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Learning how to swim is an important life skill for all children and if you’re trying to figure out when, how and WHERE to sign your child up for swim classes, here are 8 things to consider when choosing a swim school.
It’s more than goggles, swimsuits and splashing around. Learning to swim is a lifelong skill that every child needs. In fact, the National Institutes of Health states, “Participation in formal swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children ages 1-4 years old.” That’s why the task of choosing a swim school is so important.
With warmer weather and a busy swimming season right around the corner, now’s the time that many families are shopping for swim lessons. With that in mind, here are eight quick tips to support you in your search before you start Googling “swimming lessons near me.”
- Safety: First and foremost, the priority of any swim school should be safety. Look for schools that focus on safety during lessons as well as throughout a child’s entire life. City or community pools may be fun and easy options for summer swimming classes, but these lessons often focus around simply getting to the edge of the pool. The goal of any swim school should be to teach children all the skills necessary to become safe and confident swimmers for life.
- Class Size: Learn what the instructor to student ratio is at each swim school. The smaller the class size, the more individual attention your child will receive. Class size is also important for social interaction. Swim lessons give children an opportunity to meet new friends and develop relationships. Need more individualized attention? Find out if the school offers private or semi-private lessons as well.
- Curriculum: Does the swim school offer curriculum specific to various ages and stages of development? How many levels of progression does their program contain? Do they have baby swim classes? Swimming classes for toddlers? Not all swim curriculum is created equally, and you’re looking for a program with proven methods that effectively teaches children of all ages and abilities how to remain safe in and around the water for a lifetime.
Instructors: Similar to traditional schooling, finding swim instructors who are certified and highly trained is important. The length and quality of this training matters, too. Additionally, if swim lessons are new for your child, having a swim coach who is inviting and enthusiastic are valuable traits to ward off any apprehension in the water.
- Flexibility: Life is busy with kids, multiple schedules and work, and coordinating calendars can become overwhelming at times. Before committing to a swim school, be sure they offer lessons that work within your schedule. Is there weekend availability? Evening hours? It’s also important to thoroughly understand their make-up lesson policy for those out-of-the-ordinary occurrences like traffic and impromptu naptimes.
- Experience: When shopping for a swim school, research their credibility in the swim instruction industry and check out online reviews to learn about the experience of others in your community. Technology is handy for such a time as this!
- Atmosphere: What is the vibe of the swim school? Are you treated like family and welcomed by name? Is the environment fun and friendly while still conducive to teaching children effectively? Children should look forward to swim lessons while learning in a positive, inviting atmosphere. Caretakers should also feel at home, confident in their child’s safety and able to relax while the swim instructors handle the rest.
- Locally Owned: We all love to support locally owned small businesses while leaning on the reputation of a brand we can trust! Finding a neighborhood swim school that is invested in their local community, committed to serving others and places a value on relationships are just few of the things that will set them apart.
We know there are a lot of options out there when it comes to choosing a swim school. That’s why Aqua-Tots Swim Schools has been trusted by parents to teach 2.9 million swim lessons in 14 countries every year. What began with one teenage lifeguard 30 years ago has evolved into 120 locally owned franchise locations and thousands of team members sharing that same passion for developing safe and confident swimmers.
Aqua-Tots offers flexible class schedules, make-up lessons, eight level Swim Journey, comfy viewing area, and year-round, indoor 90° pools are just a few of the things you can check out when you try your first swim class for FREE!
Aqua-Tots Swim Schools provides year-round swimming lessons for kids of all ages, including swim lessons for babies and toddlers. The world-renowned swimming instruction and “safety first, fun every second” approach features water safety certified swim instructors, a family-friendly environment, and state-of-the-art facility with a comfortable 90° pool.
- Auburn Hills – 750 Brown Rd., Auburn Hills, MI 48326
- Canton – 43335 Joy Road, Canton, MI 48187
- Dearborn – 24365 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, MI 48124
- Farmington Hills – 31221 W 14 Mile Rd., Farmington Hills, MI 48334
- Novi – 44225 W. 12 Mile Rd., Ste. 103, Novi, MI 48377
- Sterling Heights – 44891 Hayes Rd, Sterling Heights, MI 48313
- Troy – 846 E. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, MI 48083
- Woodhaven – 21621 Allen Rd., Woodhaven, MI 48183
About Carrie Budzinski
Carrie Budzinski is the Vice President of LittleGuide Detroit. She grew up in Livonia and Detroit and continues to live life in both cities. Carrie loves exploring the city and finding hidden gems in the suburbs..