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Do your toddlers/children have swimming lessons?

(25 Posts)
Gobbledigook Mon 23-May-05 12:07:06

Just wondering really. Ds1 has had lessons since he just turned 3 (but we took him swimming from 3 months) and is out of his armbands now at just turned 4 (well, just done his 15m).

I am surprised by how many of my RL friends don't have their children in lessons. 3 of us do (our boys are in the same class) but loads don't. I just think it's such an important life skill and the earlier learned the better.

Mum2girls Mon 23-May-05 12:15:30

Have been on the waiting list for DD1 (4) for 10 weeks at the local pool. They don't take them till age 4, so dp and I take our 2 ourselves about once a month.

Agree, tho - the earlier it's learned the better.

moondog Mon 23-May-05 12:15:59

I'm amazed too gdg (always noted the gdg family penchant for swimming!)at how many children I know are scared of water/can't swim.

Mine don't have lessons though (even inthe UK) because I love swimming and like to teach nthem myself. I don't fancy hanging around with other mothers waiting for them to learn (unsociable cow that I am.)

My dd has been swimming properly since she was 3 primarily because I am terrified at the thought of drowning. Even though we live on the edge of an enormous lake here in Turkey,very few people swim (combination of being more concerned with feeding their families and being rather conservative I think.) We went out to visit an island last w/end and I got off the boat as it was dangerously overloaded (bbqs,millions of kids,samovars,grandparents,blankets-unbelievable)and insisted that we charter our own (only £12 lol!). Also made the bloke get lifejackets for us . When he finally dug them out,it was obvious that they hadn't seen the light of day for years.

Everyone was staring at me as if I was a nutter!

Earlybird Mon 23-May-05 12:21:25

DD turned 4 in Feb, and we started swim lessons a few weeks ago (just after Easter). Many people would consider that a bit late, but I think it was the right timing for her. She is not physically adventurous, so by waiting until she is a bit older she is more confident. She is also better able to follow the instructor's directions now that she's a bit more mature. She's making fantastic progress and has already caught up to some of the younger children who have been taking lessons for much longer. I think she's doing well because she is ready at this age, rather than me pushing her into it.

Surfermum Mon 23-May-05 12:23:27

I'm going to take dd (2) to a swimming club when she's old enough, probably at about 3 or 4. I used to be a competitive swimmer, it was a great hobby and I'm still friends with people I used to swim with now. She'll probably hate it and want to do karate, although all the signs so far are that she's a beach-loving water baby.

Flum Mon 23-May-05 12:24:29

Not lessons but I take her myself sometimes. She is only 15 mths and can't swim alone, needs a waist float.

fastasleep Mon 23-May-05 12:25:01

I started taking DS at about 11 months, then had a gap due to morning sickness (bleh!) but I'm taking him back when my amternity swimming costume arrives! (Do baby classes count as swimming lessons? )

MarsLady Mon 23-May-05 12:27:06

all of ours have had lessons since about 2.5yrs. I stopped when they could swim for miles (well about 75m). They have lessons at school from Y5 so I didn't mind stopping at all. Have just finished lessons with DD2 who can now swim lengths. She's 6.5y. The DTs will start as soon as I have the energy. I prefer other people to teach my children as I don't have the patience and also I love reading my book whilst they learn.

dinosaur Mon 23-May-05 12:28:41

My DS1 started last September at the age of 5. After a shaky start (wouldn't get in the pool, terrified of being splashed) he now absolutely loves it. I don't think he would have been "ready" any earlier, tbh - he is on the autistic spectrum and very very nervous about new things.

DS2 will be starting in September when he is 4.

I agree that it's a vital skill which should be taught early, but I also think that you have to "know your child" and not force them into something they're not ready for.

giraffeski Mon 23-May-05 12:28:43

Message withdrawn

clary Mon 23-May-05 12:34:22

earlybird, don’t know why anyone would think that was late. Our local pools will not take children before 4 anyway, and of course they then start the next school term. i think that’s fine, it’s really hard for a child to be in the water without mum or dad and with six or seven other kids and a teacher telling them what to do. Four is plenty early enough IMHO. There is no way ds2 (2) would take that kind of instruction for example.
That said, yes I take all mine swimming and have done so since they were dots. DS1 has been having lessons since he was 4.5 and dd (4 in June) will start in sept I hope. Actually gdg, most children I know do do lessons. I agree it’s vital, in fact it’s non-negotiable in our house (and we point up the eg of Daddy who cannot swim as a horrible warning....)

nutcracker Mon 23-May-05 12:36:18

Well mine don't because i simply cannot afford £30 X 3 for 12 week courses.

I have tried to teach them a few times but they don't get very far.

Both dd's had one lesson a week at nursery and got certificates but neither can swim. Dd1 has swimming once a week again this year and has improved slightly i think.

crunchie Mon 23-May-05 12:37:44

Each child is so different. I have taken mine at 4 fir the eldest and 3 for the younger one. I am also shocked at how few people go, but our primary school has a pool and they get a WHOLE 1/2 term of lessons !!! A year!! It is an outdoor pool so it is used 6 weeks of the year -pointless

Anyway it does mean all kids in our village (who got o the school) get lessons at 5.

Gobbledigook Mon 23-May-05 12:38:36

I agree that it can be down the individual child when you start. Ds1 has always been fearless so took to it 'like a duck to water' - ha ha!

