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How Often Should Your Child Take Swim Lessons in 2024?

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

It's no secret that kids love the water. Whether it's a pool, lake, or ocean, there's something about being in the water that just screams fun! As a parent, you want your child to have as much fun as possible while also staying safe. That's why swim lessons are so important. But how often should your child take them?



swim instructor teaching group lesson


The answer to that question depends on a few factors, including your child's age, ability, and interest. For very young children (ages 6 months to 3 years), experts recommend one 30-minute lesson per week. For older children (ages 3 to 5), two 30-minute lessons per week is ideal. And for kids aged 5 and up, one 45-60 minute lesson per week is usually sufficient. If you child is ready to take a swim lesson, sign them up with our swim school today.


Swimmer's Age


toddlers learning to float

Young Children


How often your child takes swimming lessons will most directly correlate with their age. For young children, it is generally advisable to take lessons on a weekly basis or even twice per week. This helps to ensure that they maintain a consistent level of progress and don't forget what they have learned.





boy in open water

Older Children


As children get older, they are able to retain information for longer periods of time, so they can typically start taking lessons every other week. However, if your older child is getting involved in club or competitive level swimming, they may need to swim more often.



swimmer starting a race

Competitive Swimmers


A swimmer on a competitive swim team needs to swim 5 times a week in order to maintain their fitness and improve their skill level. Swimming is a very physically demanding sport, which puts a lot of strain on the muscles and joints. In order to avoid injuries, it is important for swimmers to maintain their fitness by swimming regularly.


In addition, swimming 5 times a week gives swimmers the opportunity to practice different strokes and techniques. This allows them to fine-tune their technique and become more efficient swimmers. Ultimately, swimming 5 times a week is essential for competitive swimmers who want to stay healthy and improve their skills.


Ultimately, the best way to determine the frequency of swim lessons is to speak with the child's instructor and develop a plan that meets the child's individual needs.


toddler playing in the water in floaties

Swimming Ability


A child's swim ability is a strong determining factor of how often they should take swim lessons. If a child cannot yet swim on their own, it is important that they take swim lessons frequently in order to ensure their safety in and around water.


However, once a child has learned how to swim independently, they may only need to take lessons occasionally in order to maintain their skills. While swimming is a great activity for children of all ages, it is important to make sure that they are taking lessons at a frequency that is appropriate for their individual skill level. This will help to ensure that they remain safe while still enjoying the many benefits that swimming has to offer.


Time of Year



sunglasses on the beach

Summer


The time of year plays an important role in determining how often a child should take swim lessons. In the summer, when the weather is warm and there are more daylight hours available, children can attend swim lessons more frequently.





flowers

Spring


The spring months are also extremely important for young swimmers to prepare for the summer-fun swim season. You may want to start formal lessons multiple times per week during the spring to give them enough swim skills practice before summer. Spring is a good time for multiple lessons, especially at a young age, as it is important to learn water safety and swim skills before its too late.




snow on trees

Autumn/Winter


We can view the fall and winter months as maintenance months. Swimming should be seen as a year-round swim journey, where children learn life skills, engage with other kids and is a fun activity. Use the off-season as a time to reinforce muscle memory, practicing the skills learned over the summer such as back floats, treading water and good safety habits.


No matter the time of year, it is important get your child learning to swim. It doesn't make sense to wait for the summer to get your child swimming lessons, but the season can be a factor in determining how many swim lessons they take.


Private Lessons VS Group Lessons



swim instructor teaching girl to back float

Private Lessons


How many swimming lessons your child needs and how often they take swimming lessons can change based on whether they are taking private lessons or group lessons and how large the group is that they are taking swimming lessons with.


There are many benefits of private swim lessons for children.


First, private lessons provide customized instruction that is tailored to your child’s individual needs and abilities.


Second, private swim lessons provide one-on-one attention from a qualified instructor, which can help your child to learn more effectively and retain information better.


Third, private swim lessons often take place in a smaller group setting, which can provide a more intimate learning environment and make your child feel more comfortable and confident.


Finally, private swim lessons can be scheduled at a time that is convenient for you and your family, making it easy to fit into busy schedules.


