DC getting nowhere at swimming ... how to get out of rut(16 Posts)
Background - DC had swimming lessons from about age 2 to 5/6 at local pool, they got a couple of badges but not past Stage 1. Then we had to stop because there was no convenient time for lessons, and they were doing weekly swimming with school (same pool though).
It's got to the stage where they are age 7/8 and still have only got Stage 1 badges from school. (I don't view the lessons). They love the water, are very happy to go in and splash/play, but I think they must need a bit of more focussed input as they seem to be stuck at a low level and in the big group, the teachers maybe don't push them to improve. They just keep taking your money to have them swim across the pool 3 or 4 times as far as I can see.
Any ideas? What's a normal stage for a Yr 3 or 4 child to be on, not a future champion IYSWIM? Are some lessons better than others and what should I look for? If we don't go to this local pool it will be 20 minutes away which is a bit of a commitment, but I am desperate for them to be able to swim properly.
Does your local pool offer crash courses? Some friends of ours put their kids into daily lessons for a week, every school holiday and it worked for them. Ours have done a couple of courses to work on their strokes, but swim every week (lessons at a pool 8 miles away - school don't take them until Year 4).
As for stages... there's no norm. At this age, many kids can't swim, and some are hitting club level. My 7yo is on Stage 8, as are a couple of her friends, and she is not about to set any records. One of her friends is in Stage 9 and also does synchro. A couple of classmates are in 6/7, and some who've been going for years are in Stage 1. Depends on the child and the teaching.
Thanks. Yes the local school does crash courses but I think I might ask around to see if I can book them in somewhere I'd be happy for them to be doing ongoing lessons.
At our council pool every 10 weeks when the kids move or don't move up a grade you get a marked sheet with the criteria for passing that grade.
DS has just passed grade 8 aged 8 (no superstar and stopping there). He has done lessons on and off since he was 4 and when he hit a rut we sometimes took 3 months out. A lot of his friends quit around grade 3 or 4 when they could swim a length.
Trouble with the lessons in the council pool here is that if you take a break, you go to the bottom of the list, and could wait 6 months or a year to get back again, the list is so long.
I watch the lessons and give them some feedback, if there was one thing they did well, or need to practise. Then, if I can I take them to the pool, and make them practise their stokes for part of the time, as well as splashing about.
I really recommend private lessons if you can afford it. The children make miles better progress.
My DS1 has been having council lessons for about 18 months, and has made very good progress. He is just 8. Not sure what the level is but he has been promoted into a better class (he struggled initially), but he swims brilliantly - as in he looks like he knows what he is doing for front crawl, and is very confident.
He can do several lengths, although finds it tiring.
Not sure what the norm is / what rate of progress is expected. Sorry.
Our local pool does a rolling programme where you just move on to the next stage when you are ready. It's quite good for the kids, but I think the staff have problems with updating the class list!
My year 4 DS1 is at stage 5: "... able to kick 10m of front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly and swim 10 metres of a stroke." He was stuck at a lower stage for a while because he didn't know how to breath for front crawl. We got a book (my usual approach ), looked on youtube, practised outside lessons a few times, and he got on quite well after that.
Another vote for 1:1 lessons. My dd1 was very happy in a class environment but had a handful of 1:1's if I ever felt she was a bit stuck and they really boosted her progress. She's yr 4 and we've stopped lessons now as at the end of last term she swam 500m front crawl in her lesson so I figured she didn't need them any more!
Dd2 (yr1) is a different kettle of fish, making very little progress in class, so now she just does 1:1 lessons and has made huuuuge progress since doing so. It's more expensive but probably worth it long term as progress is faster so fewer lessons are needed.
Our pool also takes siblings in 2:1 lessons so that may be worth exploring.
I agree that 1:2 or even 1:4 lessons (in groups of siblings or friends), when they know how to swim lengths, is ample attention and still far preferable to general group lessons. I have found that DD makes great progress in lessons and then builds stamina over the summer holidays when she does intensive water sports.
My dc3 really 'clicked' when she went on half term for a lesson a day - so only 5 lessons, and, as luck would have it, only 2 had booked in, tand the other person only turned up once, so she had 1:1 leassons ridiculaously cheaply, but, I think, really benefitted from the fact it was 5 days in a row.
1 to 1 lessons are brilliant for improving swimming. Ds had one to one lessons of a year and went from being stage 1 to stage 4 at the age of seven.
A lot depends on the quality of swim teacher. Most of our teachers have been very good, but there was one teacher who was very "nice" but couldn't control the class. I think if your child is getting nowhere it would be worth changing swimming teacher if you can.
You'd have to be really motivated to improve your swimming much at the lessons DD has with school.
She's done great in group lessons at the local pool.
We've invested lots of time / dosh in our DC swimming.
Now my general advice would be
1) lessons and family swim until 3/3.5. I use this for fun, water safety etc and get them jumping in and loving the water. We then take a short break as I don't feel they can learn enough at this stage for value for money / time so we just do family swims.
2) back to groups just before 4 to start on technique
3) individuals around 5.5/6.5 to improve breathing technique (just a few months)I think tech is more important than lengths.
4) what child does with it is up to them. Galas / squads etc. I've encourage dc1 to continue for fitness in winter at the moment as im trying to encourage idea of health and well being. We do swim lots in the hols as its easy to brill all the ages together.
I think you have to find the right teacher. If you could get them to do 1 group and share a private they'd be done much quicker.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.