Signing your kids up for swim lessons for the first time is an exciting milestone. Congrats on taking this big step! Parents often have a few questions and concerns before lessons begin, so we’ve put together a list of responses to common queries to put your mind at ease.
When should my child begin swim lessons?
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We offer swim classes to children of all ages, from infants to teens. In our experience, the younger kids are when they start lessons, the easier it is for them to get comfortable in the water. Our Waterbabies class is open to little ones from ages 3 months to 2 1/2 years. In small groups (a maximum of seven babies, plus their parents or caregivers), kids play games, sing songs, and explore the water to become acclimated and learn fundamental skills like floating and reaching for the wall. We’re so passionate about fostering a love for swimming early in life that our Waterbabies I class, for 3 to 6-month-old babies, is free.
I have an older child who has never taken lessons. Is (s)he going to be behind?
Not at all! Our students start at all different ages and levels, and it’s never too late to begin. We foster a supportive and fun learning environment, and you’ll be surprised by how quickly kids develop their swimming skills. In our Penguin I and Penguin II classes, children age 2 1/1 and older learn basic front and back floats, front glides and full submersion, plus water safety and breathing control skills. These classes are conducted without parents in the water, so kids build their confidence and independence.
What’s unique about Tom Dolan Swim School?
Tom Dolan, who grew up in Arlington, swam in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, bringing home Gold and Silver medals. Tom grew up swimming in pools in Northern Virginia, and he started this school to be the ideal place to learn to swim, unlike the loud, cavernous facilities with cold water he remembers. Tom Dolan Swim School is a purpose-built facility, meaning it has only one goal: to provide a safe, quiet and warm environment for children and adults to learn to swim. It features three large pools with customized ledges, various depths and 91-degree water, as well as acoustic panels to minimize noise.
Who teaches at Tom Dolan Swim School?
Our instructors are the heart and soul of TDSS. We select swim teachers who are enthusiastic, patient, caring and experienced. All instructors complete an intensive 40-hour training that prepares them in child development and our systematic approach to swim instruction.
When can we get started?
Right away! You don’t have to wait until the beginning of the month or the next course start date to register for classes. We have a continuous monthly system, so you can sign up for classes at any time and pay a pro-rated amount for the month. Our flexible class calendar offers a wide variety of times to accommodate your family’s busy schedule.
Stay tuned for Part II of our FAQs in a future blog post! Learn more about classes at Tom Dolan Swim School.