Aside from obvious safety reasons, teaching children to swim is beneficial on so many platforms, from health to recreation, especially if you have an above ground swimming pool of your own.
Learning to swim provides an important building block for self-esteem and confidence. Some research shows that children who learn to swim early develop visual-motor skills more quickly than their non-swimming peers.
If you’re a reader with very young children or a child on the way, a good way to begin water education is to make water fun in general and from the start. By making bath and swim time interactive and playful, tension or fear of water could be avoided later. The following are ways to continue water and swimming education.
Traditional Swimming Lessons
Parent-child lessons are great for those who are committed to starting young. These courses require the child to be at least six months old. With the child’s parent accompanying him or her in the water, basic water skills and safety points are taught through fun games and music.
Once children reach age 3, traditional independent classes replace the mommy (and daddy) and me courses. At this point, it’s important to look for classes that are arranged by level, so that he or she is getting direct attention on the skills that need improving. If the child needs more attention, consider private lessons instead of a class setting.
An always-reliable place to begin your search for swim lessons is your local YMCA. With thousands of convenient locations, many offer swim classes and private lessons for all ages and levels. If there is no YMCA in your area, look for other health clubs and gyms.
If your child is older, check in with their school’s physical education department. Many school curriculums include options for swimming units in P.E. classes. Also, research your local university’s facilities. Most have natatoriums that are available to the public, many offering swim lessons.
Online Swimming Guides
While they will by no means certify you to be a swim instructor, thorough online post do exist, and are valuable for those who would rather learn to swim on their own time.
uSwim.com offers printable lessons along with videos for little swimmers of all levels. The curriculum was created by two fully certified instructors with a deep passion for swim education, and walks users through initial steps such as submersion through different stroke styles and breathing techniques for advancing swimmers.
USA Swimming also provides a list of national organizations whose mission includes swimming lessons and water education. Who knows, the next Olympian could be waiting on you to sign them up for a first lesson!
Teaching your kids this life skill – in addition to allowing them to safely play in your own Kayak pool – can create so many other opportunities, from joining a water polo or swimming and diving team to becoming a lifeguard or scuba-certified. If you’re not comfortable enough with your swimming skill level, leave the instructing to a professional!