Taking a Break: How Will it Impact My Child’s Skills?
WHY SHOULD WE CONTINUE SWIM LESSONS?
Practice is essential to sustain or build skill in swimming. At Oklahoma Swim Academy, our #1 goal is to ensure that each child passes their survival swim test and retains the skills they learned in order to self-rescue in case of an aquatic accident. However, in order to retain these lifesaving skills, they must practice them.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY CHILD’S SKILL IF WE TAKE A BREAK?
Every child is different and how they retain skill varies. Age and confidence play a major role in how well they will retain skill. If a child came in with fear or anxiety about the water, taking a break from lessons may lead to these feelings resurfacing. This is because they are not getting the constant reminder that they are great at swimming and they have a lot of fun with their teacher in the water. Their fear takes over and can make them misremember how much fun swim lessons were.
Age also plays a huge role in how well they retain skill. The younger they are the more likely they are to forget what they learned in swim lessons. This is solely because of where their brain is at developmentally. Older kids may remember some of what they had learned, but may not be able to perform their skills as well as before.
WHAT IS BEST FOR MY CHILD?
We highly encourage continuing swim lessons after your child has passed their survival swim test to ensure that they do not lose any skill. Some parents wish for their child to simply maintain their survival skill, giving peace of mind that they would always know what to do if they were to fall into the water unexpectedly. Others wish for their child to continue building on that skill into swim-float-swim and/or stroke development. This decision is entirely up to the parents and their ultimate goal for their child’s swim program. Typically to maintain skill a child needs to be coming to lessons at least once a week. To continue to build skill they would need to come a minimum of twice a week.
If you simply don’t have the time to do weekly lessons, then we would recommend doing drop-in lessons once a month at the very least. This allows the instructor to assess your child’s skill level to determine if they have any skill and/or confidence loss. They can then communicate with you on the next steps to ensure you child retains their skills and love for the water.
At OSA we want what is best for your child and their safety. Each child is unique in their own way and how well they retain their skill varies. There is not just one set answer as we know every developmental stage is different for every child. If you are considering dropping lessons be sure to communicate with your instructor so they can help guide you for what best suits your family’s needs.
Written by Meagan Rose, OSA Swim Instructor
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