WHAT IS EARLY LEARNING SWIM ACADEMY?
Early Learning Swim Academy uses the tried and true baby swimming techniques trademarked as PediaSwim®. This baby swimming lesson approach begins your baby or young child’s swimming education with emphasis on survival floating and swimming independently. This all begins with the baby survival swimming or swim-float-swim techniques you have most likely heard about from friends, seen online or in videos, or perhaps witnessed in person. People are often shocked when they see this for the first time, but the fact that young babies can learn to swim at such a young age is becoming common knowledge and the word continues to spread. Early Learning Swim Academy is extremely proud to be a part of this movement and currently offers baby swimming lessons in Cocoa, FL and Port Saint John, FL.
The right start is very important to ensuring that students learn to engage the pool or aquatic environment in a safe and effective way.
WHAT IS PEDIASWIM?
PediaSwim is a comprehensive swimming program teaching infants and toddlers to swim-float-swim for fun and safety. In four to six weeks children learn to swim facedown, kicking in the correct posture and then rolling to a calm float, then flipping back over to a propulsive swim.
There are lots of swim programs to choose from. PediaSwim is the only choice for the discriminating individual who wants the best for their children.
offers the gentlest, most effective lessons available teaching infants and toddlers to swim and float independently for fun and safety.
WHAT DOES EVERY INFANT LEARN?
Each infant learns buoyancy and balance in both a face down and face up posture. Once the child can demonstrate the swim-float-swim sequence comfortably, they can progress on to our cutting edge system for learning strokes. The core strength and self-discipline attained through swim-float-swim moves fluidly into freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly for our two and three year olds. Our four and five year olds become confident and poised competitors.
WHAT WILL MY CHILD LEARN IN THE FIRST FOUR TO SIX WEEKS?
Babies six to twelve months will learn to swim and roll to a float. Floating helps them to relax and breathe, developmentally they are not capable of turning their heads to breathe so this is the next possible option. Every child is different and babies will learn to swim at their own pace. Along with floating, babies will quickly learn to kick themselves a short distance especially towards a target (i.e. step, wall, parent, etc)
The next progression is the baby swimming swim-float-swim sequence. Thus, a baby will swim until they need a breath of air, roll to their back for a short period to breathe and rest, then roll onto their front to continue swimming and repeating the pattern until they get to their destination.
During your baby or young child's last week of lessons we will do a "clothes check" which will have your child performing their swimming skills fully clothed as if they fell in the water in a swimming accident situation.
HOW VALUABLE ARE BABY SWIMMING SURVIVAL SKILLS?
The ability to float and breathe, regardless of the water's depth, for an indefinite period of time. Children are naturally drawn to lakes, ponds, rivers, canals, beaches, and pools. It only takes a second for an accident to occur no matter how careful a parent supervises their child.
If your child falls into the water knowing how to roll onto their back face-up it can save their life!
The skills learned in our baby swimming lesson classes have far reaching effects on our students and their families. Our parents report that their babies and children become more self-disciplined, independent, and confident in their daily lives. Many studies suggest "Children in swimming schools appear to be more advanced in terms of their development."
WHAT IF MY BABY CRIES WHILE LEARNING TO SWIM?
Usually babies learning to swim will cry during their initial baby swimming lessons or when they first get into the water. We strive to minimize this by making the baby learning to swim comfortable keeping the water warm at all times and by providing toys to ease their apprehension and take their mind off of the work they know that they have to do during their lesson. Crying is often the baby learning to swim’s first reaction but do not be alarmed by this and know that they do not usually have any other way of communicating with us. Most often very quickly, once your baby learning to swim realizes that they have mastered a skill they tend to become very comfortable in the water.
