This post is sponsored by Five Star Swim School.
The weather is getting warmer, pools are opening up, and beach days are on the horizon, which means swim season has arrived. Taking a dip in the water on a hot day can seem like a treat, but it can also be stressful for a parent and child who doesn’t know how to swim. Whether your child needs to learn how to exit a pool safely or do the backstroke, Five Star Swim School’s 3:1 student-to-teacher ratio, customized classes, and heated saltwater pools can help your child get there. We sat down with Beth Z, Senior Regional Manager at Five Star Swim School to talk about water safety and swim lessons, so parents and kids can have a summer filled with water fun. (Feature Photo Credit: Five Star Swim School)
What is the best age to start taking swim lessons?
We start teaching swim lessons to children as young as 6 months old. This is a great age to start because the child will get comfortable in the water and progress from there.
How does swim class help with water safety?
Some basic water safety skills include safely getting in and out of the water and understanding the aspects of the water, such as natural buoyancy and breath control. We teach water safety skills in our swim lessons, such as how to turn and swim back to a wall, roll over to float, and crabwalk down a wall or pool ledge to a safe exit point.
What can you expect when your child takes a Five Star Swim School swim class?
Our swim lessons are broken down by age and skill level, so the skills that would be taught are formulated to fit the needs of the students in the class. For a beginner, the class starts with breath control and blowing bubbles, attempting to put their face or head underwater. After they master one skill, the others progress and build off each other, adding in one we call glides, where students glide out, which is pushing off the steps or bench into the water with arms outstretched. We move on to adding scoops in with the glide. Scoops are the arm movements that will lead to freestyle. We don’t teach doggy paddles—we want the students to learn to effectively move their arms in a way that will propel them forward. Then we add in the rollover, which is learning to roll from front to back and stay afloat on their back for several seconds. Other skills we work on are kicks, elementary backstroke, underwater submersion, and jumping in. As the students move up in the skill levels, we add additional skills, and by level 5, they know all four strokes: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.
What sets Five Star Swim School apart from others? What is unique to your program?
The main thing that sets Five Star apart is our group class ratio. We have a 3:1 ratio which means no more than 3 students per instructor. This allows each student to get individualized attention while also learning amongst their peers. We also have heated saltwater pools to 90 degrees, making it much more comfortable to learn.
What training do your instructors have to undergo before teaching at a Five Star Swim School facility?
Our swim instructors, regardless of background, undergo the same instructor training. We have a variety of materials to teach the curriculum and levels, including videos, cards, and pamphlets. And then, they are trained by shadowing lead instructors and getting that hands-on knowledge. We also conduct staff training every few months and safety training sessions.
How would you encourage a child who is reluctant to get into the water and swim?
For a child who is reluctant to get in the water, the best thing to do is ease into it and be consistent. I recommend getting used to the water with a parent or caregiver before taking a swim lesson to eliminate some of the anxiety a child may feel about getting into the water for the first time. We have parent and child-style classes for children under 2.5. I always tell parents it’s ok and normal if their child cries. They will get used to it, and the best thing a parent can do is stick with it and be consistent—stopping it can send a message that it’s too scary, and that is how fear builds up over time. Look to our instructors for guidance since they know the right way to ease the child into the pool—after some time, they will learn to enjoy it.
Five Star Swim School
Locations in Cherry Hill, Deptford, East Brunswick, East Hanover, Eatontown, Edison, Galloway, Princeton, NJ, and Lehigh Valley, PA.
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