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Old 04-06-2012, 09:15 AM   #1
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How old for swim lessons?

Is there a minimum on age for teaching swimming??? How old were/are your kids? My ods is 3.5 and I'm wanting to put him in swim lessons this summer because we live 5 blocks from a lake. I would feel better if he knew how to swim. Not that he's ever out of my sight but just thinking it would be good.

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Old 04-06-2012, 09:19 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Crew&West
Is there a minimum on age for teaching swimming??? How old were/are your kids? My ods is 3.5 and I'm wanting to put him in swim lessons this summer because we live 5 blocks from a lake. I would feel better if he knew how to swim. Not that he's ever out of my sight but just thinking it would be good.
Any age. But the "formal lessons" at our parks and rec start at 3. Before that it's mommy and me lessons.

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Old 04-06-2012, 10:11 AM   #3
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Re: How old for swim lessons?

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Any age. But the "formal lessons" at our parks and rec start at 3. Before that it's mommy and me lessons.

**I do know how to spell...my iPod on the other hand does not**
Same here. Formal lessons start at 3 before that it's mainly exposure. Exposure is important though in my experience.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:21 AM   #4
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I taught swimming (red cross program through a private company) before I baca me a SAHM and would say almost any water-aware parent can teach their own kid until about five. Before that even though might start learning the idea of swimming, most kids aren't capable of actually using strokes. They just lack muscle tone and body awareness.
Early on its being comfortable in water and learning backs safety (like always ask before getting the water) and exploring how your body can move in water. Things like trying to play head/shoulders/knees/toes, blowing bubbles (even just starting with getting different parts of the face wet), moving up to trying to touch the bottom and opening eyes under water to look for "fish" or "mermaids".
Some people just like the idea of formal lessons but I think hat it can be a bit of a waste of money for a lot of people.

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Old 04-06-2012, 10:24 AM   #5
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Yep we did exposure with our son at our lake house and my grandpas pool. Now at five we are starting the "formal" lessons. And at $65 for 8 lessons I'm kind if glad we didn't start the formal classes until now. Because all the younger age ones do is dunk their heads and teach them to float. Which we did with our son for free.

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Old 04-06-2012, 10:36 AM   #6
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I agree with the others that if you have access to free water, just be with him in the lake to get him comfortable in and around the water. You can teach him basic safety (around water we always wear our life jacket, don't go in the water unless someone is with you, etc.) and just have fun. At four we taught our son how to float and move in the water to get to the edge. Now at five, he's naturally beginning to develop strokes and move more confidently. All without any formal lessons.

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Old 04-06-2012, 10:49 AM   #7
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Re: How old for swim lessons?

Our formal lessons started at 2. Mommy and me started at 6 months, with 18 month mommy and me that also included some "formal" lessons.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:56 AM   #8
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Re: How old for swim lessons?

I put my twins in for private lessons at 2.5 simply because I couldnt do the basics with both of them safely. I think its money very well spent, they have a great time, have great water confidence and they also learn the safety aspects. But as pp have said if you have access to a pool you could do all this yourself.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:26 PM   #9
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Re: How old for swim lessons?

We just started lessons and dd will turn four this summer. Honestly, I hate them and I'm quite frustrated. Before lessons she could swim a few feet in between dh and I. But at lessons they want to move her back a group because they say she's not ready. Oh and I pay 75 for 4 lessons....grrr...
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #10
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Re: How old for swim lessons?

as a red cross wsi and wsi-instructor teacher, I can say they allow from 6mo up. Most programs don't start actually teaching anything until 3-4 years old. before that its a water introduction class. I've taught some great swimmers as early as 4 years old (they could be on swim team at 4) and some children that took years to master a simple skill such as putting the face under water, it just depends on the child.

Getting a child to understand the safety rules in/on and around water is a great first step. The red cross offers not only dvds (mostly for school groups) of this but also books and pages to copy (for the instructors to hand out). I personally have done several in school presentations on personal water safety using the above materials.

Their are several types of swim lessons. the Red Cross lessons which builds confidence for both the student and their parent, and their is the "drown proof" method, which scares me, but it apparently starts at 15 months old (I don't teach it). Due to Red Cross changes, starting in June, it might be hard for you to find a certified red cross program, even though they are following some of the same guidelines. just ask the instructor if they are a certified WSI (water safety instructor) most are and will teach to the standards of the red cross.

Sure you could teach your child the basics of the front crawl, but the finer skills of it most people don't know how to teach. Its the body positioning, and the timing of the breathing. Also since they've changed the red cross program around they now teach more safety throughout the lessons starting in preschool 2/level 1 your child will incorporate treading water and unassisted back floats, as well as other safety rules. It may look like a lot of fun and games, but that fun incorporates a lot of skills that get built upon in later levels.
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