Swimming lessons, bit bloody dear, aren't they?!

(37 Posts)
eisbaer Fri 01-Feb-13 22:48:18

So I want to know if anyone taught their kids themselves. It can't be THAT hard, right?! And if you did, what did you do? We can't pay any more, it's totally spun out to make you pay more, and just want them able to enjoy the water independently(ish). Any tips very welcome!

ivykaty44 Fri 01-Feb-13 22:51:11

I took mine to a swimming club - the lessons were £3 each time, if we didn't go we didn't pay.

LovesGSD Fri 01-Feb-13 23:00:41

I tried but he was scared of the water so didn't really try, I've got my 10month on the waiting list for mum and baby classes in the hope he'll not be scared of the water and won't need lessonssmile

BoffinMum Sat 02-Feb-13 20:02:09

I taught mine. You just need to go regularly, and when they are about four you ditch the arm bands, and show them doggy paddle etc, practice kicking from the sides of the pool, and finally start getting them to do 1 metre, then aim for 5 metres, then 10 etc. You need to be madly enthusiastic every time they make an effort. Bribe with cakes and hot choc after each session.

Under four all you can really teach them is how to be confident in the water, as they find floating hard. I have shoved mine on my back though, and swum up and down the pool with them, and that worked well.

littleducks Sat 02-Feb-13 20:16:37

It costs about the same in entry fees as lessons here. But yes both are expensive. I went for lessons as then I don't have to getting the pool.

cantspel Sun 03-Feb-13 14:20:39

I taught both of mine to swim. First couple of visits i just let them splash around to get confident with the water, then on to learning basic strokes with their arm bands on, as they got more and more confident i started letting the air out of their arm bands so they had to work more to keep themselves afloat, they didn't notice so no panic that they couldn't do it.
They so got the hang of it and then we ditched the arm bands completely.

Bejeena Sun 03-Feb-13 14:25:56

Well as someone who never learnt to swim as a child and had to deal with learning to swim to be able to save my own life as an adult I can only say that, no matter the cost, they are worth every penny surely?

I am so behind as I never learnt as a child and I resent my parents for not letting me have this basic skill

I don't think teaching yourself gives them good enough technique personally my husband is a very good swimmer and agrees.

my kids just want to play about when I am in the water with them so we chose to do lessons. Ours are about £19 per month and covers lessons and also leisure swimming at other times.

Yes they really do spin them out. I also think they start too young.
When mine went to group classes they progressed at snail pace because the majority of the lesson was spent waiting around.
My dad taught me but I never had much success teaching my DCs.
What I did find was this. When they reached 6 or 7 they learned much faster. I paid for a few one to one lessons and they made more progress in 6 lessons than they had in 3 years of group sessions, so it was very cost effective.

p.s. mine never started formal lessons until around the age of 4.

BackforGood Sun 03-Feb-13 14:42:52

Lessons don't generally cost more than the entrance for a fmaily to get into the pool, surely ?
Apart from Beavers / Cubs Scouts, swimming lessons were always the cheapest things mine have ever done, and such a valuable skill to have. Of course you can teach them yourself, but, IMe, they learn much better when they are in a "lesson" than when their parents try to show them things, even before we get onto the fact that I'm a very mediocre swimmer, and have actually learnt loads off them, as they were taught properly.

luanmahi Sun 03-Feb-13 14:52:38

My little girl is 8 months old and has been going to lessons since she was 3 months old. They are expensive but we don't really do any other paid classes and when I go back to work, my parents and mil are going to be doing the majority of the childcare so I rationalise it that way.

It's not just the classes either, it's the stuff they have to wear ("approved" swim nappy and body warmer which aren't cheap especially considering they grow so fast in the first year so they have to be replaced every few months). It's a lot of money and the lessons are only half an hour. But, I didn't learn to swim until I was 10 and went to lessons through school and even then, I could only do doggy paddle until I was at uni and one of my friends who was a swimming instructor taught me how to do the breast stroke. My husband isn't a strong swimmer either so we both want our children to have that skill and aren't confident enough to teach her ourselves.

We do Puddle Ducks and the pace so far seems to be fine as the class sizes aren't too big but, cost-wise, I do feel a bit like I'm being exploited because I haven't the skills to teach her myself.

I wouldnt pay for lessons for a baby or even a child under the age of about 3 as they are not going to be able to swim as such and it is more about water confidence. You can get the same water confidence from taking them to normal family sessions at the pool. I personally think baby swimming lessons are a waste of money

BackforGood Sun 03-Feb-13 15:06:19

I too assumed we were talking about a child / children over 4yrs - no point before that, i's just about them getting used to being in the water, which everyone can do themselves.

