“Sunday Funday” has taken on a whole new meaning in our house, and it is all because of Big Blue Swim School. My formerly timid little boys have come out of their shells and are making many great advances like floating on their backs, being brave enough to submerge themselves in water, and just plain enjoying swimming. It is such a turn around from a few months ago when they were enrolled in different swim classes; we were clearly making some swim lesson mistakes.
Owner Chris DeJong knows exactly what I am talking about, which is why he so graciously offered to write this helpful and informative post for parents looking into swim schools. Chris has taken his wealth of swimming experience, which includes being a 5 time U.S. National Champion and a former American record holder in the 800 yard freestyle relay, among many other accolades, and co-founded Big Blue Swim School to share his knowledge and love of swimming with families across Chicagoland.
The Top 8 Mistakes You’re Making with Your Child’s Swim Lessons
Swim lessons are a fun way for your kids to stay active all year round. Swim instruction has changed a lot since you were a kid, so follow these tips to make sure you’re getting the best possible experience for you and your family.
A lifeguard should be present at all times during swim lessons. Lifeguard-certified swim instructors are not enough. A lifeguard, in addition to your child’s instructor, should be watching over everyone’s safety. If a swim instructor becomes distracted then a second set of eyes needs to be ready to spot an unsafe situation.
Part-time, underpaid, and undertrained instructors with poor attendance are far too common. Ask about your swim-lesson provider’s instructors. Professional, adult instructors who earn health insurance are going to give your child the kind of experience they deserve.
- Class Size
Beginners (typically 3-5 year olds) should be in a class with no more than three swimmers per instructor. Older swimmers should still be in class no larger than four to seven swimmers per instructor. You want to ensure your little one will get enough attention from his or her teacher.
Progress in swim lessons is difficult to predict, but if you’re not seeing results after three months then it’s time to move on. Be sure to choose a program that allows you to easily track your child’s progress. A real-time, online progress tracker as well as frequent conversations with your instructor are a must.
Don’t let yourself get locked into a progress-killing session. You want your kids to be able to move up to their next level as soon as they are ready. Year-round, continuous programs that let you start and stop at your convenience are best for your schedule and ideal for your child’s progress.
- Make-Up Lessons
Eventually other commitments will come up, and you will miss a class. If your provider does not allow you to make up your class with another free class then not only will your cost per lesson go through the roof, but your child’s progress will suffer. It’s not unreasonable for you to expect your provider to put your child’s progress before their policies.
A good swim lesson should last at least 30 minutes and cost a little over $20. However, many providers charge you unnecessary fees like registration fees, yearly membership fees, facility fees which can really add up. The fees are completely unnecessary no matter what they might tell you. A fairly priced, no-fee program that is not all about making money is what’s best for your child.
Choose a provider with a facility solely dedicated to teaching children how to swim. You want a pool with crystal clear water that is kept over 90 degrees. Some pools may claim to use less chlorine because their pool is salt water, however the state of Illinois requires pools, even salt water ones, to maintain chlorine levels of 2.0 to 4.0 parts per million.
Big Blue Swim School is offering a FREE SWIM CLASS to my readers. Simply call up either the Wilmette location at 847.729.7665 or the Buffalo Grove location at 847.904.1270 and be sure to mention the code “TWIGSNBERRIES” to receive your free class.
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