There’s more to introducing your child to the water than throwing them into a pool and hoping they’ll learn to swim. Discover how you can easily make the commitment to indoor swim lessons for your kids this year.
This post is part of a collaboration with Goldfish Swim School.
Teaching your child how to swim isn’t the same without getting in the water as well. Honestly, one of the easiest ways to get your kids excited about learning to swim is by making it interestingf for them.
You can start by turning swimming lessons into a game. Another idea is to offer rewards along the way.
What Is The Best Age To Start Swimming Lessons
Getting your child in the water at an early age is the best approach to combating the fear of being in a pool or other bodies of water. Originally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advised parents to start swim lessons after the age of 4.
As of 2019, AAP has updated its guidelines to recommend swim lessons to children as young as one. However, starting at a younger age can help your child achieve basic water competency.
Do You Need Private Swimming Lessons And Are They Worth It
For some parents, getting into the water means being uncomfortable in a bathing suit. The truth is, you’re making it uncomfortable for yourself.
Jumping into the water with your kids has its perks. Not only are you creating memories with your family, but you’re also reminding them that there’s nothing to fear.
Regardless of your fitness level, there are benefits to swimming that can help improve your health. Not only is swimming considered a full-body workout, but it can help you de-stress and relax.
Other reasons why you might want to consider jumping in the water with your kids to swim:
- To burn those calories;
- Lower the risk of diseases;
- Increase your energy levels;
- Exercise without sweating (LOVE THIS ONE); and
- Great for your overall well-being
Researching private swim lessons for kids can get costly, but it’s something that parents opt to do because they don’t feel confident enough to teach someone else. Most people were taught by being thrown into a pool.
Although your survival skills might kick in, it’s not the best way to teach children in the long run. Through swim lessons for toddlers, you can engage with your child and help with getting them comfortable in the water.
How Do I Practice Swimming At Home
Whether you sign up for swim lessons or not, you’ll need to practice at home. It’s easier when you have access to a swimming pool.
There are multiple swim lessons required at swim schools and private swim lessons. These multiple swim lessons can get expensive.
According to AAP, the decrease in municipal funding for swimming pools, swimming programs, and for lifeguards has limited access to swim lessons and safe water recreational sites. With this, more families are forced to look for other options to practice swimming.
There are three important swimming skills your child will need to practice to learn how to swim:
- Breath control;
- Arm movement; and
- Leg movement
Children can master their breath control at home in their tub by blowing bubbles and putting their head underwater with adult supervision.
Practicing the arm movement will vary based on your child’s skill level. Doggy paddle movements are encouraged for beginners, under water arm movements for intermediate, and backstroke arms for experts.
Your child can also practice their leg movement while laying on the couch, bed, or on a yoga mat.
Can I Learn To Swim At Any Age
Heading to swim lessons with your child will encourage you to try the skills as well. This can help you learn the basics and let go of the fear of swimming.
Regardless of your age, swimming lessons are available at different levels. High-quality swim lessons teach you how to swim in clothes, in a life jacket, practicing self-rescue, etc.
Why Try Indoor Swim Lessons For Kids
Outside temperatures aren’t always pleasing — even in South Florida. Whether it’s hurricane season or just a rainy day, choosing an indoor swimming location makes it easier for parents to monitor their child’s progress without worrying about the outside weather conditions.
At Goldfish Swim School, kids learn at their own pace and move up when they’re ready. The indoor swim school is known as the premier learn-to-swim facility for kids ages 4 months to 12 years.
I had a chance to meet with Tim Fracassi, General Manager at the Pembroke Pines location, before the Grand Opening in 2018. It was exciting to hear about their ultimate goal — to help save lives — and how the new location would allow them to do so.
“You hear about the drowning statistics in Florida and it’s scary to think about the lives that could’ve been saved,” Fracassi said in an interview for Motherhood Through My Eyes. “If we could help change those numbers, in this community alone, that would be rewarding.”
Located on 9821 Pines Boulevard, the new facility is equipped with kid-friendly amenities such as a hair-drying station, swimsuit dryers, and spacious changing rooms.
You can book year-round swim lessons, and take advantage of their small classes sizes (4:1 student-to-teacher ratio). Its shiver-free, 90-degree pool has a state-of-the-art water purification system that reduces the effects of chlorine.
