming lessons for a 3 year old. Group or 1:1 lessons?

(4 Posts)
PavlovtheForgetfulCat Wed 09-Sep-09 16:33:40

DD is confident in the water. She did water babies from about 8 months, then did some more group 'lessons' for a few months, but then we stopped.

We take her (DH and I) once a week, she can swim well with armbands, but has recently also been swimming without them, using a float or a noodle.

She kicks her legs with bum up, can propel herself forward using her legs, has started to use her arms.

She has no problems being dunked, in fact sometimes does this on her own. She sometimes slips under and is able to regain her composure immediately and is not phased by being under the water at all.

She even likes to go down the big slide on her own (a very long wiggly snake tunnel) with DH at the top and me waiting at the bottom.

We feel that with some targetted lessons she will be able to swim properly without aids very soon.

So, do we do

Group lessons - up to 12 children but not always that many - with 2 instructors? They work towards the recognised swimming awards, starting with Ducklings.

1:1 lessons, obviously more intensive and more expensive but is she too young?

What are the pro's and con's of each that we might not be considering? We are thinking the social aspect is not a huge importance as she does other social activities, although it will not hurt, but she might learn from her peers. 1:1 might be too intensive for her age? She might not pay enough attention to instruction? But, she does not need to learn basic swimming confidence, she needs to learn specific skills now so this would benefit.

Advice please?

mumblechum Wed 09-Sep-09 16:42:08

1:1, as with group lessons ime, they only get about 5 mins in 30 doing their swim, the rest of the time they're hanging around the side waiting for their turn.

sleepwhenidie Wed 09-Sep-09 17:41:38

IMO 1:1 too, until she can actually swim and has basic strokes, which sounds like she should get in a term or two. After that she can practice strokes in a group and won't need so much attention. I think (depending on the instructor of course), 1:1 lessons should be more fun for her too. As far as taking instruction goes, it must be easier for them to be in 1:1 at that age than in a group setting when closer attention needs to be paid by the child and there is more chance of her attention wandering?

My DS wasn't confident at all in the water but 1:1 lessons have transformed him into a real water baby, they are expensive but definitely worth it. He started when he was just 3 and FWIW he also started a gymnastics class at the same age but this didn't work out because he wasn't good at joining in with what everyone else was doing all the time!

mimsum Wed 09-Sep-09 23:56:30

ime, 1:2 works better than 1:1 especially at that age as it inspires them to do better than the other child

although to be honest, I wouldn't start formal lessons for another year or so - the most important thing at this age is to foster a love of water and make swimming fun

if she likes going under, why not get her some diving toys? weighted rings/sticks/seals (v cute!) - and get her some goggles, as they make a huge difference

dd(6) didn't start lessons until she was 4.5, but she'd been going with us every week while her brothers had lessons. The teacher had her jumping into the deep end on her first lesson and she now swims with a club and is truly fishlike

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