What makes KidSwim unique??
KidSwim is a developmental school which means that your child’s age, stage and individual needs are taken into account and incorporated into their program. We know that a two year old and a five year old do not learn the same way. We also know that a reticent, cautious child has different needs than an outgoing, fearless child. Each student follows the same basic format in terms of skills learned however, some children are entirely eager to stick their whole head under water from day one while others can take up to two summers to learn to swim depending on the age they are when they start.
It is important to remember that each child really does learn when they are ready and that our responsibility as teachers is to give them the CORRECT set of skills from day one along with an understanding of the rules about safety so as they go along, their skills and their confidence are matched. This is the key to true water safety; experience and education. A child needs both in order to truly become water safe.
At KidSwim, we want the child’s initial experience to be one of fun. Fun keeps them engaged, enthusiastic and eager for more. Our skills are built around fun, especially for the very young children we teach. A two year old’s understanding of water safety is minimal, however, he or she will become increasingly comfortable and relaxed and may even swim at this age.
We call this ‘unintentional safety.’ This means that children can swim and may be able to save themselves unintentionally without really being cognizant of the fact. Following developmental guidelines this would be entirely appropriate and preferred. You do not want to give a very young child too much information. The results are better if they are merely acting instinctively based on what they have processed thus far.
As children get older, you can certainly talk to them openly about water safety skills and rules. You can incorporate water safe drills into their lessons and build their confidence around mini-achievements such as treading water where you increase their goal of how many seconds they can tread each time you practice.
What is most important to remember - and what KidSwim NEVER forgets, is that while your children are two or three years old now, eventually they will grow up. Adults who were not properly taught to swim as children grow up to hate swimming, with the number one complaint being ‘I don’t know how to breathe’ or ‘I’m not comfortable breathing in the water and I’m always out of breath.’
We know that while learning to breathe properly takes time and often seems mundane during the process, it is crucial to developing a long term love of swimming.
Learning to swim while breathing is very different from learning to swim while holding your breath. One is calm, relaxed and empowering, the other is frantic, panicked and urgent. For the child who holds their breath while swimming, his goal is to get to the side as quickly as possible. For the child who can regulate his breathing, the side is there when he wants it but he is entirely comfortable being where he is in the moment.
It is an excellent metaphor for life as well.