Many of us grew up at a time when swimming lessons were much more informal than they are now. Either by a family member in a backyard pool, or perhaps we learned at summer camp in a pond or lake.
Those of us who lived close to a YMCA or Boys & Girls Club may have received lessons there. Alternatively, we may have taken lessons through the American Red Cross at our local pool. Unless we aspired to be competitive swimmers or lifeguards, we often received only a short series of lessons, if we received them at all.
As a result, many people aren’t aware of the benefits provided by a custom kids’ swimming program. Like many things, swim lessons have come a long way since we were children. Here’s what makes a custom kids’ swimming program different.
It sounds obvious, but making sure your child learns from a qualified teacher is important. Parents should always ask about teacher qualifications before enrolling children in a swim program.
At Bear Paddle, for example, our teachers are certified in our proprietary Bear Paddle method of teaching, which includes training in safety, stroke technique, and class management.
Age Appropriate Classes
We offer lessons for children as young as six months of age. Clearly, a six-month-old cannot master the same skills as a five-year-old, who cannot master the same skills as a 15-year-old. All children should be placed in classes with others around their age and at comparable skill levels.
We offer numerous levels, ranging from Introduction to Teddy, where children learn to blow bubbles and float with assistance all the way to Team Fit, where children can refine their techniques in a mild practice environment.
When choosing a swimming program for your children, look for one that encourages parental involvement. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) emphasizes the importance of touch supervision for infants and toddlers. Bear Paddle Swim School requires parent participation with touch supervision for our youngest swimmers.
Swimming programs should continue to encourage parent participation as children age. They should be clear about their curriculum and keep parents in the loop. Additionally, having parents involved provides children with the opportunity to practice their skills in between lessons.
We encourage parents to take advantage of our Family Swim. Additionally, we offer a complimentary private swim lesson to new families so you can be sure that Bear Paddle is the right fit for you.
Sound Curriculum And Skill Progression
According to Harvard Medical School, children should progress from getting used to the water to mastering different strokes. Schools should offer a clear curriculum, assessment, and plan for children to progress through their levels.
Here at Bear Paddle, our curriculum is based on a proprietary method that focuses on skill progression. We place an emphasis on safety and skill techniques as children build their skills within each of the four main swim strokes.
Safe, Clean Environment
The AAP cautions that young children are at greater risk for hypothermia and consequently should take lessons in a warm pool. Additionally, young children are more likely to ingest or breathe in water, so swimming in clean water is also crucial. When considering a custom swim program, you should also take pool temperature into account.
Our pool at Bear Paddle Swim School is kept at 90 degrees, and our Saltwater Generator System naturally produces chlorine. Our water is then filtered and undergoes UV sanitation, so you can rest assured that your child will swim in water that is comfortable and safe.
We encourage you to choose a swimming program that will allow your child to learn among peers of the same skill. Swimming isn’t one-size-fits-all, and a swim program shouldn’t be either.
If you’re thinking about swim lessons for your child consider Bear Paddle. We encourage you to seek out a customized program for your child. This will ensure they swim at the correct level for his or her age and ability. If you are close to a Bear Paddle Swim School and would like to see the difference a custom kids’ swimming program can make for your child, contact us today.