Mothering Forum banner

Learning to swim question

584 Views 12 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Glover_Girls
At what age did your kids learn to swim? My ds is 5yo and doesn't know how yet, I was just hoping to get some input as to how your kids learned and at what age.

I'm wondering if I should sign him up for swim lessons at the YMCA or just try teaching him on my own at my SIL's pool.

See less See more
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
I'd suggest lessons with a Red Cross certified instructor, if that's possible for you. I'm a pretty good swimmer, but when my kids started lessons I realized that I really do not know all the proper strokes and techniques. If you have access to a pool, try to find a private instructor - usually if someone is willing to offer a pool for a group of kids, the owner of the pool gets their kids' lessons for free.

My older two started lessons through the local town rec program, at age five; then my SIL got her RC certification and started teaching them. My younger two started lessons at three. My son (15) can train for lifeguard certification this year.

Because they've had formal swim lessons for so many years, my two oldest (15 and 12) are MUCH better and stronger swimmers than I am.
Five is a great age to learn to swim! I taught at a Y all through college and loved it. If you are a good swimmer, you could try and teach him on your own, but a lot of kids really like the social aspect of taking classes, especially when they're sort of past the initial fear stuff.

I think lessons are a great investment, and the Y I worked at offerred tons of scholarships, if that's an issue. I wouldn't expect him to learn to swim in one session though- we didn't really push kids so a lot of time it would take them three or more sessions to really learn and after that, they usually stayed in classes because they liked it and there was always more to do. The thing that is nice about having them in lessons is that if they ever want to join a swim team or be a life guard later in life, they will know all of the "correct" techniques and stuff. The YMCA classes are, IMHO, the best. I taught for Red Cross for a year and it was just swimming. The Y is all about fun and safety too. Plus they have a whole section on character development, which I always thought was pretty cool.

See less See more
We've done lots of swimming lessons at the Y and always been happy with them. DS started at about 4 and DS is starting this summer at 3. DS, now 6, is a reasonable swimmer.
My kids are 3 & 5 and swim independently under water & have never had lessons.

I think the key, for them, was simply lots of time spent in a shallow pool w/their friends.
AND, finding absolutely incredible goggles that let them see under water w/o filling up.
See less See more
I was also a swim instructor for the Y and I taught privately.
I would suggest investing in some classes until you find an instructor you like. Above all take your kid as much as you can to the pool. The more time they have to get acclimated to the water the more it's just second nature. Lessons are great, but play is better.
I love swimming though and you couldn't keep me away from the water with my son from the time my stitches healed. If you don't like to swim so much your kid will sense it and lessons may be better.

Originally Posted by BusyMommy
...finding absolutely incredible goggles that let them see under water w/o filling up.
What kind of goggles are they? I remember when I was a kid, I just learned how to see underwater without goggles, because EVERY pair never formed a suction and would always fill up (I had the same problem with masks -- maybe my bone structure is weird??). My son has the EXACT same bone structure as me, so...
See less See more
I have good luck with TYR's with the silicone rim. They seem to fit kids from about 3 yo and up- I've met only one adult on which they leaked.
Thanks everyone! I'm looking into swim lessons that are held by the city recreation department. They are 1/2 hour lessons. I'm going to call the Y just to check on prices too.

I love the water! My ds does too but isn't too keen on dunking his head just yet. I'm worried that he won't want to when we take the lessons. But I'll just let him lead, when he's ready, he'll let me know, right?
Does your child want to take lessons? My dd was in no way going to trust a stranger in the water, and insisted that she'd learn on her own. So, we went to a pool weekly that had a gradual entry and before we knew it she was swimming underwater and loving it! She was 5 when she learned.

My son is now 4.5 and says it's "too snorkey" to put his nose in the water
He doesn't want to take lessons either, but also just likes to play in the water, with no real desire so far to "learn to swim"

It just really depends on the kid, like everything else
See less See more
i enrolled my kids when they were around 3. my ds1 was very excited immediately. with ds2, we sat on teh sidelines for a few sessions (long enough for him to get jealous that the other kids were having fun and he wanted to join).
i just looked at it as a fun thing to do, but also a safety measure. my dh doesnt know how to swim and that is sooo weird to me!!
If you can, go for private lessons, every day for a period of time. My dd1 was in public lessons from 1 - 4. She refused to put her head in the water. At four, I put her in one on one private lessons, for two weeks, half an hour a day. By day four she was swimming widths. At ten she was done the red cross programme and ready for the life saving, which is normally not until 14. And last summer, at barely five, dd2 was half way through the RC programme, and never went in public lessons.
I just started my daughter at 3.5 yrs in March. We have been going to the public pool during the summer for a couple of years but we'd spend time in the kiddie pool and tromp to the big pool where I carried her around for a while and then we'd schlep back to the kiddie pool. I tried to teach her but it just didn't work. So this spring we are taking a 7-week class session together so she can learn the basics and then the next 6 weeks she will be in the pool without me. She's doing really well but I knew she would as she loves the water!

But there are kids in her class as young as 6 months old!
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.