Birthday party packages are available. “Each birthday package includes birthday decorations, cupcakes, and access to the pool with lifeguards available during the event,” said Fracassi. “Birthdays are booked for Saturdays. All you need to worry about is the food.”
Here’s a sneak peek on how the mural next to the pool was created:
Why Invest In Swimming Lessons
Living in South Florida means you’re surrounded by large bodies of water. Swimming lessons seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to hear that there are families who fear it would be too much of an investment.
Finding the right swim school for your child means research, and that’s okay. There are other parents who’ve already taken the plunge to invest in swimming lessons and can offer recommendations.
Teaching Your Child On Your Own
Investing in swimming lessons doesn’t just mean monetary. In fact, time and attention are two important factors in learning how to swim. It all depends on your child’s needs.
When our firstborn started his first swimming lesson at Goldfish Swim, he told the instructor he knew how to swim. So, his instructor asked our son to show him.
Although our five-year-old has had swimming lessons from my husband in the past and is confident in the water, it’s important for us to have him swimming with little to no assistance.
At our local Goldfish Swim, our firstborn has been able to perfect his technique and show his younger brother how important it is to pay attention to your instructor and follow through with the lessons. After all, they’re life-saving instructions!
Teaching our second-born how to swim on our own was out of the question. He requires more attention and patience, something you need to have more of when you’re trying to help someone overcome their fears.
Signs Its Time To Invest In Swimming Lessons
Swimming has always been a skill we wanted to introduce to our three children, but how can you give all three the attention they require all at once? You can’t.
We knew it was time to invest in swimming lessons for our firstborn when he kept mentioning how confident he felt in the water. Unfortunately, we weren’t 100% confident with him being in the water on his own.
With two others in the water, it always felt almost impossible to keep an eye on his progress. We kept him in a
As for our three-year-old, we noticed he would rely heavily on inflatables, and felt comfortable enough to go into the water without them on numerous occasions. Seeing him confidently walk into the water the second time and realize he almost drowned was what we needed to consider swimming lessons.
Tips For Nervous Moms
Like anything changes in life, there’s always a number of what-ifs that come to mind. Personally, I questioned whether or not swimming lessons were actually torture for our kids.
Our firstborn loved it and continued to excel in it every week. As for the other two? There were a lot of tears and yelling from our three-year-old.
With time, all three have been able to get accustomed to the idea. Of course, there are moments when they would rather go down for a nap than to listen to someone telling them to kick and pull, but there are ways around those feelings.
Below are three tips on how we’ve been able to combat these emotions:
Dress them before you arrive. Wearing their bathing suit will get them excited about going to their swimming lessons. We like to ask them whether or not we have everything we need. This helps them get involved in the preparation process.
Arrive 10-20 minutes before schedule. Heading to swimming lessons beforehand can make a big difference for your child. We started doing one hour in advance and recently brought it down to 10-20 minutes before class. The kids like the make use of the time at Goldfish Swim School and pick up books for us to read together.
Reward them for their hard work. Goldfish Swim School gives you rewards after every lesson. We also like to let the boys each choose two pieces of candy from the front desk.
What Should Kids Learn At Swimming Lessons
Each child develops life skills at different stages. Swim lessons can be helpful to families at any age.
Infant swim classes aren’t recommended by the AAP. However, parent-teacher water play class can help your child get used to being in the pool.
Learning to swim between the preschool and toddler ages is used as a layer of protection against drowning for children at age one, according to AAP. Having parents join their children in the water helps promote good water safety habits.
Swim lessons for ages 4+ is considered a must for families. Most children can learn the basic water survival skills by their 4th birthday. These skills include floating, treading water, and getting out of the pool.
Children ages 5 to 6 can master the front crawl.
How Often To Take Swim Lessons
Weekly swim lessons are encouraged for children. It is believed that two to three times a week is the best approach to help your child practice. At Goldfish Swim School, parents can participate in Family Swim and are encouraged to use the facility during the morning hours to practice their skills.
The Family Swim option is available free to members of the indoor swim school and others in the area. Morning swim hours are only available to members. This option helps families who don’t have access to a pool to practice swimming in a safe environment.
How Much Does Goldfish Swim School Cost
The annual membership fee at the facility is $25 per child. It is up to you to decide which option works best for you and your family.
Pricing options vary based on your family’s needs:
- Group Lessons – $104 a month
- Advanced Baby – $139 a month
- Semi-Private – $208 a month
- Private – $312 a month
- Casual – $26 per lesson
Each class is a 30-minute session with a lifeguard-trained instructor.
