Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

Swimming is great exercise and is a confidence builder in children.  With the large number of homes around Porterville with backyard pools, I think learning how to swim is a must.  It gives me peace of mind knowing my child could get out if she fell (or was thrown) in a pool. 

My daughter is in her second week of swimming lessons at the City Pool in Murray Park.  Parks and Leisure offers four sessions of lessons throughout the summer.  Each session is two weeks long and consists of 30 minute lessons Monday-Friday.  There are two morning and two late afternoon options:  10:40-11:10am, 11:20-11:50am, 4:40-5:10pm, and 5:20-5:50pm.  It is an excellent value for the $30 session fee for your first child and $25 for siblings.  Sign up in person at the pool on Mondays or Fridays.  Call the pool for more information:  782-7543.

Swim teachers are young, energetic, and Red Cross certified.  Last summer my daughter adored one of her swim teachers and made great progress.  I can't wait to see what she'll be able to do at the end of this summer!

I do not have an opinion on all of the classes, but I wanted to give you a quick overview of what you might expect in a few of the classes for toddlers and preschoolers.  Parents do not always pay attention to the ages advised for the classes.  They are not usually strict on enforcing the age recommendations.  I have only enrolled my daughter in classes for her age and it has always worked out well. 

Water Babies (ages 1-3):  A parent joins the child in the water and there is not a lot of instruction.  If you have access to a pool, I would not bother with this class (unless you have children in other classes and this would be a time you could focus on the "baby").  It was helpful to "force" me to get in the water with my one year old on a daily basis.

Tiny Tots I (ages 3-5):  The child is in a wading pool type area (beach entry of larger pool).  The focus of this class is introducing the kids to water.  To pass this class, kids must put their face under water for 5 seconds.

Tiny Tots II (ages 3-5):  The child is still in a wading pool type area (beach entry of larger pool).  The kids still get a lot of playtime in this class, but it is a big jump from Tiny Tots I.  To pass this class, kids must:  put their face under water for 5 seconds, front float, back float, and glide. 

Guppies (ages 4+):  My daughter is here yet, hopefully next session.  The impression I get is that it is a more serious class focusing more on the mechanics of swimming. 

I know there are many other options for swimming in and around Porterville.  The Lindsay Aquatic Center offers lessons.  There are many opportunities for private lessons, if that would be a better fit for your child.  There are also swimming teams like Neptunites and Hurricanes which both start at age 4 and require the under 6 swimmers to "swim the entire length of the pool with their face in the water most of the time."  

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