This is most likely the first time in your baby’s life that they are being taught something they can't "practice" throughout each day (i.e. sitting up, walking, eating on their own, etc). Your baby’s swimming skills will be a great addition to this list! Also as a parent on the sidelines it’s important for you to be excited for them but to also just sit back and watch, whether that means talking to other parents or clapping for them when they achieve a skill, this is a time for your baby to connect with others and know that all of their hard work is paying off and that you are proud of them (just signing your child up is a huge step for you as parents, so congratulations!) Please do not start your child in this program unless you fully intend on completing it. If you end your child's lessons early in the program one of the first things your child will remember about the water is the lack of self-confidence in and around water. We have worked with many children who have a fear of water and do not want to put them in a situation that they could be pulled out of. Please make sure you understand these details of the baby swimming program before you register.
WHY JUST TEN TO FIFTEEN (10 to 15) MINUTES?
Studies have proven that ten to fifteen minutes is the average attention span for a young child and thus a baby learning to swim. Repetition is the key to your baby learning the swimming skills needed and they will be swimming non-stop which means they will also tire quicker. By the end of four to five weeks (depending on where your baby is developmentally) they will be able to swim-float-swim fully clothed.
So it is very important for parents to arrive with their babies learning to swim at least 10 minutes before your scheduled time slot to get your child ready without having to rush. This also allows you to make certain your baby doesn’t need to be changed or use the restroom.
WHAT DO WE BRING TO BABY SWIMMING LESSONS?
Please bring at least two towels and a change of clothes. When your baby’s swimming lesson is done, they will normally be a bit tired and laying on a towel will help them to relax before getting dried off and changed. Children that are NOT potty trained should wear a snug reusable swim diaper, please visit Diapers.com or iPlay; you may also find some that are built into the swim suit.
WHY ARE LESSONS FOUR DAYS A WEEK?
Just as babies learn to crawl and walk by 1) practicing the skill, 2) taking time off for the brain and nervous system to register the trial-and-error information acquired, and then 3) trying again with the appropriate adjustments, that's how your child will learn his swimming and floating. Short but frequent lessons is the key. That's how babies are wired to learn.
DON’T BABIES JUST NATURALLY SWIM?
Babies might kick in the water, which in video footage looks like swimming, but staying face down won't get the child air. He has to be taught to roll over into a float, which does not happen instinctively.
WHY DON’T YOU JUST TEACH THE CHILD TO SWIM TO THE SIDE OF THE POOL?
For two reasons. First, what if the child can't get to the side before running out of air? What does he or she do then? Our children roll over, breathe, then flip back to comfortably continue their swim. No panicked dog-paddling. Second, by keeping the head in line with the spine rather than popping the head out of the water to get air, we're setting the child up with proper form for learning his swimming strokes later on.
DO YOU DO MOMMY AND ME CLASSES, SING SONGS AND PLAY GAMES?
No. We teach the skills right away. That way your child is safe and confident sooner. The parent will be invited to join in a lesson as their child’s skills advance. That's not to say we don't have fun along the way! Toys are offered as a way to make your child feel at ease during the lessons and to give the child a break in between skill sets being taught.
DO YOU JUST THROW THE CHILD INTO THE WATER?
No. The child with be introduced into the water, the side of the wall, and to the instructor in a very controlled manner in order to gain trust and build a relationship between the child and the instructor. It’s never a good idea to “throw a child” into the water. This can cause a child to become fearful of the waters when they encountered this type of experience.
WHAT MAKES YOUR PROGRAM DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SWIM SCHOOLS?
We don't require you to sign up for a succession of programs in order for your child to learn to swim. From week one your child will begin to learn:
to swim and float, not merely turn and grab the pool's edge
to rise to the water's surface automatically if he or she falls in. Every time. Even fully clothed.
The Instructor will see what your child's skills are on Day One and will teach him what he needs from that point on. That's the beauty of having private lessons.
HOW MUCH DO LESSONS COST?
Lessons are $75 a week, and there is a one-time administration fee of $35. You can expect your child to be in four-days-a-week lessons for about six to eight weeks.
ISN'T THAT EXPENSIVE?
