• 03 Aug

    Is my child ready for swim lessons?

    In order to be successful in Old City’s Learn-to-Swim program, your child must be comfortable independently getting in the pool with their designated coach without a parent present and demonstrate a willingness to try new things and learn from their coach.

    Our goal is to teach your child how to swim and ensure they have fun along the way! In order to achieve this, your child is going to be asked to get wet, splash around, and try new things. Our instructors are highly trained but they are not miracle workers. We believe that no child can learn how to swim if they are afraid or scared of the water.

    Swim Lesson Readiness Checklist: Is my child ready to do the following?

    • Be away from parent(s) for a 30-minute lesson?
    • Meet a new coach and have that person work with and hold them in the water
    • Meet new peers in their lesson group
    • Listen and watch the teacher demonstrate basic lesson skills and drills
    • Understand and try their best to follow directions
    • Comply with our #1 rule of always holding on to the wall with two hands unless their coach asks them to try something different

    At-Home Readiness Practice:

    • Have your child lay on his back in the bathtub filled with enough water to come up to the ears. Ask them to use their hands to scoop water across their body. Ask them to roll their head side-to-side they are comfortable having water in their ears.
    • Sitting-up in the tub, have your child scoop water into their hands and “wash their face” by splashing their face with water with their eyes closed.
    • Have your child learn to put their face into the water and then sit back up. Learn to be okay with just blinking the water away and not needing to wipe eyes or wipe face excessively with the hands. Just letting the water “drip” off the face.
    • Get your child comfortable with water being scooped and poured over their head, letting it trickle down their face.
    • Encourage your child to have fun and play by splashing their own hands/arms/legs/feet and getting splashed in the face with water.

    Practice the following at a pool beforehand:

    • Independently holding on to the wall or edge of the pool in a place where your child is not able to touch the bottom
    • Holding on to the wall or edge and putting ears, back of the head, face, or submerging (with mouth closed) to the chin, and then the nose.
    • Going under while being supported under the armpits by a trusted adult and then brought back up to the surface
    • Jumping in and submerging underwater with assistance (or not) from a trusted adult coming back up to the surface
    • Going underwater alone while holding on to the wall or edge of the pool. At OCSS we call this doing a “bob” – learn more about what a Level 1 “bob” is here

    Not sure if your child is ready for independent learn-to-swim lessons? To learn more about how you can prepare your child for success in swim lessons, check out our FREE download on How to Set up your Child for Success in Swim Lessons!

    By Amy Rzepka Learn-to-Swim