DizzyHoneyBee Sun 03-Feb-13 15:22:28

I suppose it depends on what you want and what would suit your children, I taught my oldest to swim but my youngest was scared of the water so we just went to play and then booked lessons once the fear had gone. Both of them now swim like fish and both swim for the local swimming team. The youngest has the best technique and will be beating the oldest before much longer - oh the joys that that will bring!!

eisbaer Sun 03-Feb-13 19:31:01

Have tried this wknd and think my DS1(6)and DS2 (4) fall into the "wanting to play, not bothered about swimming" when I take them category. What I had noticed was that the lessons a) had them at the side of the pool waiting most of the time and b) meant we rarely took them as a whole family due to cost and the fact they were already going once a wk. so, having taken on board all the points above, we've decided to start all five of us going every wknd(as it's fun too) and then if we can't eventually persuade them to ditch the armbands, we'll call in a one-on-one pro at that stage! Technique- that's for a later date. I'm a strong swimmer and only honed my technique when i joined a swim club. I now see more of the benefits of the lessons, but I think it depends where you live, value-wise, and the time slot we had made it a ball-ache most weeks. Thanks for all the input!

Molehillmountain Mon 04-Feb-13 08:06:06

Our dd1 (7) wasn't keen on lessons and dh has got her to 25m + stage. I'm sure there are technical gaps but she's water confident and enjoys swimming. And ds, 4, is heading the sane way. I have to be honest and say if it were me doing the teaching they'd be having lessons-but dh is more patient! The added bonus is they go on a Sunday morning so I get a bit of time just with dd2.

sparkle12mar08 Mon 04-Feb-13 11:35:42

Group lessons are about £3-£4 for 30mins locally, in a group of 8 children and you commit on a yearly basis, but the waiting list is 12months, and regularly closes so you can't even put your name down. Next best option is private lessons (with the same group of instructors) at £22 for 30mins for two children, or £14 for 1-to-1. Waiting list is still around 4-6months though.

It's utterly extortionate and if you're a working parent group lessons are an impossibility - they only run from 9:30 to 4:30 Monday to Friday!!!

WheresMyCow Mon 04-Feb-13 11:51:54

We must be lucky at our local baths because lessons also happen on a Saturday afternoon, DS would never go otherwise. His lesson is currently at 4:30, but will be at 5:00 when he moves up to the next class which is perfect for us. He's 2.3 and is in a small group session with 3-4 others of the same age. Terms are 10 weeks long and it costs £39 per term - so £3.90 per week if you go every week.

I don't necessarily agree that lessons are pointless until over the age 4. Granted, he may not be able to swim properly until that age, but he already has the foundations of how to swim, is water confident and will make a much better swimmer than I am!

As we both work full time and are lucky to have his grandparents look after him, it is the one thing that we can do with him.

sunnyday123 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:06:25

I pay £15 per month per child inc 30 min lesson per week and anytime social swim. Both dds started at age 3 but tbh I'd not bother before the age of 5 as its pretty much a waste of cash as they only really pick up the technique as they get older, before then its just about confidence which you can do yourself.

My dd is 7 and her friend only started learning last year and is already the same stage as her. I've also been watching the 'school run swim lessons' at my local pool and the kids in years 3&4 who can't swim get one to one! Sometimes I think we are the daft ones paying out each month when they can get one to one with school and learn in a few weeks! It's not like I'd leave a kids unattended before year 4 anyway!

eisbaer I agree the priority is safe and confident in the water. As long as they can swim a good distance style and technique is not important and can be honed later.
I think paying for babies and toddlers is pointless. You just need to play with them.
After experiencing group lessons v one to one I would never recommend group lessons again. A private teacher can have them swimming in a fraction of the time, and can cover stuff they don't do in lessons. For example before we went on holiday I asked her to spend time in a lesson on pool safety.

IDreamedADreamOfSausageRolls Mon 04-Feb-13 21:48:58

Swimming lessons were not a thing when I was little (30 years ago shock) and most people I know who are roughly my age and grew up in the UK can swim just fine. File kids' swimming lessons under "things we have been suckered into thinking are essential that actually aren't". Don't even get me started on baby lessons!

Adversecamber Mon 04-Feb-13 23:08:21

My DS had free lessons via his primary school at the local swimming baths.
I grew up by the sea so we just piled down the beach.

My parents taught me and I wish they had paid for lessons. I can swim but not very well.

I guess what I want to say is how well do you swim yourself? And do you think you can teach them well too?

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