When your child needs extra attention learning a new skill, like swimming, you may think that private lessons are the answer. After all, your child will get individual attention and won’t have to share the teacher with other swimmers, right?
Maybe. While some children are more adaptable, at Goldfish Swim School, we believe in the benefits of group vs. private lessons and we set our teacher to student ratio accordingly. It’s a balance and we find that parents agree: Group lessons are the way to go and offer many benefits over private lessons.
Take the Stewart family, for example. Jenell and Joel Stewart have two children in lessons – and they reacted to swimming in completely different ways. Joel, 6, was apprehensive and Elle, 4, dove right in.
Group lessons benefitted Joel especially. Joel needed time to warm up, and watching other children helped him. He also was able to overcome his fear and shifting the focus to other students took the pressure off – allowing him to work at his own pace.
“He’s one of those people who just can’t do water,” Jenell said. “Not even a small pool; he’d start freaking out if water got in his face, even in public pool in one foot of water.”
If you are considering enrolling your child in group lessons but are wondering if private lessons might give your little swimmer an advantage, rest assured that we already did the research for you. Here are three benefits of group lessons. Read on:
1. Break time
At Goldfish Swim School, each class size is limited to four kids. If a child is absent, that may mean there are only one or two other swimmers (or no one else) but never more than four total. For Jenell, that class size is just right, and that’s part of why she enrolled both her kids at the Garden City, NY location.
“I think the class size is really good,” Jenell said. “Anyone who thinks it’s too many, I would encourage them to be open-minded that the classroom structure is really good at giving the children a little bit of a break between each skill.”
For a child struggling to master a new skill or overcome fear, taking time to recoup during a swimming lesson is imperative – which is exactly what they get during a group lesson. The focus isn’t always specifically on the child, so he or she can have time to relax and not be overwhelmed with pressure to constantly perform their skills. Sometimes, more isn’t more – meaning more attention might hamper progress or put too much pressure on a child.
“Maybe the first full month was just him getting more comfortable, and him understanding that water in his face was a big thing,” Jenell said of Joel. “He needed to know ‘I am not going to drown.’ I think most people who are afraid of water, that’s what their fear is.”
Jenell said Joel realized two important things during his group swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School: One, that he was safe, and two, that the instructors didn’t leave him.
2. Learning from other kids
Jenell said that having other kids in the class for the group lesson is beneficial over private instruction, partly because he was able to watch what the other kids were doing. Many kids are observers and like to see others do something before diving in.
Joel didn’t like the water at all – not even in the shower, when water would splash in his face – and during swim lessons he was able to see other kids in the water unafraid.
The instructors at Goldfish Swim School use integrity, compassion and trust to help every kid become at ease in the water – and that’s what they did with Joel.
During the group swimming lesson, instructors take turns with each child. Therefore, Joel was able to watch the progress of the other kids and eventually wanted to be able to do what they were doing. He saw the different ways each child overcame their own fears, how they learned each new skill, and he was able to do the same in his own way – which he wouldn’t have been able to do in a private lesson, said Jenell.
3. FUN in the pool
Part of the way Goldfish Swim School provides extraordinary results is by using the Science of SwimPlay – that means kids are learning through guided play. What looks like play to a child is actually learning. Your child is having FUN while learning, meaning getting him or her to suit up for swim lessons will be a breeze.
Goldfish Swim School has created an inviting, safe place for kids to overcome their fears and learn to swim. And through the Science of SwimPlay, Goldfish Swim School works on teaching the serious stuff in a fun environment. Kids learn best through play – it’s their work!
Your child will tell you about the fun he or she had and you’ll see the progress when they earn ribbons and move up levels.
“I’m very happy with his progress,” Jenell said. “We went to the Goldfish Swim School in Farmingdale for their grand opening, where they had free open swim. I didn’t get in the water with them: They got in their life jackets, and Joel was OK getting in the water on his own.”
That in itself was a big switch for Joel – but what came next was something to celebrate!
“He went in the water and was playing on the side,” Jenell said. “Then, 20 minutes later he started swimming across the pool. It was really exciting to see that he was comfortable with that, and then that he applied the techniques he had learned.”
The group lesson model at Goldfish Swim School helped Joel get past his initial fears of the water by simply having fun in the pool – as opposed to having a private lesson where the focus was strictly on him making progress.
“I’m really impressed with his growth and proud of him and look forward to seeing how much better he gets over time,” Jenell said.
Sign up today
Whether your child loves the water or is a little intimidated by it, find a Goldfish Swim School location near you and sign up for swim lessons today! We teach babies as young as 4-months-old how to swim, and we work with all skill levels, including kids who have special needs (including ADHD). Our WOW! customer service is one of the reasons why Goldfish Swim School is a fin above the rest.