When you enroll your child in a swim school, you’re opening a whole new world for them. Not only will they be mastering a new skill, but they will make new friends, gain confidence, get exercise, and even meet new role models.
Couple this with the critical need for safety and it’s easy to realize how important it is to know what to consider when choosing a swim school.
Water Safety First
Always consider safety first. There’s nothing more important than the health and safety of your child.
A swim school always needs 3 tiers of water safety present:
- A teacher who is in the water with the student.
- A deck supervisor watchful of all activities from the side of the pool and who is ready to assist if necessary. The deck supervisor directs and controls any emergency.
- A lifeguard to oversee all pool activity. They keep track of all swimmers and perform water rescues. They are trained in first aid if ever needed.
Look for Well Trained Swim Teachers
Just because someone is personable and an excellent swimmer, doesn’t mean they’re a great swim teacher. When choosing a swim school, ask questions about the swim teachers your child will work with.
Teachers should be trained to teach swimming and participate in ongoing training, as well.
Swim teachers should be trained in CPR and as lifeguards. Should there be an emergency, they are right there and prepared for any situation.
Children Can’t Learn if They’re Freezing
Jumping into a cool pool on a hot summer day can be invigorating. But when a child is learning to swim, comfort is key.
You want to know that the swim school has warm water in the pool. This way you won’t worry that your child is cold during their swim lesson.
When children are comfortable, they learn better and enjoy lessons more. It’s hard for your child to learn if they can’t stop shivering. That’s no fun at all. The comfort of warm water will make them want to return for lessons time and time again.
Consider the Size of the Class
For an optimal group learning experience, you want class size to be small.
A smaller class creates a more intimate learning experience. Your child will feel connected to the class and will never feel lost or overlooked.
Also, a small class size will ensure that your child gets all the attention they need. If they have difficulty learning a specific point, or simply need some extra support, the teacher will know immediately.
Early Introduction to the Water
An early introduction to the water for babies with 100% parental participation and assistance is a wonderful experience. A class with a gentle, loving, and fun approach provides babies and parents a unique bonding time as well.
The water should be warm, and the atmosphere relaxed. The focus should be on breath control, balance and buoyancy, and movement.
As your baby gets older, they will gradually learn with less parental assistance as they become able to control their motor skills.
Get Help to Determine Where to Start Your Child
Imagine you want to learn ballroom dancing. You don’t know a cha-cha from a waltz and fear you may have two left feet. But you’re excited about learning. A second new student has had no formal lessons but has been dancing at clubs for years. Would it help either of you to start in the same class?
No. You would be frustrated and possibly feel bad about yourself, and the other person would be bored and annoyed.
The same goes for swim lessons. Swim schools should evaluate new students for their skill level and then place them in appropriate classes. New evaluations should take place periodically.
Age or grade doesn’t determine skill. An evaluation ensures that your child is in a class where they will learn and flourish.
It All Begins with a Good Relationship with the Water
A good swim school not only teaches swimming technique—it will teach your child to feel comfortable in the water.
At Njswim, our proven curriculum helps students develop a sense of comfort, safety, and awareness in and around water. This feeling will stay with your child throughout their life. They will grow up with a healthy respect and love of the water.
Before your child learns swim strokes, Njswim teachers will help students develop proper body position and breath control. This “learn to float” Zen-like approach promotes natural breathing, breath control, and movement in the water. Children learn to love the water and not fear it.
A Parent Viewing Area
When children learn to swim, they have fun mastering new skills. Parents enjoy witnessing these achievements from the sidelines.
Parents also want to see firsthand that their child is progressing and having a positive experience. They want to see a clear progression of skills and other positive results.
Children often want their parent to see how they’re doing so they can show off new skills. And some children just want to know a parent is watching them.
For these reasons, a swim school needs a parent viewing area. There’s no reason they should keep you in the dark about your child’s swim experience.
You want to know that your swim school has thought of everything to make your and your child’s experience a positive one.
Amenities should include:
- Comfortable changing areas with lockers
- A hair drying station
- Ample area for strollers and other miscellaneous items
- A clean and secure baby changing area
Never Overlook the Importance of Cleanliness
Today, more than ever, cleanliness is important. The pool and deck should be clean and sanitary. Bathrooms and changing areas should be clean, as well. All areas should be orderly to promote safety.
Seek Convenient Scheduling Options
Consistent year-round swim lessons ensure the best progress. A swim school should accommodate and encourage this.
You don’t want your child to start swim lessons after their summer schedule has begun, and they’re already visiting neighborhood pools. And you don’t want them to stop lessons for several months because school is out.
Convenient scheduling allows working parents to bring their child for evening or weekend classes. This is particularly important for moms or dads who want to enjoy the parent/child bonding that our Water Babies classes promote.
At Njswim, we treat our parents and students with respect. We keep parents updated regularly about any necessary scheduling changes and have a fair and reasonable makeup lesson policy.
Njswim is a swim school that teaches your child to love and respect the water . . . all while having lots of fun! We never forget that!