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3 years of swimming classes and no progress. Is this a physical thing? WWYD?

(16 Posts)
tallulah Sun 09-Jun-13 10:48:39

DD went to Waterbabies swimming classes from 6 mo to 3.5 y. Before she left she was swimming a width of the pool totally unaided.

She went on to ordinary 2:1 swimming classes with instructor in the pool and after 18 months switched to 1:1 lessons with instructor in the pool.

She is now 6 and has been having 1:1 for 18 months but doesn't seem to be making any progress at all. She was working through the progress badges they use but last summer just got an ordinary certificate to say she could swim 5 metres. She got the same certificate again at the end of the next term, and the last one she got was for 3 metres. They use floats, armbands, fins and woggles.

We've had other issues with the admin of this swim school and for two pins I'd just pull her out. But she loves swimming. It's the only activity she really enjoys. We tried to find another school but all do 8:1 for this age-group which isn't suitable. I know I could take her myself but realistically we wouldn't get around to it, especially once the days shorten.

I always thought everybody could swim if they were taught how to, but is it probable that no matter how long she has lessons she will never get it? The other children from her original WB class are swimming 25 metres front crawl and entering galas. While I'm not expecting anything like that I did think that after almost 3 years of lessons she would be able to swim unaided by now.

I've been asked if I want to rebook for September and I'm torn. Help!

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sun 09-Jun-13 10:58:25

Maybe the 1-1 teacher lets your dd set the pace, six is too young to really push themselves, so the teacher has to do it for them.

Perhaps a group with a better teacher and some peer example setting would help.

Maybe have a term off and research better options.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sun 09-Jun-13 10:59:05

The other children from her WB group - who teaches them - same as your dd?

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sun 09-Jun-13 11:00:46

Sorry, third post, must organise thoughts before starting!

Anyway, why is 8-1 not suitable? Most kids do group lessons, most kids learn that way.

newbiefrugalgal Sun 09-Jun-13 11:03:45

My ds 6 loves swimming group lessons and you see him feeding off the other competition. Ds5 too!
No swimming aids at all, except when using kick board.
I think you need to change swim schools.

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Sun 09-Jun-13 11:06:10

Why isn't 8:1 suitable? IME that is a small teaching group. My dd (7) has made great progress in a 8:1 group. and it's rare that all 8 turn up
Personally I'd be looking for a sucessful swimming club that has teaching groups.

YDdraigGoch Sun 09-Jun-13 11:08:30

Why is 8:1 not suitable? DC might find it more fun with other kids the same age, and they'd provide some completion/set the pace.

Alternatively just forget the lessons for a while and swim for fun. You could play games like "who can swim the furthest/stay under the longest/reach the other side the quickest to encourage development.

EuroShaggleton Sun 09-Jun-13 11:10:24

Why isn't 8:1suitable? A bit of peer competition might spur her on.

jelliebelly Sun 09-Jun-13 11:13:15

I think her swimming instructor is a bit rubbish.

Scruffey Sun 09-Jun-13 11:26:11

The instructor must be the problem. My dc and friends dc go to a swimming teacher in 1:8 ratio and the kids get around 200m badge aged 6. Some children have more aptitude than others but even those with low aptitude will swim 25-50m at 6yo if they have had as many lessons as your dd.

WeAllHaveWings Sun 09-Jun-13 11:38:12

ds(9) never started swimming lessons until 6, and progressed steadily. We did about 9 months where he did 1:1 and group lessons every week.

Both were good for him, 1:1 to teach technique and the group lessons as he's a bit competitive and wanted to be able to do the same or better than everyone else.

Group lessons might help, but 18 months of 1:1 is a bit much with no progress, what is the instructor saying about the lack progress?

Is she just enjoying playing in her lessons and not making an effort to learn? Could you give her a target - swim a length and I'll get you a ?????

I wouldn't continue the same lessons or instructor.

tallulah Sun 09-Jun-13 12:30:25

I have asked about the lack of progress but her teacher just says she is making some. hmm Trouble is that we get 20 mins and then there is changeover so if you stop to discuss with the teacher you are eating into the next person's lesson.

I've watched other children start as nervous non-swimmers then progress fast as the weeks go on, both with our instructor and the other one in the pool at the same time.

How does 8:1 work? DD has ADHD/ dyspraxia so needs a bit more supervision than she'd get in an 8:1 class, but I get the point about competition with the others. I think I'll look into whether our local sports centre could cater for her.

SaveMeNow Sun 09-Jun-13 15:09:05

My 6 year old has lessons at the gym (Virgin) and their max group size is 6 although its often 4 or 5. They are more expensive than a lot of classes locally but if you've been paying for 1:1 then it may not be that different (and you don't have to be a member). I find a group of 4 works best for her as she struggles a bit with larger swimming groups - but her biggest motivator is to keep up with the others in her group. May be worth looking at as a compromise on group size??I do think swim teachers vary hugely though wherever you go. I would definitely look for another teacher though as that does seem an awfully long time to have made no progress at all.

CheesyPoofs Sun 09-Jun-13 15:17:09

It may be physical. My nearly 6 year old DD has been going to swimming lessons for 2 years and there hasn't been much progress. She has got her 5m badge and stage 2 certificate.

She lacks confidence, and has noticably poor motor skills compared to her friends - this is apparent just by watching her on the playground. I'm sure she'll get there eventually, it may just take her longer than her peers.

prissyenglisharriviste Sun 09-Jun-13 15:26:12

None of mine have really 'got' swimming before 7, to be honest, no matter how many lessons and how much money we throw at it. My kids must just be late developers in that department, because as soon as they hot lessons after 7, they pretty much fly - going from not managing 10m to booking swims on the club distance days because they don't have time to complete their maximums in the 45 minute lesson slot. And they've all been keen, happy, no fear. Just couldn't swim.

With dd2, it definitely is a physical thing. She's 9 with cp and loves to swim, but can't coordinate arm movements and breathing - it's one or the other grin. She'll get there.

lunar1 Sat 15-Jun-13 21:10:07

I would try the group lessons, it really motivates them. Ds1 is in stage 4 now and has been in groups with children with a huge range of extra needs. Including children with ADHD, missing limbs and all manner of different conditions. Ds1 knows a fair bit of sign language now as his best friend in the group is deaf.

This is in the lessons at our council pool, the teacher is brilliant as she does all the school lessons she is experienced in everything. Don't dismiss the groups because of your dd's additional needs, it may be just the thing to motivate her.

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