Little Flippers believes in celebrating achievements every step of the way! We’ve carefully designed our ribbon system to shape behaviors through positive reinforcement. There are a variety of ribbons to achieve in each level and the skills are structured so that students’ progress in a logical order. Our ribbons are designed for kids to feel good about these achievements and to create an atmosphere of praise and accomplishment!
How long will it take them to learn?
That’s a difficult question to answer. It depends on several factors. Anticipate the learning to have peaks and valleys and consider the following:
- The student’s prior experience with swimming
- The level of apprehension and anxiety (stranger and separation anxieties)
- The level of comprehension (understanding the task and executing it)
- Too much exposure elsewhere (i.e. picking up undesirable habits)
- Expectations – what does the parent/adult want the student to get from the experience? Fun? Comfort? Water safety? Preparation for swim team?
Swim lessons are a commitment. Before signing up, you should be aware of that. Children will not learn to swim overnight, especially given the fact that they will only be learning and efficiently practicing for approximately 30 minutes per week. Some students learn more quickly than others, some retain their skills longer than others. If you are looking for a young child to be able to dive in, swim twenty feet, take a breath, float on their backs, etc. that will take time. Again, we do our best to maximize a student’s potential at each lesson. Our deck supervisors can give you a solid assessment and approximate determinations and time lines after working with your child.
Often, students struggle to learn to swim as they increase in age. Four or five-year-old children may experience more anxiety because they will mentally process their situation more comprehensively, whereas a younger child may tend to be more “carefree”. This is yet another reason why starting classes at any early age is beneficial.
Is it typical to be in the same level for several sessions?
Yes! We want the children to be confident swimmers and get the most out of their lessons. The instructors make individual assessments over the course of the class and will carefully make a recommendation for the next session based on what they saw. This is often done after consultation with the deck supervisor or manager as well. We do not want to promote a child too quickly only to have them be frustrated in a higher level. This is also an unsafe situation. If you need help placing your child in an appropriate level or have a question about the recommendation of an instructor, please see the deck supervisor.
What steps can I take to aid my child’s learning?
Reinforcement from parents and guardians is important! Ask your child what they learned and see if they have any skills they can practice at home like blowing bubbles in the bathtub, splashing water on their face, practicing how to move their arms, etc. Always remember to discuss pool and water safety as much as possible – never swim without a buddy or lifeguard, discuss how to get help in an emergency, and reach or throw, don’t go.