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how long did it take for you dc to learn to swim?

(23 Posts)
saadia Sat 24-May-08 10:20:16

I know it varies by child but I was just wondering on average how many lessons would a 4-6yr old need to know how to swim properly.

MaryBS Sat 24-May-08 11:09:43

Depends HUGELY on the instructor too. I paid for 5 terms of swimming lessons for DD and she never got anywhere. They kept putting her in the same class, doing the same things. I pulled out of a sixth term. She learned (aged 6) in 5 days with a swimming instructor on holiday.

ZipadiSuzy is a swimming instructor - I'll email her...

twentypence Sat 24-May-08 11:12:51

Define swimming. It took ds 6 lessons in two weeks to get to the point of not drowning. Another 5 lessons to do something approaching a stroke and to float on his back and to really enjoy it.

to swim properly (as in all three strokes with the breathing and everything) I would say about 3 years based on ds's progress.

I am happy for him to not drown and to faff about in a pool at the weekend and on holiday TBH.

roisin Sat 24-May-08 11:15:29

It varies immensely.
DS2 learned to 'swim' when he was 3 before he had any lessons.
DS1 had weekly lessons, plus holiday crash courses, and swimming for fun for well over 2 years before he could swim even 5m!

Interestingly though ds1 has developed into the far better swimmer, and now swims for a club grin

JackieNo Sat 24-May-08 11:15:56

I think it depends how old they are when they start, too. DD started when she was 5.6-ish, and it didn't take her long to get the hang of it. DS has just had his first course of 10 lessons (he's 4.5) and the only tick he got was for 'hopping and jumping about in the water confidently'hmm. He could definitely do that before the lessons started. But he's not as sporty or confident physically as DD is, I think.

LIZS Sat 24-May-08 11:23:39

dd has been swimming twice a week since 4, when a non swimmer, and is now able to do a recognisable strokes and lengths of a 20m pool 2 years on. She isn't particularly physically strong for her age and some of her peers have better technique and speed than 10 yr old ds. Some of those who were in the same beginners group 1-2 years ago (probably don't swim regularly with their school, so once a week) are still there . So it varies.

cariboo Sat 24-May-08 11:24:08

Oh I am in such a fury at the moment re swimming lessons! I've had to spend a fortune (which I can't afford) on lessons for the dc.angry It seems to be so difficult for them! Although dd(7)can now swim reasonably well (but only after 2 yrs of weekly lessons), ds(4) has "only" learned to overcome his fear of water & that after 10 private lessons! At least bathtime is easier but it seems a lot of money to spend "just" to get over the fear of getting water on his face.

As a little girl, still living in Canada, I was taught to float & then to dog-paddle by my grandparents. I had more lessons (free!)in the local municipal pool.hmm

ZipadiSuzy Sat 24-May-08 11:35:45

It all depends on the confidence of the child, if they are timid, which my ds was, it took him 1 year he is now 4, but really there arn't many children that start before then unless they are water babies!

Each child is different, I have some children age 6 in my classes that don't swim, but its generally because they have confidence issues, and havent swam much.

Children will swim when THEY are ready.

As for the same old lessons time after time, there is a teaching plan that has to be used, but should be varied so the children don't get fed up, but I'm afraid until they achieve those goals, you just have to stick with it.

Try different instructors if child not getting anywhere. Some children react differently to different teachings.

As an instructor, I'd be worried if I did not see any progression at all, within an 8 week course.

Other than that, take children play swimming to gain confidence, take arm bands off, try woggles and floats, obviously in water depth that they can regain standing.

Good luck.

saadia Sat 24-May-08 11:55:27

Thanks everyone, that's very helpful. Dss are pretty confident but I wasn't sure if the instructor was a but disinterested or if I was expecting too much. Ds1 (6) has had about 12 lessons, so I guess it's too soon to expect him to really be swimming. As a non-swimmer myself I don't have much idea, but I think he is making some progress so perhaps we will stick with the same teacher for now.

Hulababy Sat 24-May-08 12:04:11

DD was swimming unaided within her first 4-6 lessons. She was able to swim on front and back, and about a width at that stage. A week ater after a week's holiday with a pool she was swimming far longer and more confidently, as well as going under and swimming under water.

She was just doing 40 minute group sessins, which I have to say on the whole was not good - she no longer goes as she wasn't progressing with them de to ther inability to discipline the naughty children in the group.

She had not had lessons before and we rarely go swimming as a family. She had recently turned 5 at the time - round here classes won;t take children unti they are 5yo.

