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Swimming advice!

(12 Posts)
dannysmom Thu 27-Aug-09 18:19:42

My 4 year old just started group lessons with me in pool with him but am thinking of switching to lessons with teacher in water with kids and me on sidelines. He's a complete non-swimmer though - is this a good idea? And any recommendations of places/teachers in Welwyn/Hatfield/Hertford area??

Overmydeadbody Thu 27-Aug-09 18:24:30

I think it's better without the parent in the pool too, personally.

TurtleAnn Thu 27-Aug-09 20:28:56

Can you swim lengths during his lesson? It is great exercise and would set a fine example that he shouldn't be afraid of the water. You will still be in the water but not in the lesson.

dannysmom Fri 28-Aug-09 00:07:18

Unfortunately, the swim lessons I'm looking at are at a school pool, so I would be on the sidelines... biting my nails... just worried as he can't swim at all and it's one teacher in the water for 6 kids...

Northumberlandlass Fri 28-Aug-09 07:37:19

I agree with OMDB, better with parents on the sideline. With a group that can't swim at all, they will be taking it very gently.

Can you (as a family) go swimming lots ? We and a group of DS's school pals (with their parents) all go swimming together. The confidence of all them has shot up.

SoupDragon Fri 28-Aug-09 07:45:17

I think it depends on the child - if your child is confident and happy in the water they'll be fine in the pool alone, if they're nervous or afraid you may be best getting them happy in the water first with you there.

It should be about having fun at this age - learning to swim should be kind of incidental IMO.

girlsyearapart Fri 28-Aug-09 07:53:06

Hi I was a swimming teacher for years before my kids were born and I have only ever taught under 4s with parents in the water. Once they hit 3 and a half it was teacher in the water and one on the side depending on the size of the group. Then teacher on the side with 4 1/2 - 5 year old non swimmers in the water.
The teachers are (usually) well trained and used to non swimmers and will be lifeguard trained and/or have a lifeguard onthe side.

Lessons without parents in the water do work better. Especially if the parent is a bit nervous.
Children who are taken swimming regularly outside of lessons also progress quicker. If not in technique then at least in confidence which is more than half the battle.

It never failed to astound me how many parents expected to bring their total non confident non swimmer to a half hour lesson once a week and expect them to turn into an olympic swimmer!

It is like every other skill and requires practice and repetition.

One last thing- if you do watch from the side don't sit behind the teacher and mime actions at your dc/tell them to join in/listen. You may not be able to sit behind anyway but if you can watch just out of your dcs view it's less confusing for them, less irritating for the instructor and they are often more willing to try things the instructor suggests if they can't see you.
Good luckx

minnisota Fri 28-Aug-09 17:36:25

My DC's go to John Warner in Hoddesdon (I live in Hertford) we've just done a crash course this week and go once a week in term time. If they are enroled in a class and it isn't right for them the teacher will move them to one more suitable, you won't have to wait till the next term.
I agree that you on the side is best. Where are you going at the moment?
Let us know how you get on

dannysmom Fri 28-Aug-09 18:24:34

Thanks so much everyone! We got to Hatfield Swim Centre at the moment but thinking of Little Fishes near Hertford or the lessons at Hatfield University -- both of which are teacher-in-water not parent! Your replies have encouraged me to go for it - now I just have to choose between the two, both of which friends recommended!!!

bruffin Sun 30-Aug-09 20:31:56

I think Grundy Park in Cheshunt has the same teachers as John Warner, may be easier to get to.

Hels67 Sun 30-Aug-09 20:57:50

Hi dannysmom
DD aged 2.8 yrs goes to Little Fishes near Hertford. last term she was in a class with children who were closer to 4 years old. They were her first swimming lessons so I was in the pool too, but now she is tall enough to stand in the pool, I won't have to go in as well.
Her confidence has grown so much in the 6 months we've been going and althrough the summer holidays we've been going to fun sessions at other pools, just because she loves it so much.
I'm happy to recommend Little Fishes - to see the little ones of 4 and 5 happily swimming is delightful!
Good luck with your choice!

dannysmom Wed 09-Sep-09 19:54:41

Thanks so much to everyone. DS started Little Fishes today and did more in one lesson than he did in 7 at local pool that had me in water and teacher walking round edge. He loved it, asked to go back next week and even jumped in which he refused to do before. Thoroughly recommend if you live in the area!

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