DD is 7 and wants to learn to swim this year. 4yo DD may take lessons as well. I'm wondering if they can learn enough during class time only, or if further trips to the pool would likely be necessary to practice skills. When DD1 took a class a couple of years ago, the class didn't even give them skills to progress to the next level offered. I won't be going to the same place, but it does have me wondering if they will need more pool time.
Which brings me to the second question.... Is it possible for one mom to be safe with two non-swimmers and a baby (9-12 mos this summer). The local pool has a sloped entrance, so they would have room to play in water not over their head. I thought maybe with a water sling and a rule about how far we go in could help us manage. There would be lifeguards, of course, but I definitely don't want to be using them.
My children have both taken swimming lessons. One when she was about 2, one when she was around 8 or 9. I feel like they got enough practice in the pool at the time, although the two year old was in a program that met twice a week, and she did it for a year or so. And then the other one did it just for a few months once a week for half an hour, and then she was done with it, particularly since she was doing in summer, and our pool was open then. I was hoping they would learn more strokes and for this to be a sport they would enjoy, and it wasn't but it definitely made a difference for them in the pool. My younger daughter wouldn't even put her head in the water, and once she had had lessons, she started swimming under water in our own pool.
As far as your second question goes, I think that depends on how cautious your children are. If you are at a point where one child goes off in one direction while the other goes in a different one, it might be problematic. But I think with the sloped entrance and lifeguards, you could at least give it a try. My kids used to use lifejackets in the early days.
Depends on how your swim lessons are done. We have done swim lessons in a lot of ways (since we spend a lot of time in the water). I personally do not think that only swim lesson time is enough time in the water. If you are doing group classes, then the teacher has to take turns with all the kids in the class. When the kids were first learning, we did group classes and then practices on our own. Target has these cool life jackets that fit around the chest like a band, and then the are like floaties, so I could put the boys in those to practice their kicking, while I worked on floating with the other, and then we would switch. As the kids have gotten older, we have moved to private once a week lessons to firm up their strokes, and practice near drowning rescues..
Unless you had another adult with you, I would not feel comfortable with 2 non swimmers and a baby.
The way to make the most of the half hour once a week kind are to practice in a pool as often as possible but also to do some swimming exercising on land. For example, practice rolling over from tummy to back and vice versa while imagining swimming. Practice kicking and doing arm strokes. Visualize jumping in, touching the bottom with your feet, pushing off the pool floor to the surface, taking a breath and then kicking to the wall. Practice breath control in the bath tub by blowing bubbles and holding your breath under water. And so on.
I think if the kids are good listeners and they obey you well then taking all three would not be a problem. But if they are rambunctious then it's a bit risky. I'd put vests on them and/or recruit someone to help supervise.