Private v's Group classes

One of the more common questions we come across is ‘do you provide private classes’ These days there is a misconception around the belief that children will learn to swim faster in a one on one environment. Whichever way you do decide to go with your child’s learn to swim it is important that you seek a qualified instructor and an environment that you and your child feel comfortable in. This article we hope will provide a bit of insight into private and group classes for learn to swim.

Private classes are great if your child has special needs and requires a different type of learning journey to other children or is unable to join a group for safety reasons. The private class in this case keeps the child, other children and the instructor safe for the duration of the class and allows the instructor to change the learning path and speed for the child when needed.

On the other side private class structure for nervous or a child who is an introvert can sometimes exacerbate feelings of nervousness or being uncomfortable as complete focus is on them all of the time. They are also unable to see others try so the journey to becoming comfortable in the water can take a little longer.

Children in private classes do not need to learn to wait their turn. Learning to wait around an aquatic environment is an important safety skill as this teaches children to know when it is ok to jump in or start swimming.

The waiting period for your child in a small group class should not be long but does give your child a chance to regroup and rest before they are expected to give it another go. Continuation of skills and muscle use over and over again in short periods can lead to muscle and mental fatigue given less than productive results.

Depending on the instructor for your child’s private class self-directed learning can sometimes come into play. If there are no peers to keep up with then sometimes the child is not pushed to gain skills a fast as they could.

When placing your child in a group class you should consider

  1. How many children in the class? Small groups are best
  2. Is the class age and swim ability appropriate for your child?
  3. Is the class moving for the duration of lesson time? Group classes should flow with minimal rest time for the children within the allotted time to ensure maximum swimming
  4. Do the instructors correct technique and give feedback to swimmers all of the time? Children should be corrected and given feedback each time they have a turn

Small group classes are great because children are very visual learners and this allows them to see other attempt what is required of them. For some children this will become important as seeing other children give it a go can give them the courage to try. It is really hard for a child to comprehend its ok when a grown up is telling them that it is, it is a much quicker learning path if they see other children attempt the given task. Also a visual from other students attempting the drill or doing the drill correctly can help their peers get it right.

In a group situation children are allowed to make friends and celebrate their achievements together. Receiving praise is always great but getting it in front of your peers or in a group situation is the best feeling in the world, the confidence boost that children gain from this is amazing.

They learn to share and converse with others and how to work as a team and in a group. Most of the time the children are in the class with the same children for months at a time so they get to make new friends and parents also have the chance to bond with other parents with children around the same age. I have seen many swim friend relationships blossom over the years.

Children in small group classes also learn to wait their turn. This is an important part of water safety, waiting and knowing when it is safe to swim. Children in small group classes are taught when to jump in or start swimming on cue.

To gain a fast progression for your child’s learn to swim it does not matter if your child learns in a small group or a private situation the secret to a quick progression is MORE water time. 30 minutes a week is great, but the more you allow your child to practice the quicker this progression will be. To speed up a child’s swim progression add more water time or extra lessons to their week!

Private or group classes either way if your child is learning to swim you are on a parenting win.