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Children's swim lessons: more than just price
by Russ Riggs
May 18, 2005 | 493 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DAVIS COUNTY -- The weather in Davis County is finally looking like spring, and area pools are beginning to open up. Parents are now looking for a place where their children can take swim lessons, but not so fast. Bountiful's Mary Landen owns, operates and teaches the South County Swim School, and she says there's much more to finding the right spot for your child than low price. In fact, she's compiled a list of 11 things to look for when selecting a place for your child to learn how to swim.

1. Get references. Obtain references from people whom you trust--neighbors, relatives and church members.

More than likely, several of your closest acquaintances have had their children enrolled in swim school somewhere in the county.

2. Facilities: How is the condition of the pool, and is it well kept?

Make sure the pool and water are clean and sanitary. Also, the water temperature should be between 87-92 degrees, and can even be verified with your own thermometer.

"When the children are comfortable, they're able to learn more," Landen said.

3. Instructors: What do you know about the swim instructor, and do they have a good reputation?

Instructors must be certified, and it's good to find one with maturity and experience.

4. Fundamentals: Are the basics being taught, such as water adjustment, breath control, float positions and smooth controlled stroke techniques.

5. Teaching philosophy: Is the teacher a fun one, or more like a drill sergeant?

Children, especially the youngest ones, respond better to fun and games than to a strict learning environment.

"They're sensitive and respond better to fun lessons," Landen said.

6. Classes: How large are the classes, and can your child get personal, one-on-one attention?

Also, how frequently are the classes taught, and how many lessons are being taught in the pool at the same time?

7. Awards and recognition: Are the children rewarded for accomplishments throughout the duration of classes, given positive reinforcement?

8. Parents: Are they allowed at the lessons so that the children can see them?

"The children need moral support," she stated.

9. Flexibility: Are they willing to work with your schedule or assemble a payment plan?

10. Placement: Do they offer enough classes so that your child can be put in the one that most suits his/her needs?

"They need to be in a group that's working on the same things that they are," she said.

11. Priority: Is their priority for returning and continuing students, and can they request the same teacher?

Following these simple guidelines will assure that you, and your child, get the most our of their swim lessons this upcoming summer.

rriggs@davisclipper.com
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