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10 Questions To Ask When Choosing Swimming Lessons For Kids

October 9, 2020

There are a lot of choices when it comes to finding the right swim instruction for your child. You’ve got a local city pool, private schools, and maybe even an HOA-managed pool in your neighborhood. So how do you choose the best swimming lessons for your kid? Here are the top 10 questions you should ask before signing up the children for lessons (and Emler’s answers to all of them).

  1. What kind of training and/or certifications do your instructors have? Are they required to pass a background check?

Emler Swim School instructors are required to complete an intense 16-hour training program that includes classroom and in-water training, plus 40 hours alongside a veteran teacher in swim classes for mentorship and hands-on coaching prior to being assigned their own classes. For those instructors who are teaching the Waterbabies classes, an additional 15 hours of classroom and in-water training is required.

Practicing Emler’s Emergency Action Plan is scheduled for all shifts, and teachers participate in weekly meetings and workshops where safety and teaching techniques are re-taught and finetuned. In addition, all Emler Swim School employees are required to pass stringent background checks for the safety of the children, swim families and coworkers.

  1. How many students are in each class?

At Emler the class sizes are kept small: only four students per teacher for most classes, and six students per teacher for classes in which parents stay in the water with their little ones. We do our best to keep students or student-caretaker pairs spaced out, as well as keep empty lanes between each class. These small class sizes also ensure that your child is getting individualized attention, which empowers their teacher to truly understand their skills, personality and learning styles.

We also offer one-on-one private lessons, parent-and-child classes with the instructor on the pool deck, and parent-and-child private lessons with the instructor on the pool deck so everyone can find a swim lesson type they’re comfortable with during the pandemic.

  1. Is there a specific goal for my child’s class?

Having a specific goal can help illuminate your child’s progress to make sure they are learning the necessary skills. At Emler, specific goals are set for each of our 20 different class levels. This allows the parents to know exactly which skills their children should be able to demonstrate by the end of the semester.

  1. Will I get regular updates on my child’s progress?

Communication is encouraged at Emler. Teachers and deck managers overseeing the lessons are specifically evaluating each child every 4-6 weeks. Teachers typically call parents regularly during the semester to give updates on student progress and to answer any questions.

  1. Will my child have the same teacher for every class?

Yes, Emler strives to provide consistency for your child. When you commit to a class, our teachers commit to your student. Your child’s teacher will be there for every lesson (barring occasional sick days or preplanned vacation time). Not only does the instructor enjoy seeing your student every class, it is an important element in the swim lesson curriculum for the teacher to bond with the student. The pandemic has made this more challenging. However, we still strive for students to have the same instructor. ( I would argue it’s been better during the pandemic because we have our top of the pile teachers who want as many hours as possible)

  1. When will my child be able to swim?

At Emler, 99% of all students learn to swim alone the first semester they are enrolled! The award-winning SwimScript curriculum, along with the nurturing, professional teachers, account for such a high success rate. The watchful eye of an Emler Manager also helps identify and assist little fishies who struggle to reach their swim level goals.

  1. What happens if my child doesn’t learn to swim? Are your lessons guaranteed?

Emler is the only swim school around with a 100% swimmer guarantee. With more than 45 years of experience, we believe that every child can learn to swim, not just the athletic or brave ones. Emler Swim School guarantees that all students will accomplish the end goal of their class level.

  1. Does the program teach water survival skills as well as basic swimming skills?

Emler not only teaches your child to love swimming, they also teach them how to respond in a water safety emergency. This might be one of the most important questions to consider when choosing swimming lessons for kids. Students are taught a technique called Jump, Turn, and Swim, which educates them to return to where they entered the water. Back floating is also introduced and practiced. Older class levels include special training that introduces life jacket and boat safety. The end of the semester is highlighted by “Clothesline Day,” when children recover from a simulated fall into the water while wearing street clothes.

We know there is more than one way to teach a child to swim. However, we don’t endorse techniques that include letting go of babies on top of the water and allowing them to sink underwater if they don’t lie still.

  1. Will I be able to watch the swimming lessons?

You absolutely can, and at Emler, we encourage parents to be front and center to see their child develop a lifelong love for swimming. Each of our facilities have seating in our observation rooms and parents are welcome to stand on deck near class if they stay physically distanced from other parents. Because safety is our top priority, we ask that parents always remain at the facility during their child’s lesson and keep an eye on the pool while physically distancing from other parents and staff. All our chairs are spaced 6 feet apart and we require all adults to wear face coverings when they are not in the water. To limit the number of people in the facility, currently only one caretaker may accompany a student at a time, with the exception of our Texas locations, where two caretakers may come with a student.

  1. How do you keep the water warm, clean, and safe for my child?

Emler pools are heated to 90 degrees year-round, and the air temperature within the pool area is always at a comfortable temperature. We also invest in the highest-quality UV water purification systems to keep the water in our pools crystal clear and pure.

When water is pumped through our UV system, ultraviolet light rays kill dangerous germs and inactivate viruses. Our pools are also monitored continuously. However, in case our equipment malfunctions, we also test our pool water manually. Thanks to our advanced UV water purification and frequent water testing, our pools require much less chlorine, reducing the amount of chemical residue and toxic byproducts.

Bonus: How are you minimizing the risk to COVID-19?

Again, health and safety are our TOP priority, so our swimming lessons for kids are safe for everyone! Emler is following all local, state and federal instructions to keep our facilities safe. We are using CDC-recommended disinfecting products to clean the facilities every 30 minutes. We are also requiring face masks or coverings for all adults (except instructors who are using face shields while in the water). We are also limiting the number of people in the building. We take staff members’ temperatures within 5 minutes of the start of employees’ shifts and send staff home if they exhibit any symptoms at all. No employee with a fever will ever be allowed in the building.

Plus, every Emler facility has a cutting-edge air filtration system that pulls in fresh air 8 times an hour to completely replace the indoor air with fresh, outdoor air. You can read more on our Health & Safety Protocols page