Winter Swim Lessons for the Kids

During the summer, we spend a lot of time in the water. Also, Grandma has a pool at her Florida house. We were eager to partner with Goldfish Swim School at Fairview Park for 8 weeks of free swim lessons. Our family decided to use these free lessons during the winter months to prep for summer swim season.

All three of the kids love the water and have no fear. Their lack of fear is a concern of ours. We tried informal lessons but that didn’t work. Our hope was formal lessons would make them better and stronger swimmers.

3 Kids in 3 Different Classes

My husband and I both work full time. So, Saturday mornings was the only time that worked for us. Goldfish Fairview Park did a great job finding classes for our three kids within the same time period. Two lessons were at 11am and one was at 11:30am. The split times meant that both parents had to attend which was fine with us.

Goldfish Swim School Classes

Our kids are 3, 2, and 1. The 3 year old was placed in a child only class (Junior 1). Parent-child classes aren’t available for kids 3 and older. For our 2 year old, we were given the option of child only class or parent-child class. We went with the child only class (Mini 3). This allowed one parent had to keep an eye on the non-swimmer. Finally, the 1 year old was in a parent-child class (Mini 1).  To be honest, I wasn’t sure how effective classes would be for a 1 year old.  However, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have her start learning.

The Adult View Point

Saturday mornings are busy! I arrived about 45 minutes before our first lesson with two of the kids. I thought I would have plenty of time to sign paperwork, buy non-disposable swim diapers, change, and figure out where their lessons where. Well… 45 minutes was tight to get everything established for 3 kids. On your first day, give yourself plenty of time. However, 30 minutes was ample time for the next 7 weeks.

The warm pool felt amazing! There was a weekly “battle” over who swam with Kid 3. Both parents (and a family friend) enjoyed getting in the water. We should have taken advantage of the family swim time. However, it didn’t fit into our schedule.

Another plus, was the activities for the non-swimming kid. It was really easy to keep them entertained for 30 minutes. They have a turtle, fish, books, and chalkboard. An ironic problem, the kids didn’t want to leave.

Our one negative, was the parent observing situation. There is no real way to watch and listen to the instructor. We wanted to hear how swimming moves were being explained. However, the teachers did a good job of showcasing what the kids learned at the end of each lesson. The student progress reports are helpful as well.

Kid 1 in Junior 1

She hated wearing goggles but loved everything else. It was nice to see her in a small class with 3 kids her age. The instructor was able to keep everyone engaged and learning. Kid 1 was able to master all 11 required skills in 8 weeks. She would move up to Junior 2 for her next class.

Kid 2 in Mini 3

I was nervous putting her in a child only swim lesson to start. However, we figured it would be easier to back her down instead of bump her up if she wasn’t ready. Kid 2 proved that she is more than ready to be on her own for swim lessons. In fact, she mastered 11 out of 13 skills for her class. As a parent, we sometimes need a reminder that our kids don’t always need our help. I think if we did put her in the parent-child class, we wouldn’t have maximized the use of the 8 week swim lessons.

She also enjoyed practicing swimming in our bathtub. This is great. However, the first time she dunked herself and turned over I was nervous. It took me a moment to realize that this was the skill she just learned. Then it was great to see the connection from the pool to the bathtub.

Kid 3 in Mini 1

This was her first experience with swim lessons of any kind. I’m okay with admitting that I was wrong.  Swim lessons for little ones do work.  It was impressive to see her comfort level with getting water over her face and being dragged under the water improve. There was only one lesson where there was a crying. The rest of the time, she was adjusting well with all of the skills being taught. It was fun to watch her swimming skills develop at such a young age. Kid 3 mastered 13 out of 15 skills. Her next class will be in Mini 2.

Pool Safety

I can tell you this. The lessons work. Kid 1 and Kid 2 both jumped into Grandma’s pool instead of walking down the steps. Both went under and were able to kick to the surface. Both turned around and went for the wall. No one (adults or kids) panicked. Both kids proceed to do this for the next 20 minutes. The kids continue to have no fear of the water which is great. As parents, we now have a higher comfort level with kids and water.


We had a very positive swimming experience with Goldfish Fairview Park. I would highly recommend them for lessons.  It is amazing to see the skills learned in 8 weeks. We know that their swimming will only improve with formal swim lessons.

Goldfish Fairview Park – 21599 Lorain Rd, Fairview Park, OH 44126 – (440) 305-5220

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