1. How long does it take to get a child to swim?
This really depends on the age of the child and the comfort level of the child in the water. Each child is different and progresses at a different rate. Coordination develops differently than intelligence. Your child may be extremely bright, but may not progress as quickly as his/her friend due to physical developmental differences or fear. If a child is at least four, we are able to get a frightened child to swim around the pool with no particular form in about 4 1/2-6 hours. In about eight hours we can develop a crawl stroke with modified breathing, in a proper horizontal position. In that same amount of time the child will also be able to swim a basic back crawl and float on their back and being comfortable while doing so. A good number of our three-year-olds are able to swim a crawl stroke with modified breathing across the width of their pool by the end of the summer. An average 2 to 2 1/2-year-old will be able to swim halfway across the pool to all the way across the pool with/without taking a breath by the end of the summer if they have lessons 1 to 2 times per week. The three main things that can hold up these time frames are; a child's complete refusal to attempt to put their face in the water, if they cannot understand not to breathe through their nose, or they refuse to wear goggles and refuse to put their face in.
2. What do you do about the weather? Our policy is not to cancel for rain.
Many times the weatherman will say it's going to rain, and in the Hamptons it does not. We will come to the home and assess the weather at that time. If there is thunder and lightning we will cancel the lessons at the door. If there is slight drizzle, or light rain we will still have the lesson as we are already wet and being in the pool in the rain will not cause the child to get sick, any more than swimming in the sun would. Any cancellations on the part of the client for weather will be subject to our cancellation policy.
3. Can a friend join in the lessons?
Yes, the price is the same.
4. I have heard about swimming boot camps where kids learn to swim in a week of 15 min a day. How does that work?
A new marketing plan to the old approach of throwing kids into the water has come into vogue in recent years. In these boot camps, children are taught how to save themselves by repeatedly being pushed to the wall, and climbing out. These are NOT swimming lessons, nor are they drown proofing. They are survival lessons. If a child likes the water, they will do well. They will also do well in traditional swimming lessons though. If a child does not like the water they can be traumatized. We have seen children over and over again that were doing well in swimming lessons, attend a swimming boot camp, and refuse to go in the water the rest of the summer. The children are taught to reach for the wall in these “Boot Camps”. Without proper swimming lessons, they struggle to get to the wall and they are in an upright position. Swimmers do not swim in a vertical position for a reason. The water cannot hold you up in that position. The more vertical you are, the more difficult it is to swim. These children do a struggling dog paddle to get to safety rather than a comfortable swim stroke and easily grabbing the wall. If your child has participated in one of these boot camps and been terrified, please do not wait for them to grow out of it, give us a call. There is another company called ISR that uses a similar technique. They have done extensive research. Their main focus is drowning prevention and their program is longer than a week. Although we differ in approach, we respect the success of ISR and their desire to give a quality, researched product. We believe with the Montessoro Method that a child can learn the same techniques, in a little bit longer time frame, in a very fun atmosphere that will increase the pleasure of being in the water.