Swim Lessons and Big Blue Swim School
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Motherhood for Big Blue Swim School. I was compensated for my time but all words and opinions are my own.
My son had his first swimming lesson when he was six months old. My oldest daughter also had her first swimming lesson when she was six months old. When my youngest daughter was a baby, I also insisted she have swimming lessons. She hated swimming lessons. She hated water, she hated getting wet, she hated getting in the freezing pool, she hated the swimming instructor. Hated everything about swimming.
I didn't want to be that parent who pushed swimming on her kids, but I also knew that swimming was an important life skill to learn. I grew up a strong competitive swimmer and was on an all-conference winning swim team for about a decade as a child and teen. I wasn't hoping for an Olympic swimmer, but I did want my children to be adequate swimmers so they would be safe around water for the rest of their lives.
I kept insisting that my youngest daughter learn to swim, or learn to get used to the water. She continued to cry about the lessons until she was five years old, whilst my oldest two children were swimming laps around her and everyone else. Her swim instructors and myself couldn't get her to relax during her lessons and instead of lessons progressing, she became more determined to despise the water. The last thing I wanted for my daughter was for her to develop a deep fear of the water. So, we ceased lessons altogether.
I still felt strongly (and still do) that my children become good swimmers. I believe that everyone, especially children, should learn to swim. Sadly, drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in children today.
This past summer we bought a season pass to our local swimming pool and I can honestly say that I was a nervous wreck when I took my children swimming. I panicked if I lost sight of any of them and if they were under water too long, I convinced myself they were drowning. I was not able to relax and enjoy my time with my children at the pool because I still feel my youngest daughter is not a good swimmer.
She finally learned to float this past summer through many hours of gentle coaxing, but she still is very apprehensive about putting her face in the water. She refuses to enter a pool without a nose plug or goggles either and still doesn't know how to blow bubbles out of her nose. I want my children to continue to take swimming lessons, but my youngest daughter always insists that she will not swim at a lesson if I take her.
Swimming Lessons at Big Blue Swim School
At Big Blue Swim School, your child's swimming skills will be assessed, quality swimming lessons will be provided by fully trained full-time swim instructors in a safe environment and there are various locations in the Chicagoland area.
I scheduled a FREE trial lesson for my non-swim-loving-daughter and convinced her she was going to love this NEW facility. I wanted her to have a positive experience this go around as her past swimming instruction experiences have been so negative.We walked into the NEW Hoffman Estates Big Blue Swim School location and were greeted by the most cheerful assistant manager who quickly oriented us with our surroundings. Big Blue Swim School is painted in lovely, calming colors and really gave a happy feeling to my daughter. My daughter was super excited for her lesson with her swim instructor as she was having a private swim lesson to assess her strengths and weaknesses.
My daughter was all set with her nose plug and goggles and she hopped right in the pool with a smile for her swim instructor. She kept glancing my way to ensure that I was not leaving her; but after the initial wariness, she relaxed and was able to completely focus on her tasks the swim instructor asked of her. What I noticed quickly was the calmness in her swim instructor's voice and the positive energy she exhibited. There were other lessons taking place in a different area of the pool as well and the assistant manager was walking around with a tablet, taking notes. The facility's manager was also observing lessons and I was able to chat with him.
My daughter didn't have a perfect lesson, and there were some tears, as I expected. But, what did happen, that has never happened during swim lessons, was my daughter didn't give up. She stayed in the pool and completed the full swim lesson, which has never happened before either. It helps that the pool had 90-degree water which was gentle on her skin. The swim instructor continued to positively engage with my daughter and I saw lots of high fives between the two.
The kind swim instructor moved from one task to another as my daughter was able to progress. When my daughter was tearful, she called me over and didn't force her to remain in the water and she gently coaxed my daughter back into the water and continued her lesson. My daughter even removed her nose plug, which I have never been able to convince her to do. The assistant manager, who remained in the pool area during the entire lesson(s) time, even encouraged my daughter, and the other students in the pool, from the side.
