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Old 04-02-2011, 10:16 PM   #11
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Re: WWYD? Swim School Issues

We've been concerned because out 7 year old we would like to get swimming lessons but don't think he can handle it.I think our solution will be private lessons so situations like this don't happen.I don't want other children ignored so an instructor can try to make Paul comfortable.I also have a 5 year old who would do fine and in your situation would most certainly ask for some credit

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Old 04-02-2011, 10:36 PM   #12
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Re: WWYD? Swim School Issues

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If a requirement for the class is for the child to be comfortable in the water without a parent, than that means they have to be comfortable going in the water without a parent. And these girls are not. It doesn't matter how well they go to Sunday School or on a playdate. If they aren't comfortable going in the water by themselves, they aren't ready for the class. If it takes 6 adults to get three little girls to go in the water, those three little girls are not ready for the class. Especially if that means the one girl who is fine gets ignored. When I sign up my little kids for swimming lessons, I'm not asked if they are fine without me at preschool. I'm asked if they're fine going in the water without me. That's all that matters. They need to either reassign those other little girls to a younger class, or put your DD in a different class with other kids at the same level she is. Those other girls are not at her level.
That is what I thought and even told the manager. But it seems like they are going to try to get the girls used to it instead of just saying they aren't ready I feel that if it is their policy then they need to stick to it.

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I would be upset and I would say something. I would request my daughter have a private lesson to make up for it or that I receive a refund for the classes that this happens at. For the money you are paying this is not acceptable.
That's a good idea! Maybe I'll see if they could do a private lesson as a way to make up for the two previous non-lessons.

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I just put my dd in swim lessons....I'm only paying $35 for a 4 week class and I would ask for a credit or something if that happened in her class. Those girls are obviously not ready to be in the water without their parents and it's not fair to your dd. Do they have other classes at a different time with different kids who are ready that you can switch to. And she would need a private lesson to learn what those kids did in thier first two classes.
This was one of two classes that worked for us. I need to have a mom/tot class happen at the same time as my DD's class. The other one was at 9am, and I'm not sure I could get the kids ready and there on time, but maybe I'll see if they have an opening for both kids to move. Good idea!

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I'm surprised they wasted all that time on the crying kids. In my dd's lessons if a kid is crying they encourage them but they don't spend the whole class on the kid who is crying and her lessons are not that expensive. I would be very annoyed if the ignored my child for 2 classes in a row and spent the time trying to get kids that are scared into the water. My dd is a very reluctant swimmer and it is going to take a while but you can't waste your class trying to get other kids in the water. Most reluctant kids just need a day or two to watch and they get comfortable. Trying to force it never works. I would complain and ask for a refund or for those classes to not be counted. That is unacceptable.
I am too. I would have thought that if there were crying kids they would just continue the class!!! Like they could teach my DD something and then ask and encourage each of the other girls to try and then move on to the next item. I feel like they didn't have any plan set up for how to deal with crying children during a lesson. This school has been around for a long time and I pretty sure they have had dealt with a crying kid before!
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:51 PM   #13
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All these people making a big fuss over the crying kids is the problem. My son loved swimming and was excited to go to his class alone the first time. The second class he freaked and sat at the edge of the pool crying. The instructor would offer him things and ask him to try stuff but when he didn't respond she moved on, there were other kids. The deck supervisor asked if I wanted to take him in, nope I will only encourage from the side. He next class he sat on the side for 5 minutes and then jumped in and never looked back.
I would express concern that your dd is not safe and that she is not learning anything. I hope they will credit you and find a way to make the other kids comfortable
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:54 PM   #14
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Re: WWYD? Swim School Issues

Speaking from experience as an instructor, my bet would be that it is the gender of the instructor that is intimidating to the girls. It can go both ways but for many kids, they find it easier to warm up to a particular gender and can often see males as less nurturing/intimidating. Vice versa as well.
I would request an experienced female volunteer to assist with this challenging class and perhaps see if you can get a pro-rated discount on your next set or a private lesson to make up for missed time. Also, I would be fully expecting the supervisor to get in the pool in a swimsuit to help out if there are no volunteers available. It is their responsibility to ensure the lessons are a success and if that means getting wet, so be it.
The instructor should be visually scanning all participants even while doing one on one work with students as a requirement of his responsibility for your children.
Many lesson issues with preschoolers stem from inactivity and too-slow transition time and I think that an effective class for preschoolers needs the activities to be switched up every 2 minutes to hold a child's attention. Furthermore, in a class you can expect to have children of different comfort levels and abilities and it is the instructor's job to teach to the individual's needs, despite the range within the class/level. HTH!
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:10 PM   #15
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Re: WWYD? Swim School Issues