NO. Unlike many other swim lesson programs, your child is receiving private water survival and swim training. The price you pay for lessons will impact your child and family for the rest of their lives. Unlike a toy, a video game or new outfit, swimming is a skill set that a child, once they have, will have and use the rest of their life. This allows them to fully enjoy the water as a participant rather than a bystander. The initial investment will go a long way toward ensuring your child's safety, as well as increasing your family's water enjoyment and fun factor. We believe this investment in your child is worth it and are certain that you'll agree.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO PREPARE FOR A LESSON?
1. Each child will need two large towels--one to lie on and one for drying and a change of clothes. When your baby’s swimming lesson is finished, they will normally be a bit tired and laying on a towel will help them to relax before getting dried off and changed.
2. Please arrive 5-7 minutes before your scheduled lesson. This allows time for changing the child and to ask any questions you might have. This also allows time to go over the child’s physical and mental well being each day: how is the child feeling, how they slept, are they teething, etc.
3. Children who are not yet completely potty trained must wear a cloth REUSABLE swim diaper in the pool. NO DISPOSABLE diaper- No exceptions. This is a Health Dept. regulation. The purpose of the swim diaper is to keep (in the event of a poopy accident) fecal matter contained within the diaper so the pool water does not become contaminated. Please have a spare swim diaper with you to prepare for such an incident. This will ensure that your child could continue with minimal interruption to the lesson if an incident occurs.
Swim diapers are available for purchase on site or through our website for $12 each. Price includes tax. If you choose to buy a swim diaper from a store, make sure that the leg elastic is tight around your child's thighs.
4. Your child should not have anything to eat at least two hours prior to their lesson.
DO NOT allow whole fruit, especially with a skin (such as certain berries like blueberries, strawberries, grapes, sometimes apples, pineapple, tangerines, celery, hot dogs, or anything else your child may not be able to easily digest).
Recommended: rice, applesauce, toast, crackers, cheerios, rice dream, water. Avoid other foods that take time to digest and all other MILK products for several hours. Babies do not chew; they just swallow, so any food that is in the tummy may come up with a very strong burp. Your child may eat anything immediately after his lesson. Children swallow lots of air in the learning process so we want to avoid spitting up in the pool.
5. A baby or child who's had diarrhea must wait 24 hours before resuming lessons.
6. Please check with your child to see if they need to use the rest room before their lesson begins.
WHAT IF MY CHILD MISSES A LESSON DUE TO ILLNESS, VACATION, OR WEATHER?
Consistency regarding attendance is very important part of baby swimming lessons. Make-up baby swimming lessons will be made available based on time slot availability. If you know that you are going out of town for an extended period of time please plan accordingly. If your baby is going to be out sick you must text or call at least 3 hours prior to their lesson time each day they are out sick, it cannot be assumed that because your child was sick one day that they will be out for additional days.
If you know your child will be unable to attend at their scheduled time, 3 hours notice is required and if you would like another time slot on that day the instructor will do their best to reschedule them. If lessons are cancelled due to weather (thunder, lightning, too cold) the instructor will take care of contacting all parents for a makeup time/date. Please note that rain is not a reason for cancelling or missing a lesson, thunder and lightning are, but in Central Florida it could be storming at your current location but perfectly fine at the pool.
ARE THERE SPECIFIC RECOMMENDED EATING TIMES OR DIET PLANNED AROUND BABY SWIMMING LESSONS?
Yes. A good rule of thumb is not to feed your baby within two (2) hours of their baby swimming lesson. Many foods and milk products take several hours to digest. Exception: breast milk may be given an hour before but all babies learning to swim swallow air and possibly water during their lesson so following this guidance can help alleviate any vomiting that could occur during the baby swimming lessons. Vomiting and burping can happen during the baby swimming lesson but controlling the times and selection of feedings will help greatly.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MY BABY COMPLETES BASIC BABY SURVIVAL SWIM TRAINING?
