How long will it take for my child to learn to swim?
The number one question we receive online and at administration at our swim school is: How long will it take for my child to learn to swim? Every child is different and therefore it is impossible to give an exact answer to this question. But the good news is that practice and exposure are the keys to learning. If you want your child to learn quickly they will need to visit the pool regularly.
How regularly? Laurie always recommends two or more times per week. While your child can learn basic swimming skills like breath control, floating and propulsion quickly, parents should be under no illusion, mastering good swimming technique and water safety skills will take years to accomplish.
Now I can hear your mind ticking over, yes you’re right, you’re going to invest thousands of dollars on swimming lessons. Notice I said invest, trust me, it is the best investment that you will make. Not only will it make your child safer in the water, it truly is a gift that will last a lifetime.
Your child will go on in life to enjoy a huge range of either competitive or recreation activities around the water including swimming, boating, fishing, and surfing just to name a few. Another bonus is that teaching your child to swim actually makes your child smarter. Griffith University did a longitudinal study on early years swimming and it showed that those children who received lessons in the early years were more socially, emotionally and physically advanced that those who were not given the opportunity. You can read all about this at the following link http://www.griffith.edu.au/education/early-years-swimming/publications.
So now that you know that you’re going to have to make both a financial commitment and a time commitment to your child’s learn to swim journey, let us give you some tips on how you can enhance the process.
1. Arm yourself with knowledge
Use www.worldwideswimschool.com to get all the information you need on the learn to swim process. This will help you to either teach your child yourself or for you to understand what your child is learning and how you can help. There is a huge variety of free articles available on the website and you can even submit your own questions. You can also purchase interactive video programs for a particular age group or swimming stroke. Or you can subscribe to our hub to have access to all of our information at any time.
2. Don’t have a break over winter
A lot of people drop out of swimming lessons during the winter months. This only results in disappointment come the following summer when children are back to square one and need to re-learn skills previously mastered. Winter is actually the most important time of year for swimming lessons because children have less exposure to play situations around water in the home pool, friend’s pool, beach, lake or during any other recreation swimming activity.
3. Use holiday programs to speed up children’s learning
Holiday courses are a great opportunity for fast skill progression because the children get to practice every day. Parents always notice a huge improvement in their child even in just a week. For this reason if children are frightened, have plateaued in their learning, or need to master a specific stroke or water safety skill, it will certainly give them a kick start. Holiday programs can sometimes be discounted and therefore prove to be great value for money in terms of price and progression. Even family holidays around the pool can make huge improvements to a child’s swimming progress.
4. Enjoy family time around the water
Exposing children to a variety of play situations in different aquatic environments is essential for their learning. Parents can help children learn about the different dangers that exist in different environments. Through play under strict adult supervision, children can also learn their limitations and boundaries. Children love having dedicated play time with mum and dad and the water provides a perfect and unique opportunity. Parents can access some free resources from the Kids Alive website to help teach their children about water safety http://www.kidsalive.com.au/early-childhood-program/.
5. Don’t rush the process
If you want your child to have good swimming technique that will last a lifetime don’t rush the process. Good swimming teaching is about building good swimming skills. Focusing on the basics like breath control, submersion, floating and propulsion is the key. Swimming skills must be repetitive and it is vital to develop good skill execution. Lots of repetitive swimming drills are necessary to develop good muscle memory. Swimming short distances with good technique is much more important than swimming long distances with poor technique.
Now that we have given you some tips, I hope you are ready to enjoy the learn to swim journey with your child. You are giving a gift that will last a lifetime.