Fairview Park Recreation at the Gemini Center
What is a good age for kids to begin swimming lessons?
6 months old is often a good age to begin teaching kids
how to swim. As we continue to work with babies, we
see them learning water-safe skills and they are very well
prepared for classes without a parent by the time they
Do you offer swimming lessons for infants and babies?
Yes! We offer infant and toddler classes. The classes
are held with a parent/guardian in the water in a class –
supervised by an instructor. Days and times vary based on
demand and ability level requests.
Can parents stay and watch kid’s swimming lessons?
Absolutely! Parents are welcome to be in the pool area to
watch. You are then handy to:
• Assist your swimmer if they need to go to the restroom or
if they would have an accident.
• Be extra eyes watching the water.
• Applaud new skills achieved. Your applause means so
much to them.
However, it is never appropriate for a parent to become
overly involved in the lesson or to try to instruct. That’s
what you’ve hired us for, after all! We know that having you
close by gives your children a sense of security. Sometimes
for the very young, timid swimmer we will have the parent
come and sit by the edge of the pool with the child near
them. The child can watch the teacher interact with the
other students and see that this is a safe place. They will
quickly join in. Occasionally we will ask a parent to leave
the room if the child refuses to cooperate. This is usually
due to a strong will and only done when nothing else
works. 99% of the time, the child will cooperate when they
realize that they cannot control the situation! The parent
then comes back into the swim area and the child has fun
with their class!
How long will it take for my child to learn how to swim?
Every swimmer learns at a different rate. It will
• The level of fear
• The ability to trust the instructor
• The child’s individual personality. Some people have a
cautious personality and others jump into everything
without a thought!
• The amount of time the family goes swimming together.
• The way the body and coordination have matured. Some
can just get it and others need to practice over and over
and over again.
Our advice is to be patient with your swimmer and offer
lots of praise and encouragement.
When is my swimmer considered to be water safe?
Parents are often satisﬁ ed once their swimmer can jump
off of a diving board and get to the ladder. People need
more developed skills than that, however. There are so
many dangerous water scenarios and a person needs to be
able to swim using their head while conserving energy. This
only comes as they are able to swim with good, controlled
technique. The technique and endurance built through a
good swimming instruction program will accomplish this.
How do I know what level to sign up for?
Each level will have a description. You ﬁ nd the one that
best ﬁ ts what your swimmer is able to do. And if you have
questions, just ask us – we’ll be glad to help you assess
where your child is at. Additionally, if your child has taken
swimming lessons somewhere else, let us know what levels
they have achieved.
What level do I sign up for if I am registering for multiple
This can be tricky … some of it depends on the personality
of the swimmer, the number of times per week that you
are bringing them to lessons, and the age and physical
maturation of the swimmer. Don’t worry though – we can
always make adjustments if your swimmer does not progress
as you guessed. We will never hold a swimmer back from
learning new skills. Sometimes we can adequately challenge
them right in the level in which they are placed.
What is your swimming lesson make-up policy?
Make-up lessons will not be allowed unless classes are
cancelled due to pool breakdown or weather cancellation.
We will try to accommodate make-ups for illness as the
What if I have concerns about the way the lessons
We understand that you’re extremely interested in your
child’s success with swimming lessons. We are, too! Should
you ever have concerns, please address those concerns with us
immediately. We can help! In general, this can help, too:
• FIRST: Give us 2 lessons to fall into a routine and get the
group used to working together. During this time we will
evaluate each swimmer making sure that they are in the
correct placement. Sometimes we will need to move a
student. Most times we will be able to accommodate the
needs of each swimmer even though they may be in slightly
• SECOND: Communicate directly with your swimmer’s
instructor. Address them as you would want to be addressed.
The Sandwich Theory: Say something positive. Voice the
concern. Say something positive.
• THIRD: If you are not satisﬁ ed with the results, speak with the
lesson supervisor. They may be able to offer support that will
help your swimmer.
What kinds of supplies or equipment are used in
swim lessons? What is required?
Of course, you’ll want to be sure your swimmer has a
well-ﬁ tted swimsuit and a towel, along with anything you
typically bring along for swimming. Here are some speciﬁ c
notes on other items:
– Goggles: We use goggles for several reasons. Swimmers
are able to open their eyes and see. They are not learning
“blind.” They are able to focus on the skills and not have
water dripping in their eyes.
– Ear Plugs: If you don’t have an ear mold, a putty plug
is available at a pharmacy. To help them stay in, you can
purchase a headband or a swim cap at a swim shop or
sporting goods store. Some swimmers are just sensitive to
water going in the ears, especially during skills done on the
back. Ear plugs will often help with that.
– Swim Shirts (Often called rash guards) I recommend these
if your swimmer is easily chilled. Parents have found them at
sporting goods stores, and online at www.swimoutlet.com.
– Nose Plugs We prefer to teach swimmer how to keep
the water out of their nose without the use of these. With
a few tips, it is easy to do. In some instances swimmers will
wear nose plugs.
SWIMMING LESSONS 101