Fall Set 2 Swim Lessons are now in progress!
See home page for estimated lesson set dates for the Winter Season.
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Summer outdoor swim lessons have now come to a close, so we have now moved indoors for the Fall season! After teaching 194 swim lessons over 8 weeks, there will be a short break first, then I'll then be starting two professional development courses online to further increase my skill set and offer lessons to meet the needs of even more swimmers. These will include Autism Swim (based out of Australia), and Aqua Sensory (based out of the UK) which focuses on sensory development and play in the water for babies and toddlers.
Thank you to the 80 families (with 111 swimmers) who took the time to complete the Fall planning and preferences survey, it has really helped to select the days, times, frequency and location for lessons, as well as how many babies and tots classes to run.
The first Fall swim lesson set will run from September 21 until October 30 and the second Fall set will run from November 5 until December 8 (in progress), both exclusively at the hotel pool at Canada's Best Value Inn, Fernie. We have been so grateful to have used this excellent space throughout the Fall, but unfortunately, they will be too busy during the ski season to accommodate us. In the meantime, planning has begun to add the other pools (Fernie, Sparwood and possibly Cranbrook) back into the schedule by Winter, depending on demand and suitable pool schedule times.
Fall Set 2 Schedule
Please note the schedule below is subject to minor changes, depending on demand.
* Parented lessons in the table below are tentative and flexible/swappable depending on interest and availability of families. More options will be offered on the pre-registration form than will actually run, with the most popular times going ahead (i.e. doing my best to work around nap times and working parents' schedules!).
All lessons run once a week for 5 weeks, and are 30 minutes in duration. Lessons take a child led approach, working at each swimmers' own pace, using a variety of equipment, games and activities to build comfort, confidence and competence in the water. Lessons are fun, calm, encouraging, and swimmers progress on to new skills as soon as they are ready. There is a non-refundable registration fee ($15 first child, $10 second child, $5 third child - maximum $30 per family), which is put towards the immense time it takes for this solo human to complete registration, plan lessons, set up/set down, track progress, provide feedback and complete administration.
The hotel pool at Canada's Best Value Inn, Fernie is similar to the size of a backyard pool, approximately 8m x 4m and heated up to 32 degrees celsius (same as the Leisure Pool at Fernie Aquatic Center). It is mostly private, though occasionally hotel guests may use the pool too. There are deck chairs for viewing, two change rooms with showers and parking right outside the door. Parents (and siblings) can use the hot tub during lesson time too! It is suitable for Beginner and Beginner/Intermediate swimmers, up to around Red Cross Swim Kids 3, or any Preschool level.
Parented Small Group Classes (for swimmers 1-3 years) include 6 swimmers and their parent/guardian (Babies 1-2 years and Toddlers 2-3 years). The cost is $16 per lesson, plus the hotel drop in fee of $3.50 per lesson (total $97.50 per swimmer). These classes will focus on sensory and developmentally appropriate skills to introduce little ones to the love of water. They will aim to equip caregivers (no matter their own swim ability) with skills and routines to take with them to continue spending time in the water with their infants outside of lesson time too.
Transition Small Group Classes (for swimmers 3-4 years) include 4 swimmers and their parent/guardian. The cost is $18 per lesson, plus the hotel drop in fee of $3.50 per lesson (total $107.50 per swimmer). This class is suited to 3-4 year olds who are not quite ready to join lessons independently, with a focus on comfort, confidence and building independence so they feel ready to join private/semi-private lessons next.
Semi-Private one-on-two lessons (for swimmers 3 years and over) include 2 swimmers of similar age and ability (book with a sibling/friend or request a match). The cost $24 per lesson, plus the hotel drop in fee of $5.00 per lesson (total $145 per swimmer). Experience has shown that most swimmers enjoy having a peer to learn with, and pairing with a close match in ability can really help drive progress and build confidence. A lot of time and consideration is taken when selecting a match for your swimmer.
