One of the goals that my husband and I wanted to accomplish this year was to get our two sons (ages 6 and 3) more comfortable in the water, with the end goal being that they would learn how to swim. Until recently, this seemed like a huge, insurmountable task. Up until a couple of months ago, our oldest was afraid of getting into water above his legs. And getting water in his face? Forget about it! There were tears … lots of tears. Our youngest wasn’t afraid of water, but he just had no interest in swimming or getting into a pool.
We knew that if we wanted to teach the boys to swim ourselves, we would need lots of patience, time and access to a pool. Fortunately, we had access to our neighborhood pool, but it was only open during the summer, and it was bitterly cold even on the hottest days. Patience and time … those were becoming a rare commodity. So, what are two frustrated parents to do? The answer for us was to visit the experts at Goldfish Swim School.
Goldfish Swim School offers perpetual swim lessons, which means that kids can take lessons year-round. This was perfect for us, because we could jump into a class as soon as it was convenient for our schedule, which happened to be the same week that I called to enroll. It also means that, once we get into the swing (or swim) of things, my kids can continue to take lessons indefinitely and their swim skills will stay sharp all year, and not just during pool season.
As soon as we stepped into Goldfish Swim School, I knew we were where we needed to be. The environment was inviting, there were fun decorations everywhere, there was a nook for kids to read books or color on some coloring pages while they wait, and everything was run very smoothly. I could tell that my oldest was digging the place too, because he said, “I’m so excited for my swim lesson!” I tried not to show the shock and amazement that I was feeling. He was excited to go swimming? This was a pleasant surprise!
My youngest son’s swim lesson was first, and we all got a kick out of watching him do his first swim lesson. He was grouped with three other kids around his own age. Goldfish Swim School has a 4:1 kid-to-instructor ratio, and I appreciated the small class sizes because the instructors are able to pay special attention to each kid, and yet the kids are also able to socialize and learn from each other.
During the lesson, the kids sang songs, blew bubbles in the water and were introduced to basic swim techniques. The water is a warm 90 degrees, so it was nice, relaxing and “like a bath,” according to my youngest son.
After my youngest was done with his lesson, we received a one-on-one meeting with the instructor to go over what he learned that day. My son also got a ribbon for a job well done. (And you can bet he wore that ribbon around the house for hours after we got home!)
Next up was my oldest son’s lesson, and I was on pins and needles wondering how he was going to react. Would he balk at putting on goggles? Would he cry when he (inevitably) got water in his face or got splashed by another student? But you know what? He did great! In part, it was because of the patient instructors who helped him during his lesson. My son got in the water, kicked his legs and paddled with his peers. Because my son was in the beginning class for his age group, he pretty much did the same things that his younger brother did, just with kids his own age. When we met with his instructor after the lesson, she went over what he learned, what his strengths were and what they would be working on at the next lesson. My oldest son was wet from head to toe and smiling the whole time.
Afterward, both of my sons said they had a great time and asked when we would be coming back. Yes! Those words were music to my ears. My plan for teaching my kids to swim was working … it just required bringing in the experts.
Goldfish Swim School is located in Carmel at 271 Merchants Square Drive, Suite A-110; Phone: 317-810-0790. It is also located in Fishers at 11581 Geist Pavilion Drive, Suite 114; Phone: 317-810-0790. For more information or to register for classes, visit goldfishswimschool.com
Nicole Sipe is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis. A Southern California native, she enjoys exploring Indy with her husband and two sons.