MatildaM Sat 24-May-08 17:08:48

My experience was that very little progress was made in 3 years of group lessons. When I started my son (aged 7)on one to one lessons he learned more in the first half hour than in all the previous lessons.
It may seem more expensive but it's well worth paying extra for private lessons, especially if you can follow it up with a poolside holiday. I always used to ask the instructor to dedicate the lesson before a holiday to pool safety.
Both my boys love the water but hated lessons. For my own peace of mind I made them continue until they could swim 200m and then let them quit.

saadia Sun 25-May-08 00:06:02

That's interesting that having a poolside holiday makes such a difference.

charliecat Sun 25-May-08 00:08:53

years, about 3, of lessons and crash courses. Excelent swimmer now, but OMG it took YEARS

flossyfairy Sun 25-May-08 00:16:35

I have got 3 DC. They all have had proper swim lessons through ASA. I have to admit, they took a good few years to get to the level where I felt comfortable to sit on the side and observe, but have finally got there.

Probably took 3+ yrs to learn to swim properly, after that it goes to swimming distances.

stealthsquiggle Sun 25-May-08 00:23:51

blush I don't know. DS has lessons with school and can swim now (age 5). I have to say, though, that baby swimming lessons for DD have paid off at home - she is completely unphased by DS emptying buckets of water over her head, whilst at the same age DS (PFB) would have freaked completely about being even splashed in the face.

fsmail Mon 26-May-08 11:53:48

It does depend on the child. My DS just taught himself to swim when he was nearly 4 but we used to go play swimming a lot. He is good now at 7. My DD on the other hand now nearly 4 is so much more scared despite the fact we go swimming all the time. She will take a bit longer although can swim really well with a woggle and I have seen her swim without it a few strokes but is simply not comfortable without an aid and I am quite happy to let her get to that stage when she is good and ready. Most people my age (40) did not learn to swim until secondary school so there is plenty of time.

Kez100 Tue 13-Oct-09 20:06:26

Some children take a long time, others are naturals. Don't lose patience. My son and daughter started age about 3/4. One learned almost instantaneously and was a natural. The other finally swam age 8, after years of lessons (twice a week when school went as well) and a term of one to one.

We live by the sea so it was important to keep persevering.

It turns out he is mildly dyspraxic, so that's probably the reason. (He also cannot ride a bike)

Spinningtop Tue 13-Oct-09 20:30:56

DS is now 4 and has been going to swimming lessons for 18 months. He's just achieved his 25 metre badge which is a huge achievement for a little chap. Don't think for one minute he's like the Thorpedo or Dame Becky as it's very much the paddle, kick, head just above the water which is normal for his age.

He has learnt skills through kick boards, floats, woggles and floating toys all of which gradually build up their water confidence. Yes, sometimes it feels as though they are not improving, but then suddenly they move on and the teachers have that brilliant ability to identify when next to develop the next skill or underpin the techniques.

madamearcati Mon 26-Oct-09 18:10:55

I only took mine to swimming lessons once they could 'swim' ie doggy paddle a few metres.I feel that is something that comes with confidence rather than needing to be 'taught'.I then took them to classes to learn the proper strokes.
(They were all aged 4 to 5)

trickerg Tue 27-Oct-09 20:07:03

About 7 years! It seems like learning to drive is about to follow the same pattern!

(To be fair, he is now a part-time lifeguard, so the slow (!) assimiliation of the skill paid off in the long run!)

SorciereAnna Fri 30-Oct-09 19:30:31

DD will be 5 in November.

She did a 5 day, 30 minute per session group crash course this August and hadn't swum again until this week when she did 3 private lessons of 30 minutes.

She can swim! On her front and back! And jump in the deep end!

[proud mummy emoticon]

voulezvou Sat 31-Oct-09 17:43:42

We have found that the fastest way to progress is to join a competitvie swimming club. They start with non-swimmers up to professionals and you pay a flat rate for the month but can go to all the lessons for that age group - currently three times a week. We can't make it three times a week but have managed to over the half term and DD has improved dramatically in one week by having 3 lessons. It's a good way to get them proficient and for me I want them to be strong swimmers so I won't worry about them if they fall in water or go swimming with friends, not because I want them to be stars. The instructors have a vested interest too as they are seeking to train up competitiors for the future so make sure the kids get their strokes right.

bigTillyMint Sat 31-Oct-09 17:48:30

It's hard to say - do you mean just not drowning as they move forward, or recognisable stroke, or being able to swim a width / length?

I think it varies hugely from child to child, and how often they go for practice.

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