Who can attend outdoor swim lessons?
While I'm experienced in teaching babies, toddlers, children, teens and adults, the focus this year will be on children 4 to 12 years. Unless they are beginners, older teens or adults may not have enough space to really test out their skills.
I also have experience teaching children with diverse needs such as physical disabilities, Downs Syndrome, ADHD/ADD, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Deaf or hearing impaired swimmers. Please contact me if you would like to discuss how I can adapt the lesson to suit your child's needs. My goal is always to ensure that swimmers feel safe, respected and comfortable, while also challenging them to progress towards their goals and having fun along the way.
What is the assessment process?
Upon booking, you will be prompted to complete a registration form so I can learn where your child is at – whether this is their first time in a lesson, or they have participated in several Red Cross Swim sessions. I will also ask you to choose which ability you would rate your child at, with descriptions (from beginner to advanced skills), so I know where to start on their first lesson.
I will have a very good idea where they are at within the first 10 minutes of a lesson and will continue to work on all the core swim skills and progressions so that over time they can gain more confidence, skills and endurance.
Private lessons allow the flexibility to work at their own pace, rather than fitting them into a specific group level, which often leads to repetition and boredom in my experience.
What do I bring?
Come ready to your lesson with swimsuit, sunscreen, towel and goggles (if desired, but great for practicing getting their face in the water). Some swimmers choose to wear a wetsuit and/or swim cap, which is an excellent idea for swimmers who get cold quickly. Water bottle, snacks and hand sanitizer are recommended too (there is no drinking water available at Tie Lake).
We have a selection of training aids, noodles, kickboards, sinking toys and floating toys available to use in the lesson. No need to bring your own lifejacket or puddle jumper - most kids get enough time practicing with those, so we prefer to give your kids a chance to practice without, or use Swim Fins to give them the extra support instead without restricting movement.
Where do I go?
Lessons will be held at Tie Lake, near Jaffray BC, where there is a sandy beach with a large, gradually sloping public swimming area enclosed by a buoy line. Look for the picnic table near the shoreline with the Mountain Kids Swim Lessons banner; this is where you will meet your Instructor at the beginning and end of lessons.
Heading West, turn right off the highway opposite the Shell gas station onto Tie Lake Road. Follow the main road until you reach the picnic area (marked Tie Lake Regional Park on Google maps). Do not turn right to the camping/recreation site. The road is paved right to the end, where you will find a large looped parking area and several scattered toilets, changing rooms and picnic tables available to use.
Please note: these are private swim lessons on a public beach – there is no affiliation with Tie Lake Regional Park or RDEK.
Are lessons Red Cross certified?
Mountain Kids Swim Lessons is an independent Red Cross Training Partner, soon to be Lifesaving Society Affiliate too. Indoor lessons allow the opportunity to choose between working towards
Red Cross swim levels, or following a simplified program with a stronger focus on survival swimming.
We will not be offering Red Cross swim levels at the lake, as many skills cannot be completed in the open water, and distances are a challenge to measure. We would like to offer a stronger focus on survival swimming, open water safety skills and endurance. Progress can be checked in the skills section of the new Parent Portal (on Jackrabbit Swim), and a swim level recommendation can be provided on the last day if desired (then you can request a brief assessment at your local aquatic center, before you register for group lessons).
Why private lessons not group classes?
No more repeating levels over and over, or waiting around for your turn in a group class shared by 6 kids! By having your own private or semi-private lesson, your child gets to learn at their own pace, in their own way, for the whole lesson. There’s no competition in a private lesson, it’s all about doing a little better than you did the lesson before. Private lessons may cost more in the short term, but very often lead to faster progression and more confidence, making it more cost effective in the long run. When worked out at a per minute per swimmer rate, private lessons are actually cheaper than local group classes!
In my experience with large group classes over the years, many swimmers who are timid and nervous feel overpowered by overconfident swimmers and get stuck. Conversely, those with high energy and confidence often receive less constructive feedback and/or are not challenged enough, also getting stuck. Private lessons eliminate these issues by providing tailored lessons to suit your child's energy, confidence and skills, and scaffolding their learning to challenge them further.
What does "similar ability" mean?
If you are wondering whether your 2 swimmers are of similar ability in order to participate in a lesson together, here is a brief guide.
If one can only swim 2M and the other 10M, one will not be challenged as it limits how far away the Instructor can safely be. This would not be a good match.
If one can swim 10M and the other 15M, that is not a problem as the Instructor can move a little further away, or it may challenge them weaker swimmer to go a little further.
Need financial assistance?
COVID has brought on an abundance of challenges to many families in our communities. If you or someone you know is struggling to participate in Swim Lessons due to financial constraints, please head to our "Community" page for some options that may help.
Mountain Kids Swim Lessons will also be offering a limited number of reduced cost spots to families in need.