At what age do you start teaching a child?
Once your child can crawl, he/she NEEDS to learn to swim. I begin instruction at 10 months, as babies are a bit more coordinated at this stage (crawling or perhaps taking their first steps), and pose a real threat to themselves around water now that they are mobile.
Why are your lessons more expensive than others?
Actually, lessons at Water Guppies are not more expensive than other learn to swim programs. Students get more one on one instruction time with me than they would have at most swim schools. You are buying private lessons for your child. Instead of your child being one of many in a group class, and easily skipped over if they are not in the mood, our lessons are one-on-one. Your child has my undivided attention and I can teach your child according to YOUR CHILD’S NEEDS and not the needs of 5 to 7 other children. In 6 weeks your child has a fighting chance to survive an aquatic accident and they are well on their way to a life-time of water fun! It takes weeks not years to teach your child how to survival an aquatic accident. Please take the time to shop around and compare the results and pricing of the other learn to swim programs. Ask about the cost of private lessons, how long lessons would be per week compared to lessons with me.
Why 10 minute lessons?
There are a few reasons we use a 10 minute time frame daily: First, repetition and consistency are crucial elements of learning for young children. Research shows that short, more frequent lessons result in higher retention. Second, most children have fairly short attention spans and will not be able to focus on the task longer than that, and we want to take advantage of the best time for learning. Little ones learn best in short duration, as their attention spans are much shorter than adults. During the 6 weeks, the children are given a lot of responsibility in these lessons, more then they are probably used to receiving. (all the while being fully aware of how much support they may still need.) We want to get the best results out of the child, and keeping the lesson to 10 minutes assures us that they do not over-tire themselves. As well, students may take in a fair amount of water when they are learning, and their bellies can feel discomfort if longer than 10 minutes. (Imagine yourself swimming for 10 minutes straight as an adult---even for us, it can be tiring!
What if my child is afraid of the water?
This is one of the many reasons we have a program that lasts 6 weeks: the more daily exposure to the water, and the more daily practice they get performing the skills they've learned, fear begins to subside. It may be replaced with joy and excitement, it may be replaced with anger---"I don't want to float, I only want to play and have fun!"--either way, fear is not something that lasts too long with my students. Getting the parent in the water on Friday's only helps to alleviate any fear, as well. The parent is urged to practice what we are teaching with their child on the weekends or during week, which leads to even greater confidence in the child! Confidence replaces fear!
Will my child be traumatized by the swimming lessons?
Quite the reverse -- If your child fell into the water and did not know how to self-rescue themselves, THIS would be the traumatizing event. You can more than likely expect crying during the first week or so of lessons, most of the time as time goes on, and they gain confidence, the crying subsides. The slow progression and repetition, most importantly, of our lessons does not allow for trauma, but rather boosts confidence. Through all of our lessons, I am fully present, giving full support to the child until they are showing signs of "doing it themselves". Even then, I am very careful with the amount of responsibility I give them before they are ready.
Why do you not want your students to eat for at least 2 hours prior to swim lessons?
The lessons require a lot of physical activity for the students. We do not want them to eat prior to lessons because we want them to be as comfortable as possible. Sometimes when students are crying they swallow air. You will notice that I frequently burp the students during lessons. If a child has recently eaten, the food will come up with the air causing them to throw up. Although this is not dangerous for the student we do not want them to associate throwing up with swimming and lessons each time. Therefore not feeding a child at least two hours prior to lessons reduce the likely hood of this happening.
How are lessons at Water Guppies different than other swim lessons?
Oh so different! In traditional swimming lessons, they will play games, sing songs, blow bubbles in the water, and use kick-boards. My 2 oldest children went through regular swim lessons for 6 years, a few sessions each year and still couldn't swim. I still had to put floaties on them! In survival swim lessons at Water Guppies, we do not use any type of flotation device. They learn to swim and float with just their body and the support of me until they can do it themselves. We don't waste time singing songs and blowing bubbles. We want them to learn to hold their breath, not blow it all out. In traditional lessons where you have 6-7 kids in a 30 minute class, your child has to share time and only ends up with about 4-5 minutes instruction time, and can easily get skipped over if they are not in the mood. With me they have 10 minutes, one-on-one lessons. They learn quick with this method! In traditional swim lessons children usually only get 1-3 lessons per week, I teach them 5 days a week. Kids learn best with repetition and consistency.
Will my child be drown-proof?
Nobody can ever drown-proof your child. Be Leary of any program that advertises they can.