FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How should I prepare for lessons?
Please arrive at least 10 minutes early. Kids need to be changed, bathroom etc… your lesson time begins at your scheduled time. If you come late, you will receive the remainder of your lesson time. All children who are not potty trained must wear a non-disposable “swim nappy”. They should be tight enough with an elastic around the legs and the waistband to keep any accidents from contaminating the pool. We don’t use paper swim nappies because they keep the air inside and this fact could negatively interfere in the child’s balance and flotation. During the clothes check out we will ask you to bring summer or winter clothes and a regular nappy.
What will I need to bring for lessons?
Please bring two towels. One will be placed on the side of the pool for your child to lay down on. Your child will be place on their side/belly to rest/burp. Little ones use lots of energy learning to swim. They will need to rest for a few minutes and burp up some air as a parent, we are sure you are used to them!
Parents behaviour during the learning process
Many parents of preschool age children or particularly verbal toddlers can find the first several days of lessons quite challenging. It’s not uncommon for older children to announce that they “don’t want to” do what the Instructor asks, or they may call out for Mom or Dad before or during lessons. Again, this is simply a reaction to the fact that the first few days of learning any type of new skill can be more challenging or they are not in control of the lesson. This period is usually brief and these same children are often, within just a few lessons, demonstrating how proud they are of their accomplishments and will love to show off what they’ve learned.
As you observe the lesson, your child might need a positive reaction from you and your verbal support.
So, it’s important that you show your enthusiasm, especially if your child is crying. Watch intently, smile, and clap approvingly to show your child that you are proud of her accomplishments.
During lessons, try to avoid saying anything instructional, like “Float on your back!” or “Swim to the wall!” even if it appears to you that the Instructor is working on that particular skill. Your Instructor needs your child’s complete attention during the lesson, and hearing your verbal instruction could be very confusing to your child.
After the lesson is over, when your child is resting on the towel, is a great time to talk to your child about how proud you are of what they accomplished in that day’s lesson. By giving your child specific examples of what he did well—such as “you did a great job today getting onto your back and floating all by yourself” or “I saw you hold onto the wall all by yourself!”—you’ll show your child that you are proud of what he did, and you’ll be reinforcing the concepts he is learning.
REMEMBER, YOU ARE YOUR CHILD’S NUMBER ONE CHEERLEADER!!!
How are the lessons conducted?
Swimming lessons are approximately 10 minutes in length. Consistency is a very important ingredient of the ISA Programs. Your child’s actual time in the water may be slightly less if your Instructor sees any signs of temperature or fatigue.
Lessons are private, one to one! Your child will receive 10 minutes of FULL attention by the instructor. We are teaching your child a proved successful method of over 49 years’ research in the USA mixed with our more than 13 years of experience in different countries and the best programs out there. Short, constant repetition gives better results than longer lessons. Children are learning breath control. Some may swallow water, at first.
Why our lessons are different to other programs?
Babies don’t know how to swim or float from birth. They need to learn how to do it getting the right instructions. If swimming was natural for a baby, why do so many drown each year? This course is not an introduction to the water this is a swimming course where children learn how to swim and float independently. That’s why we teach babies from 6 months old of age forward. Before this time, babies’ motor development consists mostly of reflexes and control movement isn’t possible, which is counterproductive in teaching swimming. Some of these reflexes are Moro Reflex, Epiglottal Reflex, Swimming Reflex, Diving Reflex. (WE TEACH ALSO BABIES FROM 2 MONTHS OLD AN INTRODUCTION TO THE WATER AND GOOD HABITS)
To join onto our program babies need to crawl. To teach them to swim and roll they need to be strong enough to push up themselves up with their arms, and roll over from a face down position to a face up.
We don’t teach children to splash around or sing songs as a priority we teach infant and children how to swim and float in the water and once they are skilled to be safe in and around the water we can teach them how to make the water a place to have fun. Our children learn the sequence of swim-float-swim in about 20 lessons not in years!
We use a specific and unique method based in a psychological and children’s behaviour background. Our dedicated, high-qualified instructors have been trained for more than 160 hours in the water with over 200 children in the USA and the U.K and Spain. That’s why this method is valid for communities with mental or physical disabilities or otherwise disadvantage as autism, Down Syndrome or cerebral palsy children learn this program as well as any other children. We would need a doctor and parent approval to take swimming lessons.
We don’t use floats, noodles or other float aid. The children learn from their own experience and feelings in the water to put the face in to get ready to go and swim. If your child has been using arms bands or has been taught the wrong position may need more time to undone bad habits and learn the new ones.
We don’t use the Ready Go Cue or any other commands. Children learn from the beginning to control the breath by themselves.
We don’t teach children to blow out bubbles they learn to hold the air inside to swim and float independently.
