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

easandberg at aol.com easandberg at aol.com
Mon May 24 17:50:13 EDT 2010

We have four kids, all now strong swimmers.? I think that swimming is a critical skill, so even before it was recommended, my older kids went to lots of swim lessons.? They went to lessons?all year from the time they were about 3, and started swimming independently around ages 5-6.? My youngest sons didn't like lessons at our Y (in Newton) so?they took only a couple of sessions, and I worked with?them independently, mostly in the summers.? They too started swimming independently at about age 5.? What made the difference was lots of practice in a short period of time, combined with developmental readiness.? We live close to an outdoor pool, and swim nearly every day in the summer, and that repetition seemed to be much more effective than weekly lessons.? ?I'm interested in hear at what age other children swim independently- I'm sure some kids do swim at younger ages.? 

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrea Heberlein <heberlein at wjh.harvard.edu>
To: Susannah Rose <rose at fas.harvard.edu>
Cc: Alison Denton Jones <adjones at fas.harvard.edu>; parentsgroup-list at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
Sent: Mon, May 24, 2010 11:50 am
Subject: Re: [Parentsgroup-list] recommendations for swimming lessons for toddlers (Marcelle Dougan)

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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