In a private lesson, swimming instructors can give their full, undivided attention to one child without teaching other children at the same time. This also means your child learns 100% of the lesson. A downside to this might be that a young child gets fatigued faster due to no breaks. Swim instructors should recognize signs of fatigue and keep them within arm's reach at all times. The child's ability will greatly determine if a private lesson is right for them to learn to swim.



swim instructor teaching group lesson

Group Lessons


There are many benefits to enrolling your child in group swim lessons.


Firstly, they will be learning a vital life skill in a fun and supportive environment.


Secondly, they will have the opportunity to socialize and make new friends. Thirdly, group swim lessons provide a great workout for both the body and mind.


Finally, swimming in a group setting will allow your child to get appropriate rest time during the lesson, so that when it is their turn to swim they are fresh and can give it their all at perfecting the current skill they are learning.


Most children tend to enjoy swimming lessons in a group setting more. Group lessons cost less per session, which may give parents more flexibility to add more frequent sessions. Adult supervision is of great importance in group lessons as a child can slip under the water unexpectedly without warning. Good safety habits should be practiced by the swim instructor and a lifeguard should be on duty at all times.



money tree

How Much are You Willing to Spend


When it comes to swim lessons for your child, there is no magic number that will guarantee success. However, there are a few factors to consider that can help you determine how much to spend.


First, think about your child's age and level of experience. If your child is very young or has never had swim lessons before, you may want to choose a program that offers a lower rate for beginners. However, if your child is older and/or already has some experience swimming, you may be able to get by with a less expensive program.


Second, consider the reputation of the swim instructors. If you are considering a program with highly-trained and experienced instructors, you can expect to pay more upfront. However, this investment may pay off in the long run if your child progresses quickly and develops a love for swimming. Ultimately, the best way to determine how much to spend on swim lessons for your child is to weigh all of these factors and make the best decision for your family's needs and budget.


Conclusion


Of course, these are just general guidelines. If your child is struggling with a particular skill or seems to be losing interest in swim lessons, you may want to consider increasing the frequency of their lessons. Conversely, if your child is excelling and really enjoying their lessons, you may be able to back off a bit on the frequency without any negative effects.


Learning to swim should be a life-long journey! Teaching children to swim is such an important skill to learn, no matter the time of year, age or ability of the swimmer, private or group lessons. Get them started as soon as possible.


At the end of the day, there's no magic number when it comes to how often your child should take swim lessons. It really depends on their individual needs and abilities.


However, following the general guidelines outlined above is a good place to start. And if you have any concerns or questions about your child's progress, be sure to talk to their swim instructor. They'll be more than happy to help you ensure that your child is getting the most out of their lessons!


If you are ready to sign your child up for swim lessons, Levirey Swim School presented by Lifeguard LI is ready to help!


Frequently Asked Questions


How many swim lessons does a child need to become proficient?


The number of swim lessons required for a child to become proficient can vary widely. This depends on factors such as the child's age, physical abilities, comfort level with water, and the regularity of the lessons. On average, a child might need between 20 to 30 lessons to achieve proficiency. However, it's important to remember that regular practice and consistency are key to reinforcing skills and enhancing proficiency.


How long should a child take swimming lessons?


There's no specific time frame for how long a child should take swimming lessons. This usually depends on the child's individual needs, goals, and progress. Learning to swim can take months or even years to master fully. Some children may need a year of consistent lessons to swim independently, while others may need more or less time. Even after gaining basic swimming competency, continued lessons are beneficial for refining skills and reinforcing safety practices.


At what age should a child start swimming lessons?


Swim lessons can begin as early as 6 months old, with the focus primarily on fostering water confidence and teaching essential safety skills, rather than actual swimming. Formal swim lessons, where children start learning specific swim strokes and independent floating, usually start around the age of 3 to 5.


How often should a child take swimming lessons?


For very young children (ages 6 months to 3 years), experts recommend one 30-minute lesson per week. For older children (ages 3 to 5), two 30-minute lessons per week is ideal. And for children aged 5 and up, one 45-60 minute lesson per week is generally sufficient. This frequency, however, can vary based on the child's comfort level, skills, and rate of progress.


What is the difference between private and group swimming lessons for children?


In private lessons, children receive one-on-one instruction that is tailored to their individual needs, which can lead to quicker progress. Conversely, group lessons provide an opportunity for children to learn in a social, fun environment and are often more affordable. The choice between private and group lessons depends on the child's personality, learning style, and the family's budget.

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