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Teaching child to swim

(18 Posts)
ErnesttheBavarian Fri 02-Sep-16 08:11:54

Probably in the wrong place, but

For various reasons, dd has just turned 8 and still can't swim. Despite many efforts not been able to enrol her onto course. She'll soon be starting new school where they have weekly lessons and she will be the only one who can't swim sad

I've been trying to teach her this week but not going well.

She hates water in her nose so keeps holding onto it with 1 hand.
Her body isn't streamlined in the water so she sinks slowly (quickly)
She can't coordinate arms and legs.
She can't lift head for breath so 'swims' 2M (with hand on nose hmm) then stops, breaths and carries on.

I have watched loads of you tube videos.
It's not working. How do I resolve these problems? It's so frustrating for her and me.

Gizlotsmum Fri 02-Sep-16 08:14:15

Could she try nose clips to free her hand? She won't be the only one that can't swim. I assume other parents will have had similar issues with swimming lessons

irvineoneohone Fri 02-Sep-16 08:19:58

My ds can't swim, and he had a phobia for water.
I was really worried when they started swimming lesson at school, but he actually enjoyed it.

He never wanted even try to get into the water before. But being with other friends who couldn't swim either encouraged him and now he is looking forward to swimming lesson this school year.

I'm sure there are others who can't swim in your dd's school.

NerrSnerr Fri 02-Sep-16 08:24:33

Have you tried a nose clip? Are there any other pools that offer lessons? I know some private gyms have lessons that might be less over subscribed if you could afford the membership for the period of the lessons.

ErnesttheBavarian Fri 02-Sep-16 08:29:55

I have asked her about the nose clip but she doesn't want one as she wants to breathe out of her nose?

I have tried several pools. There is a HUGE gap in the market/lack of availability here. It's so frustrating.

Blind leading the blind.

I need to keep her horizontal in the water but don't know how.
All the vids I've watched have demos where the kids stay up, none seem to address this fundamental problem.

reallyanotherone Fri 02-Sep-16 08:31:56

Honestly, get a proper swimming teacher. Unless you know what you're doing and the correct order to teach things it'll just frustrate you and her.

For example, you're trying to teach her to swim all at once. It needs to be broken down, one thing at a time. First, fix the nose thing, then you move on (streamlining), then you move on to the next bit and so on.

Swimming is so easy to teach incorrectly. ypu have to know what to fix and how to fix it.

CMOTDibbler Fri 02-Sep-16 08:36:24

I'd book her one to one lessons with a swimming coach to get her started.

In the meantime, you have to break it down into components - stand and put her face in the water and blow out of her nose gently, then turn her head to the side to breathe in. Repeat endlessly! Remember to get her to tuck her chin in and touch it to her shoulder when breathing.

Then get a float, and get her to lie on her front in the water holding the float out in front (and a float between her legs if she sinks her legs) and repeat the whole thing till shes confident in that.

Then the same, but kicking her legs.

Then with arms, using a float between her legs so she doesn't have to kick

ErnesttheBavarian Fri 02-Sep-16 08:36:37

I have tried, literally for years to get her a swimming course/teacher. I haven't been able to. I can't.

Either the pool is closed for renovations, or they only accept kids of a different age, or the lessons are when she is at school, or I am at work, or are full, or the pool shuts down for renovations after we have been on the waiting list for months etc etc etc.

AppleAndBlackberry Fri 02-Sep-16 08:48:10

My children learnt to swim with their faces in the water and then stood up to breathe. It took a couple of years of weekly lessons until they got the hang of breathing without putting a foot down, although they were younger. Just wondering if you might have too high expectations for what you can achieve in the time you've had available. Maybe go back a step and practice with floats, trying to float on her back, getting the legs right, water confidence etc.

ErnesttheBavarian Fri 02-Sep-16 09:19:25

I had planned
To practice her leg kicking (was ok) kicking off from side and kicking (was ok) but always holding nose.
I suggested liftIng head to breathe or even swimming with face out altogether but she didn't want that either.

