Sunday, June 7, 2015

How long will this take?

Today's parent wants to know when something starts, how long it will take and when it will end. It's nice to have an idea of what to expect and what the end goal is when it comes to all things parenting. At La Petite Baleen, parents occasionally ask "how long until my kid can swim?" or "will my child EVER graduate the program?!?".  We're glad you asked!

The answer is different for every child. Big shock, I know...but it's true. Some children take to water much more easily than others, just like some children pick up learning a foreign language faster than others. The only difference is that every child must learn how to swim as a life skill, while learning to speak a foreign language is optional.

When to start? Yesterday!

Another piece of the puzzle is dependent on the goals and expectations of the parent. For example, do you want your child to learn basic safety skills, or do you want your child to learn all four competitive strokes? Here's a breakdown of our 4 levels at LPB as it pertains to parent goals and expectations:

Level 1: After graduating L1, your child can hold their breath for a short time, swim to the side of the pool and climb out. These are basic safety skills that can buy you seconds should your child ever fall in a body of water. When it comes to drowning and near drowning, seconds count in saving lives and long term brain damage.

What this means for parents: You still need to get in the water with your child and be within arms reach at all times.

Level 2: Graduates of L2 can swim without fins and breathe independently both on their tummies and their backs.

What this means for parents: You don't need to be in the water with your child, but you need to be watching, alert and prepared to jump in at all times.

Level 3: L3 graduates are strong swimmers and can safely swim in deep water. They have good endurance and can tread water for up to a minute.

What this means for parents: You can now sit on the lounge chair and relax, while keeping both eyes on your kids at all times (no phones, no kindles, no distractions).

Level 4: Gold Ribbon graduates can swim all 4 competitive strokes legally with good technical form. If they would like to join a swim team we recommend you wait until they earn at least their Freestyle and Backstroke mini-ribbons.

What this means for parents: LPB graduates are now primed and ready to explore options in the aquatic world. Swim team, water polo and synchronized swimming are all NCAA and Olympic sports. Opportunity for college scholarships at all divisions exist. LPB has produced thousands of high school and dozens of collegiate athletes. LPB is also the foundation for a career path in swim industry careers (life guarding, coaching, teaching, etc.). We employ many second and soon to be third generation employees (did we mention we're now accepting applications?).

Teacher Liesl competing at the Pan Pacific Games in Sydney Australia

So, depending on what your goals and expectations are for your child in swim lessons, you can be "done" at anytime. But remember, NOBODY is ever drown proofed or "water safe" (not even Michael Phelps!). On average, it takes about 3-5 years to complete all 4 levels at LPB...a commitment with life long lasting benefits.

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