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Speaking from experience as an instructor, my bet would be that it is the gender of the instructor that is intimidating to the girls. It can go both ways but for many kids, they find it easier to warm up to a particular gender and can often see males as less nurturing/intimidating. Vice versa as well.
I would request an experienced female volunteer to assist with this challenging class and perhaps see if you can get a pro-rated discount on your next set or a private lesson to make up for missed time. Also, I would be fully expecting the supervisor to get in the pool in a swimsuit to help out if there are no volunteers available. It is their responsibility to ensure the lessons are a success and if that means getting wet, so be it.
The instructor should be visually scanning all participants even while doing one on one work with students as a requirement of his responsibility for your children.
Many lesson issues with preschoolers stem from inactivity and too-slow transition time and I think that an effective class for preschoolers needs the activities to be switched up every 2 minutes to hold a child's attention. Furthermore, in a class you can expect to have children of different comfort levels and abilities and it is the instructor's job to teach to the individual's needs, despite the range within the class/level. HTH!
I totally agree! And thanks all that does help! Prorated for next session is another thing we are considering asking.

They did have a woman get in the pool along with the male teacher. She is usually just on deck (deck supervisor) and keeping an eye on things, but got in the pool to see if the girls would get in with her. The other lady who got in up to her knees is the Facilities General Manager of the entire Athletic Club so I'm not surprised that she didn't have a suit on. The whole thing was just crazy!

I do think that the main teacher is young and seems somewhat inexperienced.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:00 AM   #16
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Re: WWYD? Swim School Issues

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I would be upset and I would say something. I would request my daughter have a private lesson to make up for it or that I receive a refund for the classes that this happens at. For the money you are paying this is not acceptable.
Right.

I wouldn't be mad or anything, but I'd ask for a refund. I can be kind of a jerk, but I'd start my request with "I'm must have misunderstood - I thought this class was for the kids who were ready to go in the water by themselves, like my daughter. I didn't realize there would be so much time dedicated to coaxing kids into the water, and my daughter already has this skill down pat. I'd like my money back, I think we're going to find a swim class that is more appropriate for us."

Also, at 8 or 10 or 12 I think learning swimming techniques is appropriate, but at 3... maybe you can teach your daughter a few things in your parents pool?
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:10 AM   #17
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Re: WWYD? Swim School Issues

I like the idea of swimming classes at that age, especially since your parents have a pool but I'd find another program. If the girls for two sessions were not comfortable, happy or ready, forcing them is only going to make the situation worse vs. better. They should be bumped down to the mom/tot sessions and that way your daughter and kids like her can have the lessons the way they are set up. We are doing a gymnastics class and I put my son in it at 16 months in the 18-3 year old class. Originally there was only one 2 1/2 year old and mom (the class is for parents/tots but more a class like you are saying vs. mommy and me as that have that too but I couldn't do it) and they were both great about us being in it (mom was completely entertained with my son). What we all did the last session was have mom of that child leave but instructor and I and my son were there and mom would come in and out and the child sometimes didn't notice and then would get a little upset and one of us would try to redirect her to try to transition her to the big kids class (she had a sister in it like your situation). We figured doing a few sessions that way transitioning may help. But, to just throw a little one in that situation to me doesn't work. For your child who is ready, yes, but not one who isn't.

If you try one more week, have your family keep a close eye on her and if 1/2 way through the class, its not working again have them talk to whom ever or just wait for you to finish your class and either have them do a new time where this isn't an issue or get a refund. They sound like they are trying very hard with the kids and I give them full credit, but your daughter also needs attention/lessons and if that is neglected there are some safety issues and instruction issues (as you know).
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:38 AM   #18
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Re: WWYD? Swim School Issues

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Right.

