Kaitlynn’s Korner

How Long Should My Child Be In Swim Lessons?

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is “How long will it take for my child to learn how to swim?” and it is a very difficult question to answer. Just like any major milestone in a child’s life – learning to walk, learning to talk, learning to read, learning to do long division – every child goes at their own pace and there are many factors contributing to the speed in which a child masters those skills.

It is not just that children learn at different paces, it is that the goal of each family in our program is different. Some families want their children to be safer, confident backyard swimmers. Others hope that their kids will someday join a competitive swim team. Reaching these goals means taking a slightly different journey through Evolution Swim Academy.

To be a confident backyard swimmer, we recommend completing the first four non-Parent & Me levels of our swim lesson curriculum: Starfish 1 through Starfish 4. The time is takes to master the skills in each level differs from child to child. A lot depends on how confident a child is in the water and how consistently he or she attends lessons. While some children progress much faster or slower, on average, most of our students spend 12-15 lessons in each swim level.

Our “Starfish” levels are considered our Safety classes. When a swimmer graduates from Starfish 4, they should be confident in swimming a very basic freestyle stroke and have the foundation to save themselves in a water incident.

Starfish 1 (Safety) teaches a swimmer how to roll onto his or her back float in a water incident.
Starfish 2 (Safety) teaches a swimmer to return to safety using the swim-float-swim method after a water incident occurs.
Starfish 3 (Safety) teaches a swimmer to use big arms while continuing to use the swim-float-swim method.
Starfish 4 (Safety) teaches a swimmer how to do side breathing, resulting in a basic freestyle stroke.

We always try to refrain from referring to a student as “water safe”, a term we hear quite frequently from families and other swim programs. After hearing tragic stories of competent adults drowning in freak accidents, it is hard to believe that any swimmer is truly water safe in all scenarios. Therefore, even when your swimmer graduates from all four of our safety levels, we never recommend that they are left unsupervised in or around a pool. You can never be too cautious around the water.

To be in Intro to Gators, our non-competitive, introductory swim team program, we recommend completing our Stroke Development level, Goldfish, as well as the first three levels in our Stroke Technique Category: Seahorse, Sea Lion and Stingray. Once a student completes these levels, he has a working knowledge of freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke.
Goldfish (Stroke Development) swimmers continue to improve their freestyle stroke. This level can be thought of as our intermediate freestyle class.
Seahorse (Stroke Technique) swimmers are now in our advanced freestyle class where they will perfect the freestyle stroke and learn to coordinate the timing of the breath, kick and arm stroke.
Sea Lion (Stroke Technique) swimmers will learn the basic fundamentals of the backstroke.
Stingray (Stroke Technique) swimmers will learn the basic fundamentals of the breaststroke.

To be Swim Team Ready, we recommend that swimmers are proficient in all four of the competitive swim strokes and have completed our final learning level, Dolphin. Once a student completes this level, he has gained a strong working knowledge of the butterfly stroke.

Dolphin (Stroke Technique) swimmers will learn the basic fundamentals of the butterfly

Regardless of your hopes and goals for your family, there is a place for your child here at our swim school or on our swim team. We hope that this article offered more insight into the progression of our learning levels and offered peace of mind that your swimmer is taking exactly how long he needs to master the skills required of his current class level.