While not every parent might agree that math Olympiad classes or archery lessons are necessary for a kid, swimming lessons are pretty much mandatory, unless you want to get a panic attack each time Junior walks by a pond or monsoon drain.
Here are 5 tips to help you to choose swimming lessons for kids in Singapore:
1. Know The Market Rate
If a salesman at Sim Lim tries to sell you an iPhone for $10,000, you tell him to shove it. While you can’t exactly do that if someone tries to overcharge you for swimming lessons, at least know what reasonable prices should look like. Weekly group classes for beginners can cost around $50 to $80 a month.
2. Ask For a Free Trial Class
Many schools and coaches are open to giving your child a trial lesson free of charge if you ask. It’s a good idea to ask not only because it’s a freebie but also because you want to be able to check if the coach is right for your child. If the coach scares the living daylights out of your kid, the lessons might not be as productive as you hope they are.
The last thing you want is to pay for a package of classes, only for your kid to fear going to the pool to face Coach Dread every week. So don’t feel shy about asking for a trial lesson. At the end of the day, it should benefit both parties.
3. Observe the Lessons
If you hire the wrong coach you might as well just ask your kid to paddle around in the bathtub. Some parents have complained about coaches who don’t bother correcting students’ strokes and just let them flail around in the pool until the lesson ends.
While this sounds like great money if you are the swimming coach, to you as a parent it means the added hassle of having to go and find a new coach. While you might have gone for a trial class, you can bet the coach was on his best behaviour, and that is not necessarily a reflection of how the rest of the classes are going to go. So don’t discount the importance of sitting in on the classes.
4. Enrol Multiple Children
If you have two kids who are reasonably close in age, get them started on swimming lessons at the same time. You can also enrol your child for lessons together with cousins or friends’ children. Private coaches might lower the cost per kid if the group grows in size.
5. Know What Sort of Course You’re Signing Up For
When you buy a head of cabbage at the supermarket, you’re usually vaguely aware of whether it’s normal cabbage or super special cabbage grown in the meadows of some German town.
When you source for kiddie swimming lessons, you need to know whether they’re just normal lessons or, well, not normal. Regular beginner lessons usually teach basic techniques like blowing bubbles under water and then start kids on breaststroke and then freestyle. Infant swimming lessons are for babies too young for regular swimming lessons and cost more.
Then there are competitive lessons where your child is trained to become a jock later in life. Those are, as expected, more expensive. So tone down your kiasu side and adjust your spending to your child’s development stage.
Have you had any experience with swimming coaches in Singapore? Let us know in the comments!