4 tips on finding the right swim instructor or class

Summer time is here. It’s time to get out your bathing suits and enjoy some fun in the sun!! All three of my kids enjoy the water and we are fortunate enough to be able to beat the heat right in our own backyard!!

Since having a pool can be a safety hazard (even with a fence around it), my husband and I decided that the earlier we started our kids with swimming lessons the better. It put our mind at ease as well as allowing us to take full advantage of having our own pool. We started them all around five months and now they have all become little fish. They enjoy it so much that we have a hard time getting them out!!

As a parent it can be stressful finding a good swim school or a private instructor because you are ultimately putting your child’s safety in the hands of someone else. Since I have had to experience it three different times I thought it would be a great idea to give you all some advice and tips on choosing the best place for your child.

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  1. Make sure the school or instructor is certified. Once you’ve done a quick search into something like Private Swimming North York or to find your local leisure centre, before going ahead with any lessons, be sure to check the credentials!! You have a right as a parent and a paying customer to make sure that your child’s safety is not at risk. While you will be at the lessons most of time, it will give you a peace of mind to know that in case of an emergency things will be handled properly and efficiently. Make sure they are certified by the YMCA or American Red Cross, and make sure the instructors are CPR certified as well.
  1. Check the Student to Instructor Ratio. This one is very important!! You want to make sure your child gets plenty of one on one time and don’t want them to be overwhelmed. Each school varies in ratio but I have found that these work the best: For infants and toddlers 4-5 kids per one instructor (usually for the younger ones parents are more involved so having a higher ratio works fine), for 4-5 year olds under four students per instructor, and for children 6 and over no more than 6 kids per an instructor is best. I have personally found private lessons have been the most efficient for my kids, but as always it is what works best for you and your children. This can be a more costly option but in my opinion it is worth it.
  1. Find out what the curriculum looks like and what methods they are using to teach. It is very important to make sure they are teaching your children the importance of safety and the prevention of drowning as well as basic swimming skills.
  1. Ask for a trial class before you sign up or commit to any school or instructor. This will help you find what works best for you and your child. The worst thing to do is pay for an activity and find out your child does not want to participate. You want your child to be comfortable with their instructor because otherwise they may not learn anything. Also make sure your children are having fun while they are learning. The purpose of lessons is so they can enjoy the water, but in a safe manner. And let’s be honest the more fun they are having is usually equivalent to the amount they are learning.

I know this can be an overwhelming process, but I promise doing your research and not rushing into a decision will pay off in the end, and you will be amazed at how fast your child will learn. 🙂

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