- What should I bring to swim class?
- What if my child cries or is afraid?
- What is the best age to begin lessons?
- What is the breath control all about?
- How long will it take my child to learn how to swim?
- When will my child be ‘drown-proofed’?
- What is a deck manager?
- How do I contact my child’s teacher?
- What kind of training and certification do your instructors have?
- My child has hit a plateau, what can I do to help?
- Why doesn’t MSS use flotation devices?
- Does MSS hold lessons in bad weather?
1. What should I bring to swim class?
This class is designed for a parent and their child.
At this young age it is a great opportunity to introduce your baby to the joy and fun of the water. Through exploration and age appropriate games, your child will learn about buoyancy and beginning breath control.
Each activity is geared toward specific learning processes. We use interaction with others in an enjoyable learning atmosphere that utilizes play, creative expressions, self-discovery and independent thinking to achieve the goals of the lesson.
This fun, structured class facilitates the learning process through movement, sound, visual and tactile stimulation.
2. What if my child cries or is afraid?
Being afraid of the water is not uncommon in younger beginners, but the instructor will compassionately help your child adjust to the water through games and basic skills such as blowing bubbles, songs, and games. With time, your child will be happy and successful in the water. Please be patient and allow the instructors and staff to work their magic with your child. We will gladly work your child into the water and swimming happily in no time!
3. What is the best age to begin lessons?
This depends on why you are taking lessons. There are so many benefits from swimming with infants that include a healthier immune system, development of curiosity, independence, skin to skin contact with caregiver for nurturing and it stimulates coordination and balance. Where else can an infant get such great exercise?
Since drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death in children under the age of three, getting an early start will help in the barriers of protection, including fencing your pool, locking the doors that lead to the pool, and learning CPR.
4. What is the breath control all about?
Breath control is vital to, buoyancy, balance and building lung capacity. By teaching children to hold their breath using “Chipmunk Cheeks”, they can stay submerged for longer periods of time. Exhaling underwater as the child resurfaces prevents water from entering the nose and sinuses.
5. How long will it take my child to learn how to swim?
This has so many variables, such as the age of the child, the comfort of your child in the water, whether your child is in group, private or semi-private lessons and whether your child has been or will be exposed to a traumatic event in the water. Each child is different and has a different learning curve.
The answer to this question is dependent upon the definition of “how to swim”. Most of our families stay with us until their child earns the Gold level, but some choose to leave sooner, before learning the strokes. Regardless of what the final goal may be, every child learns at his or her own pace, thus it is impossible to determine how long it will take a given child to graduate each level.
6. When will my child be ‘drown-proofed’?
MSS believes that there is no such thing as being “Drown-Proofed”. We teach our students how to love and respect the water, and that they can never swim alone. In fact, adults should never swim alone either!
7. What is a deck manager?
Please check in with the deck manager as you come in for attendance and then again after you dry off before you leave. The deck manager will then, have a special hand stamp for you at that time, for the swimtastic day of learning! A Deck Manager is the staff member who oversees classes on any given shift. They are a wonderful resource if you have questions about your child’s progress, and can serve as a liaison for your child’s teacher. We encourage you to speak with the Deck Manager at anytime.
8. How do I contact my child’s teacher?
We have designated days that the instructors will invite the parents to the side of the deck for a parent talk and demonstrate with the children the specifics that each child is working on. All conversation is given in a constructive positive manner. If you have special concerns a phone call to the office would be most appropriate, so as to keep you child in the most positive mind set toward the swimming experience.
9. What kind of training and certification do your instructors have?
Our family of instructors have the maturity to endure 100 or more hours of initial training consisting of manuals, video training, written tests, oral quizzes and on the job training with seasoned instructors. Out team also receive monthly in-service training and are required to complete certification for CPR and First Aid.
Tamara Chitty-Marlin has been the past chair of the US Swim School Association’s Certification Committee and has over 30 years experience in teaching swim lessons to all ages. She developed, trains and oversees our certification program.
10. My child has hit a plateau, what can I do to help?
Plateaus are common, especially when a child faces a hurdle that is especially difficult for them (i.e. learning strokes, integrating breathing etc.). Our teachers are sensitive to these issues and are trained to motivate and guide swimmers though these peaks and valleys. As a parent, keeping the line of communication with your child’s teacher open is crucial to overcoming these plateaus. The Deck Supervisor is also a great resource.
11. Why doesn’t MSS use flotation devices?
We believe that floatation devices give children and parents a false sense of security. We want our children to feel the water and how it effects and moves their body. The floatation devices tend to make the child swim in a more vertical body position and do not allow the child to discover their own body’s buoyancy. In swimming, you want your body to be in a more horizontal or streamline position so that you can move through water more easily.
12. Does MSS hold lessons in bad weather?
We hold lessons rain or shine. We only suspend lessons temporarily during the event of lightning, and resume after lightning passes. Call the swim school as lessons may only be cancelled for part of the day and resume after lightning passes.