School of Fishes, how we work: Each child is treated as an individual – goals and rewards are based on each child’s ability and desire. No child is forced to do what he/she does not want to do (although we may help encourage them to try something we know they can do). Goldfish crackers are given for each attempt and stars are awarded for goals reached. Certificates are given when a child first swims any distance, when the child swims across the pool and when the child swims the length of the pool. The coveted award is “Oscar the Alligator” given when the child swims the length of the pool without stopping. We have a little ceremony at the end of each lesson – stars on the chart, stickers on the hand and a fish drawing on the hand.

Most of the instruction is done through games. We concentrate on getting children to swim any way they can. Form is not important. Pre-schoolers do not have the coordination to swim with the form of older children. Once the child makes it across the pool, we try to improve form, but coordination will come with age and maturity. We use patterning to help get the feel of correct kicks and arm movements, but please do not worry about how they look – they will improve.

Strict water safety rules are taught and enforced. Children are expected to sit on the side of the pool until instructed to enter the water. The children are not allowed past the first safety line (or volleyball net) without an instructor until the can swim across the pool without putting a foot down.