1. What is the difference between Mermaid Swim School and other water-survival programs?
Some other methods may submerge a very beginning student repeatedly to get him to rotate onto his back to breath and float alone as a method of survival. Their lessons are typically 10 minutes long and occur daily over the course of many weeks. Mermaid Swim School (MMSS) focuses on developing a foundation of learn-to-swim skills that occur in a voluntary progression, ultimately being able to swim back to the side of the pool and get out independently, if he jumps or falls in. MMSS strongly considers the emotional well-being of your child, enhancing their experience with a loving, fun, and positively reinforced environment so they develop a positive long-lasting relationship with the water. MMSS offers flexible scheduling and a variety of lesson lengths tailored to your child’s individual needs. The Drowning Prevention Task Force (DPTF) has stated that survival swim lessons are placing inexperienced swimmers in perceived life or death situations, making them feel like they must save themselves every time they swim. This type of experience can produce high levels of cortisol. Such high stress could be detrimental to the child’s emotional and cognitive development but may not manifest until later in childhood. The DPTF also states that using fear or stress as an approach to learning is not acceptable in swimming or any other type of learning situation. Ninety percent of the brain develops during the first three years of life, so it is imperative that while we attempt to prevent drowning, we as instructors and parents do not also do emotional harm.
2. How long will it take for my child to learn to swim?
The answer to this varies widely and depends on the individual. Safety is a priority for all of our classes, particularly for children under the age five, who are most susceptible to drowning accidents. We focus on the child’s ability to get back to pool edge if they have jumped or fallen in. The amount of time it takes to accomplish this depends on age, frequency of lessons, amount of practice in between lessons, as well as comfort, and past experiences around the water. Typically, there is significant improvement within the first eight lessons and parents are quite satisfied. Infants, toddlers and children who are resistant of the water will likely benefit from continual lessons. Others who continue with lessons do so because they are enjoying them or wish to continue to advance their skills.
3. Do I have to sign up for eight lessons?
Mermaid Swim School requires that you sign up for eight lessons. Our experience shows that this is the amount of time it takes to make a significant improvement. We are offering a commitment to the students and we expect the same from them. We don’t typically offer trial lessons because the first lesson is not indicative of the progress that can be made over the course of eight lessons. Swimming lessons are commonly the first experience a child has taking direction from someone other than their parents, so the first lesson is spent getting acquainted and building trust, as well as assessing the student’s ability.
4. Should I sign up for thirty or forty minute lessons?
We suggest forty minute classes for children with active attention spans, private coaching, group classes, and adult lessons.
5. What if I don’t have a home pool?
If you do not have a pool at your home, we can come to any pool within our areas served. We suggest asking friends or family if you may borrow their pool or check out community pools. We can also teach lessons at any local beach. If you live in Sarasota, we also have access to the Bath and Racquet Club.
6. What areas do you serve?
We gladly serve all communities of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties. We also serve such surrounding areas as Lakeland, Brandon, Wesley Chapel, Land O' Lakes, and Spring Hill.
7. How soon in advance should I schedule lessons?
You should reserve classes as soon as you decide that you would like to have them. During our busy season, we often book 2-3 months in advance, especially for highly requested times slots such as mid-morning and after school/work hours.
8. Why should we choose Mermaid Swim School?
All lessons are taught in the tranquility of your home or family pool where children are more comfortable and will learn faster. We offer the most flexible schedules, completing lessons as few as once per week, to as often as every day. Mermaid Swim School lessons are more cost effective because you don’t have to waste time and gas money driving to a facility, and the individual lessons allow you to meet your goals 3-4 times faster than group lessons. Also, in many group lessons in other programs, children under five are required to wear body flotation devices so they aren’t allowed to reach their maximum learning potential. Mermaid Swim School does not allow body flotation devices during any class. Another important factor is that the student will keep same instructor throughout the duration of his or her MMSS experience. Mermaid Swim School is a community based program, developed right here in your region. By utilizing Mermaid Swim School, you are supporting a local business and local families.