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How long did it take for your child to learn to swim from using 3 back floats, to 2, to 1 then to zero back floats?

(13 Posts)
pomegranate1975 Sun 05-Jun-16 14:10:04

My youngest 6 has started his first time ever swimming lessons and is using the back floats for lessons. He started on 3 back floats on his back and after two lessons is using 2 back floats now.
The next level up is 1 board, then no boards, then the last level in this pool.

He is swimming with the 2.3.4-year-old kids as it looks like the older kids his age are in the next pool up.

My question is how long would it take for a typical child to move up to the older pool? Or how long till the next back float is removed to 1 board?
How long did it take for your child to learn to swim from using 3 back float, to 2, to 1 then to zero back floats?

dancemom Sun 05-Jun-16 15:52:31

Do you mean float inserts in a swimming jacket?

I'm a swimming teacher and we only use floats and woggles, no jackets or arm bands.

happyis Sun 05-Jun-16 16:09:25

Floats or no floats - it doesn't really matter. I would be wary of a swimming class that was so reliant on floats.

What makes a difference is their confidence in water and their stage of physical development. Children cannot hold their own body weight in water till they are at least 3yrs but some as old as 6!

My own children have had swimming lessons since they were babies. Their ability in the water is no different to others of similar age/development in their swimming class, most of whom have been swimming for a much shorter time.The only advantage my children have is that they have absolutely no fear of water and are always the first to volunteer!

You need to get your DS happy and comfortable in water, and then at his age he should progress quite quickly.

Micah Sun 05-Jun-16 16:17:22

Also to add I'd be wary of a class using body floats. Most will only need woggles/hand held floats.

To answer your question, it depends on natural ability, obviously, but generally older children will progess much faster. So he should be catching up with average 6 year olds before too long, if the teaching is good.

WobbleYourHead Fri 10-Jun-16 14:27:18

We use a swim school that uses back floats alongside hand held floats. DD1 is 5 and has 1 back float as her buoyancy is awful. They're teaching her correct stroke technique and the back float aids her position in the water. She is able to swim 10 meters (probably further but they only swim widths) on both front and back without the float.

WobbleYourHead Fri 10-Jun-16 14:31:22

She went from 3 to 2 to 1 pretty quickly and they regularly assess without them on.
I much prefer back floats to arm bands!

DS did Water Babies and so only ever used hand held floats, he's a nightmare and spends far too much time swimming UNDER the water as opposed to at the surface like he's supposed to be doing.

mouldycheesefan Fri 10-Jun-16 14:32:57

Never used back floats, just woggles and those discs they put on instead of arm bands.
I wouldn't imagine it will take long and will be quicker if you take him swimming yourself as well as the lessons.

Sleeperandthespindle Sun 12-Jun-16 20:28:15

I never use floats - except for teaching stroke technique when you want to isolate one part of the skill.

Sounds a very odd swim school.

Sleeperandthespindle Sun 12-Jun-16 20:29:22

Definitely take him yourself. DD (6) has only really learned to swim 1:1. Lessons are great, but 1:6 is not a great ratio.

3boys3dogshelp Sun 12-Jun-16 20:33:01

I don't have an opinion on the floats (although haven't seen them used at any of the four different places my kids have had lessons).
Ask at your local pools whether any of them do crash courses of swimming lessons in the school holiday. My dc have taken ages to get the hang of swimming, but did a course in the last summer holidays where they went every morning for a week and they improved dramatically.

CatherineDeB Sun 12-Jun-16 20:43:35

If he is happy I would let him carry on and don't stress how long any of it takes, it really doesn't matter.

I disagree that 1:6 is a rubbish ratio, it lets them have a bit if a rest and makes it less pressured and more fun. Once they are moving on they will likely swim in pairs or three together meaning the rests are shorter.

DD was a very slow starter, complete coward and hated swimming for at least 2 years, I reckon we started formal lessons (again) at 5.5. In a 1:6 class.

By the time she was eigh she was quite competent. Proper strokes, proper technique. Now, at (just) ten swimming is completely her thing and her backstroke is virtually as strong as DH's, a former coach and masters league swimmer.

If he is happy and you think the teacher is decent I wouldn't sweat about how long any of it takes.

pomegranate1975 Mon 20-Jun-16 05:27:31

Update: My son is doing very well, he has done 3 days a week sessions and doesn't use floaties at all. He has moved up three levels and can dog paddle a few metres. He is learning how to swim now with his arms straight and legs straight with kicks. He has two more levels till he gets out of this pool and move to the next pool which is his age group.

ReallyTired Thu 23-Jun-16 21:39:30

I think floats have a place. Some children are very scared and its challenge just to get them to enter the water. When dd started lessons at three and half years she was petrified. The floats helped her have the confidence to get into the water.

Dd took a year to be capable of swimming 5 metres unaided on both front and back. At the age of seven she is now on stage 5.

To get children to make good progress with their swimming they need regular practice. The children who make the fastest progress are those who listen to instructions. Encouraging your child to concentrate on good technique and not putting feet down is more important than swimming fast.

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