As a former school teacher and Physical Educationalist, it is Laurie’s belief that good swimming schools, apart from the obvious benefits of clean warm water, qualified teachers, and a happy learning environment, should like other Educational Establishments, have a sound curriculum. Therefore, we discuss what to look for in a good swim school.
The curriculum should be age appropriate. All learn-to-swim should follow progressive teaching and learning of basic skills.
- If children have not mastered breath control they should not submerge.
- If children have not mastered floating they should not be encouraged to use propulsive movements.
What to Look for and Understand
In infant swimming, learning age appropriate skills are most important. It is impossible to teach children certain physical skills before they are developmentally ready. Good swim schools will study and build the swimming lesson around baby’s developmental needs and readiness for a particular skill.
Parental involvement is essential when learning to swim. Swimming is a complex physical activity in an unusual environment. It requires time, patience and a commitment from the parent. You should encourage parental supervision and participation in swimming lessons for children under 4. This creates a safe and secure learning environment and assists learning as children get individual attention from their parents.
Maximum practice time where children are kept busy with their practice is vital. Look for a swim school that:
- Has patient teachers
- And that keep children busy and active
Patience and Persistence
Exposure to water will also determine how confident your child becomes in the water. Therefore children with home pools or children who attend lessons more than once a week will learn faster. You, as a parent, should prepare to be patient, persist and encourage your child all year round. If not, you cannot expect to gain the social, health, and safety benefits which children gain from learning to swim at an early age.
Finally fear is another factor that can slow down a child’s progress. Patience is a quality teachers require if they are teaching a frightened child to swim. Any swimming lessons that force or terrify children against their will are totally inappropriate. Swim Schools should hold professional memberships with AUSTSWIM and Swim Australia.
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