Ever wonder how to choose a swim school for your child or yourself? How do you decide which program is the right fit? Today, let’s look at how to choose a swim school and key things to look for. The primary focus of this post is on a parent looking to choose a school for their child.
The first thing to look for is a qualified instructor. In Ontario, swimming instructors are certified by the Canadian Red Cross. Look for instructors who are qualified to teach the Red Cross standards, are Water Safety Instructors, have Standard First Aid and CPR, and have training with the Lifesaving Society. Only a qualified instructor has the necessary experience and training to keep his or her students safe.
Experience with Your Child’s Age and Skill Level
To make sure the lesson is a good one for your child, finding an instructor that has previously worked with kids of the same age and skill level is important. An experienced instructor can make sure your child is learning appropriate skills and techniques for his or her age. They will also better understand what a child of that age and skill level will need to feel at ease in the water.
Another key point to look for is the condition of the pool. Look for a pool that is well maintained and cleaned, void of leaves or debris. Ensure the pool deck is also clean, clutter-free and in excellent condition. Check that all rails, ladders and fences are solid. Verify that necessary safety equipment, such as a first aid kit, flotation devices and life buoys are all in place.
It’s also important that the pool water is warm enough (e.g. high 80’s Fahrenheit) to make the lessons pleasant. The pool’s water quality must be well balanced and checked on a regular basis.
Lessons Include Water Safety
Learning various swim strokes is important, but so is learning about water safety. A good swim school teaches students how to be safe in and around the water. The Canadian Red Cross’ Swim Program integrates water safety into its lessons, at all age and skill levels.
Flexible Teaching Style
Every child is different and learns in a different way. That’s why it’s important to choose a swim instructor that is flexible in their teaching style. By respecting student differences, each child can learn at their own pace while keeping safe and having a positive experience.
Learning to swim is supposed to be fun. Look for an instructor who uses positive reinforcements and keeps things fun during lessons. Children learn best when they feel at ease with the instructor without fear of being criticized or belittled for their efforts. An instructor with a positive attitude is key to making sure your child learns to the best of his or her ability, and wants to participate in the lessons.
Understanding how to choose a swim school is easier once you know which key points to look out for. In order to get the most out of your child’s lessons, choose an experienced, qualified instructor at a well maintained pool. Then let the learning, and the fun begin!