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Talk to me about swimming lessons

(10 Posts)
PeppermintCreams Thu 31-Jan-13 18:29:54

My son will be 5 in May, and I'd like to sign him up for swimming lessons. I'm a bit nervous about it as I am a non swimmer, and don't want him to be.

The local council ones seem good. £5.13 a lesson with 8 in a class for the pre-school water confidence classes and Level 1 (non swimmers). Price also includes free swimming for him. I'm going to call them tomorrow and find out more, but I think I'd want him to do the pre-school ones for a little bit before level 1. They can move up as soon as they are ready.

Does this sound ok? Is 8 in a class a good ratio for council ones? I'm going to keep an open mind about it all, and if I don't think it's working I will try out private lessons.

lljkk Thu 31-Jan-13 18:48:28

It's a good ratio,about typical for group lessons.
I can't comment on price, except it's a tiny bit lower than what we pay
Who will take him for free fun swims if you are nervous of water?
He needs to have leisure swims as well as the lessons to master it.

PeppermintCreams Thu 31-Jan-13 19:20:14

I'm happy to take him swimming in the small pool where I can put my feet on the floor. smile I'm more nervous about the swimming lessons because I never did them - only the ones at school.

JuliaScurr Thu 31-Jan-13 19:25:21

my friend is a swimming teacher
she says kids need to be very confident/comfortable in the water before starting proper lessons
take him to splash around & play every week for a few months before trying lessons

balia Thu 31-Jan-13 19:26:41

Really you have to try them. We signed DS up for the local leisure centre ones, but he hated it. It was in an area very close to the huge public pool bit, so pounding music, screaming, shouting etc. It was cold and impersonal and in 3 weeks we had 3 different instructors.

We didn't take him for any more, and signed him up for lessons at a smaller centre. It's a bit further away, but slightly less expensive. I got my money back for the lessons he didn't have but I had paid for in advance, too.

sittinginthesun Thu 31-Jan-13 19:32:56

My two have lessons at the local leisure centre, eight per class, and are fine.

Just check on groups, though. At ours, they start the "rising fives" in the "orange hat" group, rather than with the preschoolers in "red hats". Was fine for my DS1 (who was four and a half and in Reception), but you might want to check the policy at yours.

PeppermintCreams Thu 31-Jan-13 21:06:27

Yes, I'll check on the groups. Level 1 is for complete beginners so I'm sure he'll be ok with them, but seeing as he's still young enough for the water confidence class I'll see what they suggest.

The classes I'm looking at are at 8am on a Sunday morning, so only other lessons will be going on. I'm also hoping the early start will mean that the class is never full. grin

lljkk Fri 01-Feb-13 13:27:39

You could look into adult beginner lessons, too, while you're at it (our pool offers them). smile

Saturday am lessons are indeed usually under-subbed, in my experience, good one to try for if you don't mind getting up early.

BackforGood Mon 04-Feb-13 18:58:53

Another option is to find your local swimming club. All mine started learning at one of our local clubs. It was about the same price as the council ones (which were around £3.60 for half hour) but used to last an hour. They had teenagers from the club in the water with them, which was just great for both water confidence, and also to help them listen / concentrate in such a difficult environment for listening / concentrating. They also did lots of extra things to just swimming - such as jumping in, a play session for a few minutes at the end, and various games in the lesson, all designed to give them water confidence.
When we eventually had to stop (time clashing with other things when my youngest was about 6) and we signed her up to the Council ones, they just weren't a patch on what they had been getting. Whenever anyone sees any of my dc swimming, they alway comment on what a lovely economical stroke they all have. unlike their mother.
Might just be worth a quick google to see what's in your area.

Sommink Thu 28-Feb-13 20:23:27

Stage 1 lessons are all about water confidence, children can use armbands and aids to move through the water, its about bringing the fun into swimming. the price is about right as is the class ratio.

I would always be wary of club swimming lessons, most use level 1 teachers who aren't fully qualified. Councils have to use level 2 teachers to comply with ASA guidelines and therefore are more aware of difficulties children have and how to correct skills and strokes right from the word go.

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