Private one-on-one lessons (for swimmers 3 years and over) are only available by request, such as for swimmers with diverse learning needs, high risk behaviors or other disabilities. The cost is $42 per lesson, plus the hotel drop in fee of $5.00 per lesson (total $235). All abilities are welcome and can be tailored to suit each swimmers' needs and learning preferences.
How to Register
Pre-registration will open at 8pm on Tuesday 11th October, with lessons spots being offered on a first come, first served basis (with neurodiverse swimmers, swimmers with disabilities and high risk swimmers being prioritized). At 8pm, there will be two pre-registration form links the top of this web page (one for parented lessons, one for semi-private/private lessons), which will take you to a simple Google form to fill out.
After you complete your pre-registration form, your details will be added into my tetris game of color coded excel spread sheets to match swimmers, and place in their availability (back to back siblings if possible). By the end of Friday, you will receive an email either offering you a lesson time, or letting you know you missed out this set.
If you are offered a lesson time, you will receive a link to our Jackrabbit Swim booking site, where you can complete your family registration, enroll into your lesson time, complete waivers and send payment. This must be completed within 24 hours to secure your lesson booking - NO EXCEPTIONS this time please, as it took 2 weeks of chasing families on the last set.
Why Pre-registration? The reason for pre-registration is that it allows for minor changes to parented lesson times or the number of lessons being run, as well as placing siblings back to back. It also allows single swimmers to be matched with another swimmer of similar age and ability, with the same availability. There is huge benefit from having a good match, as it often results in a more fun experience, encourages swimmers to challenge themselves more, creates faster progress, and helps to build confidence too. The final reason is that some families have very limited availability, or are travelling from the South Country, so I try my best to accommodate those who would normally miss out on swim lessons for this reason.
Who can participate? Swimmers 1-4 years can participate in parented lessons, swimmers 3 years+ can participate in private or semi-private lessons - for beginner or beginner/intermediate swimmers only. Swimmers who are too often left without suitable options to meet their needs are especially welcome to join, including neurodiverse swimmers, swimmers with disabilities or delays (diagnosed or suspected), Indigenous swimmers, and 2SLGBTQIA+ swimmers. High risk groups will again be prioritized this set (for example, studies show that Autistic children are up to 160 times more likely to drown than their neurotypical peers), as it is important that we as a community, support those who are most vulnerable and in need of swim lessons right away.
Looking for a Match? If you are asking family or friends to find a match for your swimmers, please keep in mind that usually anything more than a 2 year age gap will result in a different ability. Questions you will be asked on your pre-registration form will include - can they float independently, are they comfortable putting their face/ears/head underwater yet, how far can they swim unassisted, can they swim on their front and back, etc. If you don't know their swim level, this is a good guide to see if they have a similar ability, especially if they haven't participated in formal lessons yet or it's been a while. Please make sure to ask your friends before registration opens so you can coordinate which times you are both available for, and then you can include their name on your form too.
Progress and Feedback. The most requested form of feedback was verbal or written at the end of the lesson set, or Mountain Kids Swim Lessons skills tracking (online on the Parent Portal), therefore we will not be offering Red Cross booklets this set (which will change to the Lifesaving Society in a few months anyway). With 16+ skills in a level 1 class alone and 68 swimmers this set, I would prefer to work with swimmers to develop their confidence and competence in the water with a focus on survival swimming, rather than just tick off boxes, to better equip them to join group lessons later, if that's what you choose to do. A Red Cross and Lifesaving Society swim level recommendation will be provided on the last day, as well as skills and games ideas to continue practicing with your swimmers outside of lessons.
Funding and Cost. If your swimmer has funding for homeschooling physical education, e-Streams, disability funding (such as BC Autism funding) or similar, please let me know and we can arrange direct invoicing and billing (paid upfront, then refunded upon approval). If your family is struggling to make ends meet at this time (like mine is), please click the Community Page for kids sports grants that you may be able to apply for, or please email me as soon as possible to discuss sliding scale options,
Any questions? Please email any questions to Sarah at email@example.com or text/call (+1) 647 335 3997.