I wouldn't be mad or anything, but I'd ask for a refund. I can be kind of a jerk, but I'd start my request with "I'm must have misunderstood - I thought this class was for the kids who were ready to go in the water by themselves, like my daughter. I didn't realize there would be so much time dedicated to coaxing kids into the water, and my daughter already has this skill down pat. I'd like my money back, I think we're going to find a swim class that is more appropriate for us."

Also, at 8 or 10 or 12 I think learning swimming techniques is appropriate, but at 3... maybe you can teach your daughter a few things in your parents pool?
I am starting to look into other schools. This one might not be a good fit for us anymore. I could try the "I must have understood..." line again if we do decide to pull her from the class. You want to come do it for me? They are not the nicest people if you aren't agreeing with them.

But to the bolded, I'm having her take lessons so she can learn to swim. Waiting until 8 or 12 is WAY too late (at least for my family). You can start swim team at 5 on the team that my siblings swim/have swum on! I want my kids to be able to swim and get out of the pool if they happen to fall in. My parents have their pool fenced off, but things can still happen with fenced off pools. My DD was very close to swimming on her own last summer. So that is why I would like her to continue to take lessons.

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I like the idea of swimming classes at that age, especially since your parents have a pool but I'd find another program. If the girls for two sessions were not comfortable, happy or ready, forcing them is only going to make the situation worse vs. better. They should be bumped down to the mom/tot sessions and that way your daughter and kids like her can have the lessons the way they are set up. We are doing a gymnastics class and I put my son in it at 16 months in the 18-3 year old class. Originally there was only one 2 1/2 year old and mom (the class is for parents/tots but more a class like you are saying vs. mommy and me as that have that too but I couldn't do it) and they were both great about us being in it (mom was completely entertained with my son). What we all did the last session was have mom of that child leave but instructor and I and my son were there and mom would come in and out and the child sometimes didn't notice and then would get a little upset and one of us would try to redirect her to try to transition her to the big kids class (she had a sister in it like your situation). We figured doing a few sessions that way transitioning may help. But, to just throw a little one in that situation to me doesn't work. For your child who is ready, yes, but not one who isn't.

If you try one more week, have your family keep a close eye on her and if 1/2 way through the class, its not working again have them talk to whom ever or just wait for you to finish your class and either have them do a new time where this isn't an issue or get a refund. They sound like they are trying very hard with the kids and I give them full credit, but your daughter also needs attention/lessons and if that is neglected there are some safety issues and instruction issues (as you know).
Yeah, I've started looking at different programs this evening. I'm not sure they would allow younger children to go into an older kids' class or let the older kids (I know one kid in my DD's class is 4 this month) go back to the tot class (goes to 36 months). But it is something I have thought about. My mom told me that the next class up has 3 kids in it and they all seemed comfortable in the water, so maybe that is an option.

Definitely going to have my family keep a close eye on the class!
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:03 AM   #19
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Re: WWYD? Swim School Issues

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I would not continue with that class. None of the other children are functioning at your daughter's level. Is there a class of 4 year olds that she could join? I would want a refund until they offer an appropriate class. She is being totally left out.

My daughter is about to start lessons. The Y has about 4 different levels for the same age group.
This is what I would do. We did swim lessons when I was a kid, and the beginner class I was in at first was reeeeeally basic. Like, blowing bubbles in the water (I was much older than 3, I think I was 7) My mom had me moved up a class to better fit.

I also agree with the PP that said this isn't your daughters fault, the instructors need to either A. let the kids sit on the side of the pool until they stop crying or get comfortable or B. go get a parent.
My DS hated being separated from me. When we would go to they Y and I would try to exercise they always had to come get me because he just wouldn't stop crying.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:13 AM   #20
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Re: WWYD? Swim School Issues

3 or 4 is definitely not too young to be able to chill at the pool. My son just turned 5 and was accepted onto the formal swim team at 4, so it's not asking too much. It can be done, and done well, but the child has to be comfortable and willing. If the child isn't willing, it's the PARENT'S job to make them more comfortable. You don't put a kid in a lesson expecting one thing of them, if you know they aren't ready. I'd ask for my money back or for private lessons. It's not far. That being said $500 is A LOT of money, so I don't care how nice they are, they would have to satisfy me for me to leave my child there.
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