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Foire aux questions
Do you teach experienced swimmers or even adults?
Yes, we teach students at ALL levels. We teach many adults each summer, and many students who are preparing for swim team, lifeguarding, etc.
Do you come to our home or do we come to you?
It depends on location. Here's what you need to know: We don’t build expensive facilities in hopes that you’ll take lessons for years in order to pay for those facilities. Instead, you get the best value with every lesson, which is what we all want! In LaCrescenta, you come to a private pool at a residence (the address is provided when you enroll). In all other areas, we come to your pool, your neighbors, or your community pool. If you don't have a pool, talk to your friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers, and acquaintances and you may even be able to arrange lessons with other kids at the same location. You could also coordinate through social media sites or neighborhood sites like nextdoor.com. You’ll choose your area on the “locations” page of the website and then provide the pool location, if applicable, when you enroll.
Is the pool heated?
How often are lessons?
Lessons are 7 consecutive days with a day or two break somewhere in the middle, depending on the week.
How long are lessons?
Lessons are scheduled for 30 minutes. Actual instruction time is a little less to allow for students to get in and out of the pool, instructors to record notes, and to update parents.
What is the cost?
The cost is provided on the locations page or sometimes when you look at the scheduling calendar, as cost may change depending on the dates and times.
Do you offer a discount for siblings?
Do you offer a discount for siblings? I don’t. Rather than charging inflated rates and then discounting, I provide a better value than any other program. A large percentage of my students each year are siblings–-I have parents every year with 3 children in my program.
How do I pay?
Upon enrollment, you'll be provided with instructions on how to make payment.
What can I expect?
Within 7 lessons, most beginning students age 3+ will swim on their own for at least 5 seconds. Many will also learn to turn themselves around and grab the wall and pull themselves out if they fall in. (Some may not be proficient within such a short time, but most are able to do each step). Each student is different, so results are different depending on age, coordination, physical and mental ability, and other factors. This is an incredibly fast amount of time to learn this. This is just the beginning, though: Please read the next question about "more lessons" or "additional lessons."
How can you do this in 7 days?
The founder of the “Connect the Dots” method is a school teacher. He has an advanced degree with courses in learning methods, psychology, and physics. He has also created school curriculum for math, science, engineering, and music. As a swimmer and lifeguard instructor, he has refined the Connect the Dots method over decades based on the most successful outcomes.
What is the best age to begin a child in swim lessons?
Age 2 is great to get used to the water and age 3 is perfect for more accelerated lessons. Some aged 2.5+ who are further developed, can jump, and have good language and motor skills, may also be ready for accelerated lessons.
Why don’t you teach younger than 2.5?
Simply put, we believe in providing value. While “baby and me” classes may be fun, you are investing in your experience, not your child’s. They will not learn any faster with baby and me classes. You can and should take your child in the pool and enjoy the time, but you don’t need to spend money to do that
Is your teaching style “Gentle?”
Over 90% of students have some fears, such as putting their face in the water, letting go of the instructor, and swimming to the wall. We can go at the student’s pace, or if you choose “Fast-pass classes,” they are accelerated and the rest of this paragraph is dedicated to them. Ellen Hendrikson, PhD, writes “One of the difficult things about anxiety of any kind is that the more we avoid doing something that makes us anxious, the greater the fear and anxiety grow. Rather than waiting for the time to ‘feel right,’ we should start by taking baby steps and repeating them over and over until the fear goes away.” We work through students’ fears and the majority get past their anxiety in just a few days and then develop a love of swimming. Students are required to put their face in the water and we help them do it so that they minimize swallowing water and can get under to dive for toys. I provide specific recommendations on how instructors and parents should deal with a child who is resistant or crying. I know from years of experience that this method minimizes fear quickly and allows your child to enjoy swimming soon.
Why is it common for beginners to cry?
The first few days of lessons are hard and the swimmer is often experiencing things they have never experienced before. Being with a new person (the instructor), and especially having water on their face/going under water. It’s normal for students to cry for the first 3 days of lessons because they are unsure. Usually swimmers calm down in lesson 3 or 4, then they are so proud of what they can do! Be sure to praise them after lessons. Parents sometimes get discouraged after the swimmer has been crying and then project that onto their swimmer. That means that your swimmer will feel that way too! Don’t get discouraged. We are moving fast, but it does take some time. Let your swimmer know that you are proud of them for trying new things! Lastly, be patient with the program because it really works!
Do parents get in the water with the child during class?
No. This prevents a trust bond from forming between student and instructor that is crucial for success. I do recommend that the parent get in a pool with the child outside of lesson time to practice and reinforce skills, though.
How can I help my child succeed and become more comfortable in the water?
Start by pouring water on your swimmer’s face while they are in the bath tub. Parents often block the eyes or tilt the head back while rinsing out shampoo. If you do...don’t. Instead, explain that when you count to three you are going to pour water on their head. Then count to three and do it. This will help your swimmer get used to water running down their face which will help them adapt to being in the pool quicker. Start practicing this now. Next, practice at home. Don’t have a pool? That’s fine! Have your swimmer practice little, fast kicks while they are lying on their belly on the bed, couch, in the bath, or pretty much anywhere! This will help their brain understand what swimming kicks feel like and will also help their stamina for lessons. Finally, show or tell them that swimming is fun and how much you or family members love to swim! We have had many swimmers who are upset at lessons then go home and swim in a pool with mom, dad, a sibling, or friends and come to the next lesson happier and ready to participate. Sometimes the swimmer doesn’t understand that swimming is supposed to be enjoyable until they see those they love having fun doing it!
Do students learn to take breaths?
What happens if I miss a lesson?
If a lesson is missed because of an illness or emergency, it can be made up if the instructor has a vacancy. A make-up lesson is not guaranteed and is subject to the instructor’s availability. If a lesson is missed because of a scheduling conflict, the lesson will not be made up, though you can have someone attend in your place.
How do I change or cancel a reservation?
If you want to change times, you first need to cancel the existing reservation and then sign up for a new time. Find the email confirmation from “email@example.com.” This contains your reservation date and time, and a link to the scheduling system. Click on your reservation, which opens a new window. Click on the icon after your name, then the garbage can to delete. Now you can sign up for a new time.
Do students vomit?
We work hard to avoid it, but it happens. Eating too close to lesson time will do it. Eat at least 1 hour before swimming. Students work really hard and their stomach may cramp. If there is food, it’s coming up. Swallowing water also causes vomiting. Swimmers can do this through their mouth or nose. Water goes into the nasal cavities when submerged and then some students try to breath with their nose when they surface. We practice how not to do this, but it takes practice. Swallowing water through the mouth is common and we work on that also. It is nothing to be alarmed about and it is not the same as “dry” drowning.
What is dry drowning?
Secondary drowning or “dry drowning” is rare and happens most often after a child has been rescued from a situation when they are submerged under water for a period of time while they are unattended or unwatched. During their incident, water has been inhaled and has entered their lungs causing the body to receive less oxygen even after they have been rescued and exited the water. Secondary drowning is accompanied by coughing and wheezing that will continue well after the incident has occurred. You can find articles online if you would like.
Should I sign up for more than 1 block? Do students need more lessons?
Yes. That's the short answer. Here is an explanation:
Do students learn to float?
If the student is a beginner, we don't focus on floating until after we've learned to swim. In most cases, the first 7 days is spent on swimming, not floating. Floating is learned in subsequent lessons, as well as taking breaths, treading water, and other required skills.