[Parentsgroup-list] recommendations for swimming lessons for toddlers (Marcelle Dougan)

Andrea Heberlein heberlein at wjh.harvard.edu
Mon May 24 11:51:50 EDT 2010

We've been very happy with the swimming lessons at MIT: warm teaching  
pool, great staff, good ratio (3-4 kids/instructor-- they sign up 4/ 
class at the younger (<5 yo) ages but in our experience there is  
frequently at least one kid absent on any given week).  They're on  
Sunday late afternoon through early afternoon.  But they're expensive  
for non-members (ca $90 for 8 weeks of 25-min classes); membership is  
pricey unless you have some form of MIT affiliation.  Our 5-year-old  
has been going for about 2 years, on and off, and we've been happy  
with his progress.  They also have parent-infant classes for babies  
and toddlers, which we're planning to start soon with our younger child.

Friends have been happy with the classes at the Y in Central Square as  
well, but those meet too early for us on Saturday mornings.

We found the MAC pool to be waaay too cold for our kid-- went once  
(for family swim, not a class) and at age 2.5 he clung shivering to  
one of us the entire time we were in the water.


On May 24, 2010, at 11:19 AM, Susannah Rose wrote:

> Hello All:
> My daughter, Sophia, now 5 and a half, had had swim lessons at the  
> following
> places:
> MAC - she had private lessons there starting at age 3. They were  
> pricey, but the
> one-on-one was worth the money to us. The small pool at the MAC is a  
> bit cold,
> so I would limit swimming there for small children to about 30-40  
> min. I also
> read that small children tend to enjoy and learn better in warmer  
> water (gee, I
> cannot imagine why!) I am sure that the lessons here vary widely  
> depending on
> the the teacher, however -- Sophia's teacher was more like a "coach"  
> -- by the
> time we finished lessons with her, Sophia was swimming laps on her  
> back at age
> 3! However, despite all she learned, Sophia *REALLY* did not like  
> going to swim
> lessons. She almost started developing a phobia. So, when her  
> sessions were
> finished, we switched her to a 3-kid class at Wellbridge (at the  
> Charles
> Hotel).
> Wellbridge: The pool is nice, warm and the classes were much cheaper  
> than the
> MAC. However, this was basically a playtime class for Sophia -- she  
> had a great
> time, loved the lessons, but did not learn much at all. In fact, she  
> went
> backward in her abilities. So, we tried another option...
> Cambridge War Memorial: These classes are (reportedly) based on the  
> American Red
> Cross swimming standards. Sophia has now taken 3 sessions of lessons  
> (about a
> year, I think), and she learned some good skills. The classes are  
> not expensive
> (about $60 for 10 or 12, I think), but the kids do not get very much  
> one-on-one
> attention. In my opinion, there are way too many children per  
> instructor (at
> least 6-8, depending on the day), and Sophia really only receives  
> about 5
> minutes a session of individualized attention. I find that I need to  
> take her
> to swim at least once a week myself to teach her and reinforce the  
> lessons
> (which, is good idea no matter how good the lessons are). She  
> progressed to the
> Level 3 just recently, but I do think that this was due to my own  
> work with her
> rather than her lessons. However, I do not have anything bad to say  
> about the
> instructors -- they seem good, professional, trained, etc.
> Personally, I think that the ideal lessons would be based on the Red  
> Cross
> system, but only have 3-4 children per instructor, and not cost a  
> ton. I have
> not found this ideal class yet, however. Given this, I think that we  
> are going
> to go back to private lessons for a while -- either at the MAC, the  
> War
> Memorial or somewhere else.
> Semi-private lessons (two children, slightly cheaper than private)  
> are also
> available at the War Memorial, but the children need to be at the  
> same swimming
> level.
> And, timely information: the American Academy of Pediatrics just  
> recently
> started recommending swim lessons for young children, starting at  
> the ages of 1
> to 4yo (depending on the child's development). This is a change from  
> the past,
> where they only recommended lessons for older kids. More information:
> http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/24/most-children-under-4-should-learn-to-swim-pediatricians-urge/
> Hope this helps!
> Susannah
> Susannah Rose, MS, MSW
> PhD Candidate, Health Policy Program
> Harvard University
> rose at fas.harvard.edu
> Quoting Alison Denton Jones <adjones at fas.harvard.edu>:
>> I'd really like to hear answers - my daughter is a year old and we'd
>> like to get her started swimming. thanks,
>> alison
>> On 5/23/2010 12:28 PM, parentsgroup-list- 
>> request at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
>> wrote:
>>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Message: 1
>>> Date: Sun, 23 May 2010 09:27:25 -0400
>>> From: Marcelle Dougan<marcie0817 at hotmail.com>
>>> Subject: [Parentsgroup-list] recommendations for swimming lessons  
>>> for
>>> 	toddlers
>>> Hi all,
>>> I'm looking for swimming lessons for my two boys, aged 29 months  
>>> and 15
>> months.  Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
>>> Enjoy the summer!
>>> Thanks,Marcelle
>>> _________________________________________________________________
>>> *************************************************
>> --
>> ________________________________________________
>> Alison Denton Jones	adjones at fas.harvard.edu
>> Harvard University Sociology PhD Candidate
>> 609 William James Hall
>> 33 Kirkland St.		Cambridge, MA 02138
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