Selecting a Swimming School

While swimming lessons are an ever-popular extracurricular activity for children, have you ever considered the multiple benefits of your child learning to swim? Research shows that there are numerous benefits to swimming, including safety, health/exercise, and social benefits.

Safety Benefits

It is important that children learn to respect water from an early age, and to understand their own capabilities (or the lack thereof) in relation to swimming/water. By teaching children early on the basics of swimming and how to respect water, you can help protect them. However, it should be noted that children should always be supervised when swimming, as no one – not even the most seasoned swimmer – should ever be alone in the water.

Health Benefits

As one of our previous blogs discussed, swimming is a great form of exercise. Swimming is a low-impact cardio activity that has benefits for the entire body. As children’s bodies grow and change, it is important that they build strong bones and muscles, as well as burn off enough fat. Additionally, it’s important that they burn off enough energy so as to sleep well at night. Swimming is a great way to do all of these things. Also, did you know that swimming actually helps your child’s brain develop? According to Aquaventures Swim Centre (2017):

Swimming stimulates young children’s senses and is thought to improve brain and emotional development. As babies develop mobility functions and breathing becomes deeper, they are encouraged to make sound. This improves communication and aids in language and speech development. Swimming also supports a child’s mind/body connection as studies have shown that during exercise a child’s mind is stimulated, promoting further brain development and intelligence. It is clear that swimming can benefit the entire child – both body AND mind.

Social Benefits

While many people consider the safety and health benefits of swimming, not as many consider the social benefits. However, did you know that swimming increases a child’s self-confidence, giving them a great sense of accomplishment? Also, while swimming is not typically a team sport, being part of a pool community can teach children how to act appropriately around others and begin to understand personal space. Swimming also links them with other children who have similar interests and lifestyles.

Additionally, swimming is fun! Children typically love the water – from playing in water tables to bath time, swimming in the local pool to taking a trip to the ocean. For parents, there is nothing as rewarding as watching your children find delight in the world around them!

Choosing a Swimming School

When considering enrolling your child into a swimming school, there are some things you should consider:

  1. Does the swimming school have a warm, welcoming environment? Just as “real” schools should, swimming schools should make your child feel welcome and at ease. Your child should feel appreciated and at home from the moment they arrive until they leave.
  2. Does the swimming school have a qualified staff? Has all of the staff been properly trained as swimming instructors, and do they all hold a current CPR certification? It is vital that instructors know what they doing when it comes to teaching swimming skills, but even more so, when it comes to safety. Don’t be afraid to ask what qualifications swimming instructors have when “shopping” for a swim school.
  3. Are the pool and surrounding facilities clean and orderly? This not only is important because of cleanliness/hygiene reasons but also for safety. Pool decks should be clear and not covered in equipment; water quality should be checked on a regular basis and should always be free of debris.
  4. Are the classes appropriate for your child’s age and development?Additionally, classes should repeat the same skills many times to ensure mastery.

“Skills and lesson activities should be appropriate for your child’s age, development, ability and should be taught in a progressive manner. Children should be challenged to learn to their individual capability, but should never be placed under stress or be forced to perform skills” (Rae, 2017).

Looking for a Swimming School Locally

If you are considering enrolling your child in swimming lessons, you may feel clueless on where to even start looking. Luckily, there are many options right here in the Dayton area!

Goldfish Swimming School

Goldfish Swimming School is located in Dayton, near Centerville. The Goldfish Swimming School’s philosophy states:

Goldfish Swim School was created by parents, for parents, with this goal in mind— to give kids the platform to build essential life skills that will help them make waves in life. We’ve created an inviting and safe place where kids overcome their fears, learn to swim, respect the water and have lots of fun while doing it.” (Goldfish Swimming School Website, n.d.).

Goldfish offers a variety of different classes for children 4 months to 12 years, at any swimming level. Additionally, they get great reviews, receiving a score of 5/5 on Facebook and 5/5 stars on Yelp.

Aqua-Tots Swim School

Aqua-Tots Swim School, located in Beavercreek, is part of a larger company that provides swimming lessons to people of all ages around the world. They offer lessons for children ages 4 months and older, and encourage kids of any age to start taking swimming lessons. Aqua-Tots has a clear objective:

Our mission is to help prevent drownings by working with the community to provide a standard of excellence in teaching children and adults water safety. With years of experience, a comprehensive curriculum, quality swim instructors, state-of-the-art facilities, and convenient locations, Aqua-Tots has it all to serve your family! (Aqua-Tots Swim School, n.d.)

Aqua-Tots gets a rating of 5/5 on Facebook and 5/5 stars on Yelp.

Twigs Kids

Twigs Kids is located in West Carrollton, and offers classes starting at age two. Their swimming instructors:

…empower our spectacular swimmers to be proficient in safety and water survival, and incorporate the foundations needed to make an exceptionally strong swimmer. Progressive teaching techniques are utilized in order to build on each skill, ranging from floating to the freestyle and butterfly strokes. Our program is constructed in such a way that children are taught the basics of swimming, such as two survival strokes and the treading of water, as well as the advancement of the four competitive strokes. (Twigs Kids, n.d.)

Twigs Kids also offers gymnastics and cheer lessons; they receive an overall rating of 4.9/5 on Facebook and 4/5 stars on Yelp.

Kids are Tops Sports Center

Kids are Tops Sports Center, located in Centerville, offers swimming lessons for ages three and up. They believe that,

Early swimming lessons set a positive foundation towards a lifetime
of participation and enjoyment in a variety of water sports and vacation destinations on, in and under the water” (Kids are Tops, n.d.).

Kids are Tops offers many other sports classes and lessons. They receive an overall rating of 4.6/5 on Facebook and 4/5 stars on Yelp.

Rec Centers

Local recreation centers are a great place to take swimming lessons. Most rec centers also offer lower prices than privately owned swimming schools. Check out your local rec center’s schedules to find out what classes they are currently offering:

YMCA

The YMCA has been offering swimming lessons since long before private swimming schools were a trend. They continue to offer swimming lessons at affordable prices. Check out the YMCA of Greater Dayton to see what lessons your local branch currently offers.

No matter where you enroll your kiddos, one thing is clear: swimming lessons have immeasurable value for children!

References

Aqua-Tots Swim School. (n.d.). Why Aqua-Tots?. Retrieved from https://www.aqua-tots.com/why-aqua-tots/

Goldfish Swim School. (n.d.). Our philosophy. Retrieved from https://www.goldfishswimschool.com/about/our-philosophy/

Kids are Tops Sports Center. (n.d.). Swimming. Retrieved from
http://www.kidsaretops.com/Swimming

Kumon. (n.d.). Benefits of children learning to swim. Retrieved from
https://www.kumon.co.uk/blog/benefits-of-children-learning-to-swim/

Rae, L. (2017). Five tips to help you choose the right swim school for your child. Retrieved from https://www.royallifesaving.com.au/about/news-and-events/news-items/five-tips-to-help-you-choose-the-right-swim-school-for-your-child

Twigs Kids. (n.d.). Swimming classes. Retrieved from
https://www.twigskids.com/swimming-classes

Weronika. (2017). The mental benefits of swimming for children. Retrieved from https://www.aquaventuresswim.com/mental-benefits-swimming-children/

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