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Should my child take private or group swim lessons?

Should my child take private or group swim lessons?

Both private swim lessons and group swimming classes offer distinct advantages. Understanding those differences will help you know how to best help your swimmer meet his or her swimming goals and needs.

Advantages of Private Lessons:

Though they may cost more than a group lesson or class, private lessons are worth the investment. Private lessons are taught by experienced swim instructors who develop a lesson plan specific to your child. Lessons usually range from 30 – 45 minutes each and usually come in packages of 6-18 lessons.


Undivided Attention:

The biggest benefit of private lessons is the undivided attention that a professional instructor gives your child. Having a teacher 100% dedicated to your swimmer greatly increases the rate of progress in your child’s swimming skills. When there are four or five kids in a group setting, each kid can reasonably expect to get about 20% of that instructor’s attention and around 5 minutes of swimming time. That’s only a fraction of what a kid gets in private classes. Accordingly, if you do the math, there’s a good chance that the dollar-to-minute-of-attention ratio favors private lessons. This means you might just get more bang for your buck with a private instructor!

Along with that undivided attention, your child will receive a tailor-made customized lesson plan specific to his or her needs. Every minute of every lesson is planned and designed to help meet your swimmer’s needs. That’s a recipe for success.

Additionally, every lesson will be driven by your child’s own pace and progress. There will be no pressure to “keep up” or “slow down” like in a group class. If your child needs extra time on a skill, the instructor can make it happen. If another skill clicks quickly and your child is ready to move on, the instructor can do that too. This makes the private lesson both more enjoyable and effective for your child.


Flexible Times:

Private lessons schedules are flexible! You get to schedule lessons when they work best for you rather than having to commit to an assigned group lesson time. The lesson revolves around your day and your schedule, rather than making you schedule your time around a lesson.

Furthermore, group lessons at specific levels are sometimes only offered at certain times. That could mean that if there isn’t a class available at your swimmer’s level at a time that works for you, you might be out of luck. Never a problem with private lessons; you schedule lessons when they work for you.

Flexible Locations:

The location of private lessons can also be flexible. If you have something like a home pool or a private HOA community pool, you can make swim lessons come to you instead of having to go to your local pool. Otherwise, local community pools or swim schools will have the facilities for hosting private lessons but may not be as flexible on the scheduling.

Who Might Be Better Suited For Private Lessons:


Advantages of Group Lessons:

Group lessons offer some unique advantages too. First of all, they tend to cost less than private lessons. And unlike private lessons, group lessons have the added benefit of helping kids learn social skills while also learning a life-saving one. Because of the group dynamic, there are some activities, exercises, and games that instructors can incorporate into group lessons that they can’t use in private lessons (it’s hard to play freeze tag or Marco Polo with just two people). Accordingly, group lessons are arguably more fun for most kids. Additionally, if you’re planning on signing your kid up for continuous lessons, swimmers in group lessons can make friends with whom they’ll progress through future levels or classes.

Who Might Be Better Suited For Group Lessons:


Conclusion:

So the answer to whether your child should take private or group lessons really depends. Hopefully, these distinctions will help you make the right choice for your child’s needs, goals, and learning style. Remember, if your child does not know how to swim, the absolute best place to start and get those fundamentals is private lessons. And regardless of your child’s skill level, they can always improve. The most important thing is to get your kid in the water! So sign up for lessons and get your kid swimming today!


Briant Jacobs' bio:

Swim Instructor in Tucson, AZ

Hi there, I'm Briant and I've taught/coached swimmers of all levels from ages 2 - 65 for over 12 years. I've been a lifeguard, water safety instructor, swim instructor, and competitive swim coach. I swam competitively for 14 years and played water polo for 4. I love teaching all levels, from fearful beginners to advanced competitors. I graduated from Georgetown where I studied law. I'm also fluent in Spanish, love Ben and Jerry's, and have yet to meet a swimmer who couldn't reach their goals.

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