We did spend 2 days just kicking off and practicing gliding and floating. But she can't keep her body horizontal.

I'm trying to do lots of baby steps.

TeenAndTween Fri 02-Sep-16 09:36:04

Can you try her on her back instead?

Or hold float with arms, head out of water, legs kicking.

Or when face in water to breathe out gently through her nose (stops water going up it) and then lift to breathe in through mouth

2014newme Fri 02-Sep-16 09:40:17

We take our kids to the next town for swimming lessond. Check different pools. Some swimming teachers use private school pools at the weekend.
If all the other kids can swim it must be possible to get lessons!
Where do you live perhaps someone here can advise?

TheViewFromTheSheepSeats Fri 02-Sep-16 09:45:15

I have struggled to get DD into swimming classes and found this website useful.
(Sorry can't do nice neat links!)

namechangingagainagain Fri 02-Sep-16 09:55:42

have a look at the uswim website.
I've successfully taught 3 boys to do a reasonable front crawl using the website ( aged6-8)... the trick is to get a good floating position then add in legs and arms...... and Ive not spent a penny on lessons smile

Autumnsky Fri 02-Sep-16 13:20:20

I don't think she will be the only one who don't swim. When DS1 had his swiming lesson in Y7, some of his classmates couldn't swim.
I think you don't need to get her to know how to swim, but just get her used to the water, can be relaxed in the water. This should be enough for her school swiming lesson.
We are teaching our DS2 swimming at the moment. I think it takes time. When DS1 went to swiming lesson, they spend ages just practice a few movement. We are currently practicing kicking while holding float(with head out of water). Also just diving to touch the floor( this is get him used to underwater), also just floating.

ErnesttheBavarian Fri 02-Sep-16 13:20:45

Thanks. I'll definitely check out the website.

I'm not in UK, but thanks for offers of help. I'll maybe try to have a word with the sport teacher at the new school.
The other kids maybe learnt in school (my dd is changing and joining 3rd year).

My dd should have had lessons in school and they were cancelled. Then pool closed down, blah blah blah. We have unfortunately been unlucky with cancellations and closures which I guess these other kids whose local pools didn't close down, whose schools did provide lessons and whose pare ts dot work so could take them to lessons of an afternoon. Lots of cotributing factors, bad luck and misadventure.

KingLooieCatz Fri 02-Sep-16 13:35:27

Round here some private gyms/health clubs have children's lessons at the weekend, run either by the club itself or by a private teacher using their pool, but the gym/club can give you details. DS was way behind on swimming for reasons I won't bore you with. We managed to get him to 1:1's (bizarrely in a suburban back garden but we always met people from school there). Expensive but better value for money than just thrashing about for half an hour every week and getting nowhere.

One breakthrough was had going to a fun pool with one of those river rapid channels where the water flows. He held onto a pool noodle and after a couple of goes round relaxed into it, stopped clinging onto me, got the body position and started grinning.

SilkScarf Fri 02-Sep-16 16:42:16

Buy a "noodle" on of the long foamy things. You can get pick them up cheap.
Get her in to the pool where she can stand, put noodle under her armpits and encourage her to move forward with her chin in the water. Once she is confident moving around with her chin in the water get her to blow an object in front of her. (Bath duck, ping pong ball etc..). Also put face in the water and blow bubbles..
Until she is confident putting her face in the water and blow out bubbles in the water it will be difficult to get her body position right. (you can practice those breathing exercises in the bath also)

I really would not stress about the fact that she is 8 and can not swim. I have taught kids who were petrified of water to doggy paddle independently in less than half a term (1 lesson a week). They catch up with their peers in no time.

And in my personal opinion I would avoid leisure centre lessons where possible. Have you tried to google for local private swimschool a in your area? I occasionally cover in a friends swimschool. We have one teacher in the water as well as an assistant, in the beginners usually two assistants for a ratio of about 8 kids. Makes all the difference.

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