Our First Month At Goldfish Swim School
Living in South Florida can be terrifying at times. You’re surrounded by water and wildlife.
As exciting as it might sound to explore these two, there are dangers to not knowing how to approach them.
Although I don’t foresee our family approaching wild animals anytime soon, I do know that encountering a large body of water is inevitable where we live. With the community pool just a block away from our home and a man-made lake in our community, I always felt it was important to enroll in swim lessons for kids.
I will admit that I didn’t know what to expect when we entered the Goldfish Swim School in Pembroke Pines for their Open House event. I had a lot of thoughts running through my head.
Most of them were of fear, and some were positive. However, those thoughts of fear slowly began to fade after each swimming lesson.
Our first lesson was exactly what I expected. Crying children, a stressful session with our three-year-old son, and having my husband arrive late from work to meet us at the school.
After the first swimming lesson, we knew not to overpack and bring the essentials.
Curious what the essentials might be? Below is a list of four things you’ll need to bring during your first swim lessons for toddlers at your local Goldfish Swim School:
A positive attitude. It sounds like a no-brainer to bring good vibes to a new class, but kids and water can be a terrifying combination. You’ll need to think of the benefits of swimming lessons instead.
Your swimsuit. Once you and your child have decided to make the commitment, you’ll need to dress for success. Pack your bathing suits and towels to help you prepare for the time you’ll be in the water.
A change of clothes. You’ll need something to change into after your swimming lessons are over. Most indoor swim school locations have a drying station for your hair and clothes.
Some spare change. No matter how little the victory might be, everyone likes to be rewarded. Each location has snack jars available for you and your child to enjoy for a small fee. They also offer weekly prizes for your child to pick up after they’ve completed their lesson.
Inside Goldfish Swim School Pembroke Pines
5 Parenting Lessons From Goldfish Swim School
We’ve been visiting Goldfish Swim School since November and we’re excited to see the changes in our children. Not only are our little ones more confident in the water, but also with themselves.
Our firstborn walked into his first day of swimming lessons telling everyone he already knew how to swim. It turned out he knew the basics of it but has taken on some of the techniques he’s learned from our time at Goldfish Swim School.
For some people, investing in swimming lessons can be a bit expensive, but it all depends on what you’re looking to get out of the experience.
We chose Goldfish Swim School because of its atmosphere. The colors and friendly environment make the location more inviting for children. We loved that this swim school was coming to our town and all the perks that comes with being a member — especially the awesome instructors.
Weekends are always exciting, and kids always looked forward to their swimming lessons each week.
Reading with the kids every week helped our five-year-old improve with his vocabulary and kindergarten skills. Although we read at home, seeing books on the shelves at Goldfish Swim School made it more exciting for him to try. There’s even bilingual books for families to read together!
Parenting Lessons We’ve Learned
Throughout our time at Goldfish Swim School, we learned lessons of our own. It’s interesting to see how a place can change your outlook on things.
During the first two months, we thought swimming lessons wouldn’t be a right fit for our three-year-old son. He feared the water and didn’t like the idea of not being able to feel the bottom of the pool.
As time went on, we realized that extending our collaboration with Goldfish Swim School in Pembroke Pines was a good idea. It helped our youngest son feel a lot more comfortable in the water.
Life lessons are all around us, and at Goldfish Swim School we learned a few in regards to parenting. Below we’ve shared a list of five key parenting lessons from the indoor swim school:
1) Not every child is the same. Our three kids are unique in their own way. It’s taken us some time to realize that not every child can quickly adapt to things. Some require more time to do so.
2) Patience is everything. How you handle situations in life says a lot about your personality. Being patient and allowing a child to embrace the idea of trying something new is key. Getting upset doesn’t help.
3) Lead by example. Being in the water has always made me feel nervous since a near-drowning experience. Although it was terrifying, I never wanted to impose my fears on our children. Seeing me in the water with our little one has also helped our children understand it’s okay, we’re all here together.
4) “Do it scared!” Fear can take over your emotions, but not your actions. No matter how much our three-year-old feared the idea of getting into the water, he continued to practice and listen to his instructors.
5) Reward yourself. No matter what you accomplished — big or small — rewarding yourself for doing so can help you get through the day. Those quarter candies at Goldfish Swim School are perfect for this.