Answers to the 10 most popular questions parents ask about children’s swimming classes
Answers to the 10 most popular questions parents ask about children’s kindergarten swimming classes
1. How long is a swimming class?
A beginner swimming class is no more than 30 minutes to ensure your child stays active and comfortable.
The swimming industry’s governing bodies, AUSTSWIM and The Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA) recognise half-hour classes as the gold standard for swimmers to learn, be engaged and receive teacher feedback.
Plus, half an hour enables busy families to commit to attending weekly lessons.
2. Should my swimmer start swimming lessons during summer?
You may have overheard parent friends share, “we’re waiting until summer to start swimming classes”. And we’re here to tell you that this was probably sound advice before indoor, heated pools were available; however, today, this could risk your child falling behind.
Swim schools offering pools heated to 32 degrees year round ensure swimmers are guaranteed to be comfortable whether it’s raining, hailing or shining.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is a year-round job, so help your child learn positive habits that will last a lifetime by commencing classes whatever the season.
3. My child is scared of getting in the pool. Is it best to delay starting lessons?
If your child is nervous about starting swimming lessons, they’re not alone. Feeling fearful is common, and there is usually a combination of factors, from disliking getting wet to separation anxiety to recalling a negative experience.
The Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA) indicates that the longer a child is kept away from water, the more they are at risk of developing aquaphobia.
Aquaphobia is a fear of water and can include being afraid of showers, baths, swimming pools and the ocean.
If you’re concerned your child is showing signs of being aquaphobic, it can be tempting to postpone enrolling in classes. However, evidence shows that children are unlikely to grow out of a fear of water, and a better solution is to commence classes as soon as possible.
Need more advice? Seek guidance from your chosen swim school.
4. How many other swimmers will be in my child’s class?
Class sizes and swimmer-to-teacher ratios vary across different environments.
Boutique and smaller swim schools specialising in child learn to swim programs typically program a maximum of four swimmers for beginners classes.
Aquatic educators champion small group classes as the best teaching environment. Collaborative learning motivates new swimmers as they witness classmates practising skill repetition to master specific techniques.
5. Do I need to dress my child for swimming before arriving at the centre?
Having a consistent “get ready for your weekly swim class routine” can be particularly helpful for new swimmers.
An essential part is deciding when is the best time to change your child into their bathers. Usually, the deciding factor is whether your child requires a swim nappy.
Swim nappies, while effective in the pool are not absorbent. So to avoid a wet car seat, it’s best to change them into this at your school (to avoid leakages, don’t forget to read the nappy’s instructions).
Concerned you’ll forget your swim nappy? Don’t worry, swim schools stock a range of reusable and disposable options.
6. Will my swimmer have the same swimming teacher in each class?
Swim schools will do their best to try to ensure teacher continuity. However, if your regular teacher is unavailable, not to worry! Swimming teachers undergo the same training, so swimmers are always guaranteed a consistent learning experience.
Like most teachers in Australia, swimming teachers are required to hold accreditations. These include:
These qualifications are bolstered by your swim school’s internal training program, where instructors receive in-depth coaching to teach the school’s specific program.
7. How do I find out what part of the pool my lesson takes place?
Upon confirming and completing your family’s booking, your swim school will share a class confirmation indicating the day, time and location of your booking.
On arrival at your class, you’ll be directed to check-in, and your swimmer’s lane will be displayed.
To help your teacher prepare for your class, ensure you complete the check-in process before going to the pool deck.
8. What happens if my child is sick and can’t attend their swimming class?
Being unable to attend an occasional swimming class because your child is sick is highly likely.
With more and more schools running lessons year round, this often means regular bookings are available, which can include rewards such as the ability to rebook if your swimmer is unwell and extended cancellation periods.
Before enrolling your swimmer, ask your school for their cancellation policy.
9. How can I help my child get the most out of their swimming classes?
In addition to attending your weekly swimming classes, the best thing any parent can do is be their child’s biggest swimming cheerleader.
Learning to swim is a process that takes practise and time, and celebrations and challenges are part of the journey.
From being ready on the pool deck with a towel at the end of class and a cheerful “Great class, well done” to displaying your swimmer’s certificates on your family’s fridge, figure out what type of encouragement your child responds to and keep doing it.
10. What should I do during my child’s swimming lessons?
While it’s tempting to use your child’s class time to catch-up on work emails or scroll your favourite social channels, paying attention to the skills your child is learning could help them progress faster.
While sitting on the pool deck, listen to the language the teacher uses and observe the techniques or drills swimmers are practising.
Before your child’s next swimming class, remind them of the skills they learnt in the previous lesson – this will help them remember and retain techniques.