Bewildered by choice of swimming classes - need some help(16 Posts)
I really need to get DS aged 4 to start swimming. He has always resisted the idea and absolutely hated it the couple of times I took him as a baby. He still gets hysterical when he gets water in his ears in the bath!
There are so many organisations providing swimming classes I really don't know where to start. I was also keen to be in the pool with him at the start but I think most places say by age 4 he has to go in by himself
Also in terms of Edinburgh pools, which ones are the most family friendly?
I was a bit horrified to read the RCP doesn't have shallow steps leading to the teaching pool. Are they all like this? Many years ago when I learned to swim (not in Edinburgh) the children's pools all had very shallow ends. I have no experience of swimming in Edinburgh!
All advice / guidance welcome
I was in this position last year with my 4 year old and we did one-to-one lessons with Edinburgh swim school at Nuffield gym at Chesser. I was in the pool for the first few weeks and the teacher took things really slowly and went at my kid's pace with no pressure. The pool is deep but I think they also use a pool at their gym at Fountain Park which has a kid's shallow bit so might be worth looking into that.
Swimeasy also does individual lessons I think in various pools around the city and I've heard good things about them too.
Good luck with this, I found it really stressful but my son is now making good progress in a group lesson which I didn't think would be possible this time last year.
Thank you so much for your reply Craighockhartmo. I feel completely rubbish that I haven't addressed this yet. My DH doesn't swim at all so this one is up to me.
In my experience the best I have come across is SwimEasy. They have teachers in the pool with the beginners and from what I have seen they are skilled at dealing with children nervous of he water. There is a clear progression through the stages and they teach all 4 strokes.
Both my children have learned with them, with one now swimming for a competitive club and the other still in their classes. They have classes in pools all over Edinburgh and the best I have come across. They also do 1:2:1 lessons and rapidtrak courses.
I don't have any affiliation with them, but I bet I won't be the only person to recommend them.
We did try he RCP classes and whilst the instructors are good they just don't progress as quickly (ime).
Don't worry, I'm sure you'll find a class and teacher that suits your child. There are plenty of options out there. I had to do it on my own too so I know where you're coming from. Best of luck!
My 4yr old swims with swim easy but he loves the water.
We also go weekly to the commie pool. It's great. Honestly. Your child may not be able to stand but you can hold him or use a woggle or armbands (both there to borrow).
They do lessons too but tbh I'd start by going together and just playing.
We go in a Friday morning when you could also observe the lessons going on (they're roped off).
My kids have lessons with Swim Start in Portobello High School pool. I've seen them deal with some pretty scared kids before and they were brilliant.
Another recommendation for Swimeasy. Their teachers are fantastic and a good choice of venues. I go along and watch most weeks, and I have seen small kids (aged 4) start in classes, obviously terrified and unhappy and progress in a matter of a few weeks into happy, smiley kids. A teacher will spend 1-2-1 time with a nervous child and take their time with them, it's really lovely to watch in fact, and then rewarding to see how much they overcome a few weeks on.
Can highly recommend Swimeasy. My kids have been doing it for years. great staff and usually good facilities.
Where are you in the city? Cannot recommend Stepping Stones enough. Maximum of 6 to a class and instructors are in the water.
My daughter goes to RCP. The teaching pool doesn't have steps going into it but the floor is raised & my 4 year old can easily stand with her head above the water. She is in the smaller ratio class of 4 kids to 1 teacher & the teacher is in the water with them.
We took her swimming once a week but she hated water going on her face. She hated the lessons initially because she didn't want to go under but the teacher has been really patient with her & now she is swimming under water & loves her lessons.
I’d also suggest considering the Edinburgh leisure classes with a 1:4 ratio (instructor in pool with kids). It has got my very nervous 4 year old confidently swimming in one term, and is much cheaper than any of the alternatives we explored. It has worked out as 1-1 ratio most weeks (although obviously that isn’t guaranteed).
I don’t quite understand your concern about steps and depth I’m afraid - RCP training pool is very shallow though.
I second the EL low ratio classes - even if just for a term!
I think ainslie has a slope into the pool? Might be a good way to introduce?
Mine both learned at Leith Victoria. The staff are absolutely brilliant - even with children who additional support needs.
Most of the pools here do not have sloped entry. Lessons tend to start with arm bands that are slowly removed as they get better. I hate swimming myself but my girls are both water babies and they've gained so much confidence with the positive encouragement of the instructors. I'm now of the instructor is more important than the pool theory.
Thanks for all advice. I was just concerned about some of the pools being a bit too deep for a child to stand up in so good to know RCP is pretty shallow. Where I learned it was standard for children's pools to have slopes and some friends have said they struggled getting into Edinburgh pools safely albeit with slightly younger children
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