I say to so many people that swim lessons are necessary, not a luxury. My daughter is in gymnastics, that is a luxury. She doesn't need to be in gymnastics to be safe running around a mat. She is in gymnastics because she wants to be...and because I told her she could if she stopped biting her nails. She stopped in 2 weeks flat, so she is in gymnastics. But swimming is a whole other bird. Even if a kid doesn't want to swim, they need to learn how because at some point in their life, swimming and being around water will seem like so much fun and the longer they wait the harder it is.
If my daughter is near water, she NEEDS to know how to swim. There is no exception to this rule. It is very hard to bring a kid to the pool who doesn't know how to swim or who is not in lessons. I can't wait until both of my kids are "pool safe". But most importantly, I want my kids to love and respect the water. This is what you learn through lessons. Many parents are on top of the whole lesson thing come springtime. They usually sign up for classes all through the summer and stop as soon as the weather changes. I am asking parents to reconsider this. Why not keep your kids in lessons during every season. Not every day, but maybe a few times a month.
I remember my mom telling me a story of when my brother jumped in the pool for the first time after the winter. He jumped in after swimming up a storm the previous summer. As soon as he jumped in she said that he came up in a panic yelling, "I forgot how to swim! I forgot how to swim!" My mom quickly yelled back to him, "Put your head in, move your arms and kick your legs." It suddenly all came back to him and he survived just fine.
If we keep our kids in lessons year round imagine how much more fun they will have every summer. I love watching my kids in the pool, exploring the water with confidence. With lessons, that is what will happen. Even if the snow is falling and the thought of jumping into the pool is enough for you to shiver, think of how great you will feel about all of your swim efforts come May....and your kids will thank you through their smiles in the pool.