It is encouraged that your baby learning to swim attend maintenance lessons once or twice a week to retain and build upon their baby swimming skills. This is especially important during the warmer months when your child may be swimming/playing differently than how they learned to swim. Having them attend maintenance swimming lessons once or twice per week encourages them to use, maintain and strengthen their newly learned baby swimming skills. Once your child is developed enough, they can progress to stroke lessons.For babies learning to swim under two years old, it is especially important that they continue to attend regular baby swimming lessons as they will outgrow their skills much faster than an older child might. Your baby learning to swim grows so rapidly during the first few years and their center of gravity tends to shift which can affect their ability to float comfortably.
DURING THE LESSON
Lessons are conducted one-on-one with the instructor, with the parent observing from the pool deck. Comfortable furniture is provided. For one lesson you'll be invited to join us in the pool. You'll be asked a day or two in advance, for that lesson.
When observing from the pool deck, parents and guests are asked to stay in the furniture area rather than hovering at the pool's edge. This minimizes distractions, and assists with your child's concentration.
Both during the lesson and at your time away from Early Learning Swim Academy with your child, it's important that you exhibit a positive attitude toward the swim lesson and learning process. I cannot stress this enough. Telling the child "it'll be over soon" and similar statements don't encourage his progress, and can in fact do quite the opposite. We don't want to add to any anxiety he or she may be feeling. Instead, phrases such as "you did so good today getting Miss Kim's hand!" and "I am so proud of you! I can't wait for Grandma to come watch you swim!" or "We're going to call Daddy, to tell him how awesome your float was today!" encourage them that they CAN achieve the skills, so that they WANT to do that for you and for everyone involved.
AS THE WEEKS PROGRESS
Beginning lessons typically take four to six weeks for children to complete. Children who have been using water wings or "floaties" usually take a little longer.
After children have completed their beginning lessons they can continue coming twice a week the next week, then once weekly for two additional weeks, so they're not stopping abruptly (going from five days a week to none). This allows you to bring to the staff's attention any questions you've encountered at home so we can give you pointers, as well as allowing us to tighten up any trouble spots that might be creeping in. After that, we offer maintenance lessons year round.
We strongly encourage parents to continue bringing their children a minimum of once a month to maintain their skills. While muscle memory plays a big role in what your child is learning, retention is not 100%. If it were, our athletes wouldn't have to attend spring training after having won the championship the previous season. If your child falls into water during the winter, you want the assurance that his skills are still sharp.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Your child is learning to survive in the water and eventually how to efficiently swim. This is unlike many other “water familiarity swim lessons”. Your child will be working hard throughout their lesson and will be tired once they're finished.
Your child will spend a good amount of time with their faces in the water.
Your child might/will burp throughout the lesson, food and water might come up along with the swallowed air
Your child will cry, because until now the Pool = Fun, and now Pool = Work. They are also in a new environment learning new things with a new person all while being within sight of mom or dad. Remember crying is one of a child's only forms of communication at an early age. As your child gains more confidence and independence in the water, crying during lessons will slow down. Most children seem to cry more when they are made to float, as this can be a very awkward feeling at first. Some children also cry more when parents are in the child’s vision so we can tailor the lessons to make it most comfortable for you and your child. The child may also cry when on the way to lessons, this is also quite normal and comes with the apprehension that comes with learning something new and working hard to achieve beneficial results.
A child never becomes "drown proof." ALWAYS supervise your child around the water.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE FOR LESSONS
Prepare your child for their lesson by making sure they use the bathroom if needed and getting them dressed for swim.
Please, no sunscreen lotions or oils on your child before their lesson. It makes them slippery and hard to grasp in the water. After that ten minutes you are welcome to apply lotion.
Please keep shoes on your child when they are not in the water. The pool deck can get hot and/or slippery.
No smoking on the pool deck or in the yard.
Other children who are not swimming must be supervised by an adult at all times
Although we do our best to stay on schedule , we may be running late or early depending on the arrival of each student . Please note that arriving late to a lesson will have a direct impact on your child's lesson and may result in missing a lesson for that day. Please be courteous to the following student by arrive a few minutes early to prepare for your child's lesson.
Don't hesitate to contact us with any additional questions and/or to discuss scheduling your children's lessons.