At the end of the first lesson, my daughter received a ribbon, for her great effort and progression! With just one lesson, she was able to advance a level in swimming. After years of swimming lessons, this is something she was never able to accomplish and she was so very proud of herself. Something so small as a little ribbon to inform my daughter that her hard work during the lesson, (as she personally strives to achieve the smallest growth in her skills) makes Big Blue Swim School invaluable. At Big Blue, their continuous weekly lessons run year-round and offer the flexibility to begin, suspend or stop lessons according to your won schedules. Big Blue Swim School tracks each lessons progression each and every lesson, so new skills are gained and tracked at every lesson.
The Benefits of Swimming Lessons
Learning to swim has so many benefits. Children gain an important skill and benefit greatly through the pleasure of swimming. Swimming is a great form of exercise and children will achieve health benefits, social skills, life skills and more importantly, safety skills. Swim lessons at Big Blue Swim School will help children build strength and endurance, they will teach your child to swim long distances, to swim underwater and also build lifesaving skills. But most importantly, swimming is fun! My daughter has yet to really have fun swimming because of her fear of water.
More About Big Blue Swim School
During my chat with the manager I discovered all the swim instructors have over 100 hours of training before they ever even teach one single private swim lesson. They have on-the-job training in and out of the water and shadow experienced instructors daily and weekly. The swim instructors also have 2+ hours of training per week, each week, to continue to progress their skills. The Big Blue swimming instructors are well trained which equips them to give a better experiences to children. Big Blue Swim School has amazing internal opportunities and awesome benefits for all their full-time employees. You will see the same instructors and not have to worry about having a different instructor each time you bring your children to attend a lesson as the swim instructors love their jobs.
Assistant managers and managers are watching lessons daily and tracking swimmers and instructors simultaneously through their own proprietary software platform. The Big Blue Swim School software allows families to log into their personal account, through a parent portal, from any device and track their child's progress, move lesson times, schedule FREE make-up lessons, add additional lessons, and update personal information in just a few easy clicks. The parent portal displays the skills each child has achieved and what skills need to be completed. The portal also clearly describes each skill and level.
This software also allows families to select a lesson time that works for all their children. This is great for me as I have three children and my time is valuable as I won't have to make multiple trips to the facility for multiple swim lessons. This progressive technology makes swim lessons more efficient for parents and instructors.
Big Blue Swim School is a swim lesson provider so lesson times are plentiful. The facility is family friendly and provides plenty of space with their numerous changing rooms, locker rooms for boys and girls and loads of spots for showers. If you forget your goggles, you can even purchase an extra pair. There are also play area stations for younger siblings who may not be taking swim lessons or for times when parents need to chat with the swim instructors. The family friendly areas are all carpeted as well, so there won't be any slipping when your children have completed their lessons.
Big Blue Swim School Promotions
Big Blue Swim School provided my daughter with a quality swim lesson. They provide lessons for children age 6 months and up, even adults can take swim lessons. Big Blue Swim School also has a competitive swim team, the Big Blue Aquatics. Currently, Big Blue School is offering an amazing deal:
6 Lessons for $60 Plus a FREE Trial (over a 50% value)
Sign up for a FREE, no-risk trial lesson. (No credit card required)
Receive 6 lessons for $60 when you register for weekly lessons.
(As always, no registration fees or yearly fees)
Long Term Swimming Benefits
Now I don't think my children are going to be joining a swim team or have hopes of becoming an Olympic swimmer anytime soon, but I do know they need to continue to improve their swimming abilities. It is essential that my youngest daughter, and really all of my children learn to swim, most especially to be safe in and around water.
Once they have this skill, they won't lose it. My children also need to continue to gain confidence, comfort and safety in the water while still having a great time swimming with friends and family. Maybe someday soon, I will be able to sit by the side of the pool and actually relax. And, hopefully, my daughter will fall in love with swimming and lap it up for years to come.