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Any red cross swim teachers reading? My 8 year old ds just took a two week long swim class (45 min lesson, 5 days a week). He was in the level 3 class. He is a good swimmer and is confident in the water. He took the test yesterday to see if he would pass level 3.

He found out today that he did not pass, even though he did all the strokes correctly. He can tread water for 30 seconds, can float on front and back, did the front crawl, the back crawl and the dolphin kick, and was jumping (several times) off the float into deep water. His instructor said that he did everything he was supposed to, but the supervisor decided not to pass him because he is "small". He is average height for his age, but is skinny and light (he only weighs 56 pounds, which is just right for his body type. He is the kind of kid who couldn't gain weight if he ate Dunkin donuts all day, every day).

Has anyone ever heard of this as a reason? He worked very hard at practicing in the evenings and truly did his best yesterday. He was quite upsett for a bit, but got over it and said "it doesn't matter what level card you have, it matters what level you are on the inside." Which, of course, broke my heart - lol. I am proud of his great attitude.

But, I'm wondering if it is typical not to pass someone because of size. Should I complain to the supervisor's supervisor or should I just let this go and let him try again next summer? Or should I try to get him in a swim class over the winter somewhere? I am a little leary of signing him up for this same swim class next summer because this is the second year in a row that he didn't pass level 3. Last year, he and I both understood the reasons. He wasn't doing a couple of the things he needed to. But, he WAS this year. I just don't want him to get discouraged since the size issue seems so unfair. It's not like he can control that. Who knows if he is going to be "big enough" next year.
 

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I'm not an instructor, but my son takes Red Cross Swim Lessons (of course he's only Preschool level though), and it sounds strange to me. Right before my sons class is the Level 6 class (all girls) and some of those girls are tiny. I don't see how size should have anything to do with moving up in level.
 

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I think it is strange. My kids don't do red cross lessons, but swim through a swim team. Size doesn't matter. Levels should be based on:

1) how well the child swims (or performs the other tasks for the level)

2) how well the child can focus (some very young child can swim well but lack the ability to focus in the next level class).

I'd either ask next summer if they will just bump him or, or I'd check into different swim lessons. If he already knows those skills, what is the point of taking that class again?
 

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I taught swimming for years. Small should not be a reason to not pass a class if he is doing everything correctly. Could you clarify with the instructor and see if he maybe meant "didn't have the endurance" or something to that effect instead?
I have 2 books available on Amazon that supplement swim lessons and build the parent/child bond as you learn to strengthen your little swimmers through creativity and games. "How to Swim Like a Mermaid" starts off with a Mermaid story and then incorporates games and strategies for parents. "Swim Games" details all the fun games I used to teach all my little swimmers. These books even proceed into the advanced games I used while I coached a team.

So parents, I am always looking for new ideas to include in my next book. What are some games your kids love playing in the water? What have you found to be particularly effective?

www.aileenswartz.com
www.tinyurl.com/MermaidSwimBook
www.tinyurl.com/SwimGamesFun
 
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