Some places around here don't do lessons till 4 or 5 either but at our club they start at 3.

I'm just surprised that in my circle of friends, quite a few of them who are big into their child's academic capabilities - whether can recognise numbers and letters etc NEVER take their kids to the pool, never mind think about lessons.

I didn't learn to swim till my early teens and as a younger child was terrified in water or in a boat.

In fact, on The Wright Stuff atm, they have a campaign for swimming with Duncan Goodhew - apparently they are providing free swim lessons for adults.

crunchie Mon 23-May-05 12:39:40

Lessons can be REALLY expensive though. Our swim school costs £69 a TERM of 10 lessons!!! It is disgusting really, but there are STILL waiting lists. I tried another company but they were just not as good and I went back after a term or so.

Gobbledigook Mon 23-May-05 12:40:22

Agree it can also be an expense. We pay £45 for a 10 week block. I'll end up paying £135 every 10 weeks once all 3 are going and that's just for one activity! They'll probably be doing other stuff by then....eek!

nutcracker Mon 23-May-05 12:40:37

I think the lessons are too expensive. Every child should be able to have swimming lessons if they wish too but like i said it is just too much for us to afford.

Dd2 has infact asked if she can have lessons but I have had to say No.

MarsLady Mon 23-May-05 12:45:00

They worked out to just over £5 a lesson. Expensive, but it was something that I wanted the children to have. I don't have the patience to teach them myself and I know that it's something that they enjoy and will continue to enjoy. The expense is why I stopped as soon as they were swimming like fish.

Surfermum Mon 23-May-05 12:46:04

I can't believe how expensive it is . Thank goodness Grandad is a swimming teacher.

My lifeguard club teach children water safety and lifesaving and only charge £1.50 for an hour and a half, pay if you come. No-one gets paid for teaching so the money all goes to funding our beach patrols. It sounds like we're under-selling ourselves.

clary Mon 23-May-05 12:47:14

My goodness at that price crunchie! Our lessons are I think about £30 for a term’s worth which is about 13 weeks I think.
A friend’s son did go somewhere for lessons that cost £8 for half an hour but then at 4.5 he could swim two lengths of the pool which I thought pretty impressive.
Mind you you don’t know if that was the brilliant lessons or he was just a natural genius swimmer....
Nutty that’s really sad for you, I am sorry. Could you not just let the oldest do it (can’t remember how old yr kids are, sorry) as IMO they get the most benefit? (ie a 6yo might well make great strides where a 4yo might not get so far)???
It is all extra money tho, isn’t it. Could a grandparetn help out? That would be a fab birthday present for a child.

Prettybird Mon 23-May-05 12:48:12

Ds has been to a Ducklings class since he was about 4 months old - he's now 4.8. Admittedly, the early (baby) Ducklings class was intermittent, as I went back to work and couldn't go as it was on a Thursday afternoon. I then found out that she also did a class (in another swimming pool) at 9 am on a Sunday (ugghh!), so we started taking him to that from about 18 months old. We went through phases of taking him (you don't need to book), but he is now into the older class (at 10 - much more civilised) and we try and take him regularly.

He is still in his arm bands though - but will take them off for play time(only because he can now bounce off the bottom! )

The class only costs £2.65 for an adult plus the child in the class. I suspect it is heavily subisidised by the city council.

roisin Mon 23-May-05 12:52:22

I love swimming and we have a fab pool about 10 mins walk from the house, so I've always taken the boys swimming a lot, and their water confidence was good at an early age.

But I'm not convinced at all that 'early lessons' equates to early swimming - I think there are far more important genetic factors.

DS1 didn't start regular lessons until he was 5.5. He didn't swim until he was 6.5, but then made fabulous progress, and is now (nearly 8) 'well above average' for his age.

DS2 had regular lessons from the age of 4. (He could already swim over 5m when he was 3.5). He was promoted from 'pre-swimmers' to 'beginners' lessons - but then plateaued there for 5 terms! So despite having an early start and lots more lessons, it's unlikely he will be swimming lengths and proper stroke technique any earlier than ds1.

beatie Mon 23-May-05 12:54:24

I have taken dd to a toddler swimming group since she was 1. She's doing quite well at 2.5 but real swimming lessons (without buoyancy aids) will begin at age 4.

I imagine it is quite an expense if you have 3 children. Some children are more suseptible to learning in a group alongside their peers and some can easily be taught by parents.

If you're having to/choosing teach your child to swim, there is a book out there to aid you. I don't own the book but have flicked through it a few times and it seems quite worthwhile if (like me) you wouldn't have a clue where to start to teach swimming yourself.

I agree - swimming and water confidence is a vital skill.

crunchie Mon 23-May-05 14:21:02

I HAD to take dd2 at 3 because she was a danger to herself and others in a poll She would take off her armbands FOR FUN

hoxtonchick Mon 23-May-05 14:34:02

ds is 3.3 & goes swimming about once a fortnight (either with me or MiL). i did take him more often but am currently 33 weeks pg. our local pool starts lessons when they're 4, so he'll start in january, probably with his cousin. when i spoke to the pool a couple of weeks ago they said he could do lessons at 3 but i'd have to get in with him. no thanks! not sure what extra the lessons would provide that we aren't, taking him regularly.

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