Jan and Michelle at Little Otters have thought long and hard about the best way of teaching our pre-school age children. Several swim schools are adopting allowing
them to swim without a parent in the pool with them. Whilst this is an accomplishment, and makes parents very proud, we have a slightly different approach. We feel and believe that adult interaction in the pool until school age is of great value to the child.
We like to keep the parents with the child in the pool for several reasons:
To have parents in the water creates an enriched environment of security and safety allowing the child confidence to flourish.
One to one with parent provides constant attention and practice throughout the lesson.
Swimming at this age is about having fun, with a parent in the pool with them, they are still able to enjoy songs and other games and activities, regardless of what their swimming ability may be.
The parent can breakdown the information, to the right level for each child's needs, as each child is an individual when understanding instructions.
They can still have very big peaks and troughs in their confidence – for far too many different reasons to try to list (mostly not even swimming related)
The child gets the most rewarding praise and encouragement from their own parent in the moment of achievement.
They get more actual swim time, as certain activities can be done group, rather than waiting holding the rail or side whilst each class member does each activity, before the next can start.
Bonding with parent in water brings happiness and laughter.
By being involved together in the lessons, the parent is learning too and can
transfer the breakdown of skills to family swim time.
Learning to swim should always be a positive experience which will lead on to fun filled with experiences in and around water through life.
Written by Jan Phelps and Michelle McGeorge owners of Little Otters