We don’t push or throw the children in the water. From the very first moment children learn the correct swimming position. Once the children have learn the skills the instructor recreate an accidental scenario where they need to pass a winter clothes check out (jacket, trousers, shoes…)
Children learn how to orientate themselves in the water with open eyes. They learn how to swim without goggles on. We don’t want the children to became goggles dependent.
Not parent are allowed in the water during the learning process. Children get distracted and they behaviour is different when the parent are close. However we will teach you how to enjoy the water with your child without ruin the good skills achieved. Once your child has done the basic training you can join our next ISA program.
Diet: Do not feed your child for two hours preceding his or her lesson
DO NOT allow whole fruit, especially with a skin (such as certain berries, like blueberries, strawberries, grapes, sometimes apples, pineapple, tangerines, celery or anything else your child may not be able to digest).
Recommended: rice, applesauce, toast, crackers, cheerios, rice dream, water. Avoid other foods that take time to digest and all other milk products for several hours. Children do not chew: they just swallow, so any food that is in the tummy may come up with a very strong burp. Your child may eat anything immediately after his lessons. Children swallow lots of air in the learning process so we want to avoid spitting up in the pool.
Can I take pictures or videos?
Yes! Kids love to watch themselves! Even if they are crying, sometimes it helps them overcome quickly.
Dealing with children’s emotions
Children are all different: some take to strangers easily, some don’t. The water has an added dimension because we can’t breath in it. It makes take a while for your baby/child to adapt to this new situation.
Most the children cry during the lessons, sometimes only for the first few lessons, sometimes though the whole program. Either way, they still get skilled. Your child’s fastest form of communication is by crying, even in verbal children, they know that if they cry, usually a parent does something to stop them crying as soon as possible. Unfortunately for them, that doesn’t work in the pool. Please, don’t be alarmed by the crying. Most of the time they cry because they are not in control of the lesson. Children cry when they are buckled into their car seats against their will, yet no parent would dream of not buckling their baby in. Children also cry to express frustration during the process of learning a sensorimotor skill. When children first learn to walk or ride a bike or a scoter they are plenty of skinned knees, bumps to the head and the resulting tears, but they don’t grow up to be afraid to walk or traumatized in any way. It’s important to remember that your child is NOT crying because he is hurt, or afraid or being forced to do something he’s not capable of doing. Remember, we are doing all we can to make it a safe and pleasant experience for your and your child but:
IT IS NOT LEARNING HOW TO SWIM THAT IS FUN, IT IS KNOWING HOW TO SWIM THAT IS FUN.
How soon can I expect my child to learn to swim?
Most babies/toddlers learn in 4-5 weeks, 20 lessons. Do not be alarmed if your child is not progressing as fast as another: they do not all walk or talk at the same rate either.
If your child has been using armbands, life jacket, swim trainer bathing suit or other such flotation device, your child’s lessons may take longer because we have to unlearn bad habits before we can learn new correct postures.
Once your child has completed the basic training, around 20 lessons you can go for the ISA intermediate programs.
Will my child be drown-proof ?
No. Nobody can ever drown-proof your child. However, children who possess basic survival swimming skills have a significantly higher chance of surviving an accidental and unsupervised fall into the water.
Cancelling a lesson to illness
Although consistency of attendance is important in lessons, there are times when the lesson should be cancelled. Please see below some medical condition that will STOP your child’s swimming lesson.
FEVER over 37.8 resume in 24 hours
VOMITING OR HAD DIARRHEA resume in 48 hours
CONTAGIOUS DISEASES (chicken pox, conjunctivitis or strep throat)
CROUP (dry cough) or WHEEZING conditions. Resume in 24- 48 hours.
HEAD INJURY or severe reaction to an INSECT BITE.
Resume in 24 hours.
OTITIS EXTERNA require pediatrician’s approval.
SEIZURE contact the pediatrician and get written permission to swim.
Make-up lessons for illness
A doctor’s note is required and the lesson will be add at the end of your program. (some exceptions may be apply)
Why is maintenance necessary?
Your children need updates not because they will forget their skills, but because they will outgrow them. Especially during the first two years, babies’ rapid growth causes their center of gravity to shift, which affects their ability to float. These lessons are similar to seeing the pediatrician for a will-baby check-up and continue self-confidence.
Payments are due at least 24h BEFORE the first lesson. The initial program consists in 20 consecutive lessons. If your child learns the whole ISA Sequence of Swim-Float-Swim in less time we can convert the remaining lessons into the next level ones.
Please do not start your child in this program unless you fully intent to complete the entire learning process. All payments are not refundable. Once your child begins lessons, the balance of your tuition is non-refundable if you withdraw your child. Your child may need several weeks to work through his or her feelings about the water. Leaving/quitting makes a child feel unduly anxious about his or her lack of ability.