We’ve been trying to teach our daughter to swim for years—on our own and through a variety of classes, but success has been elusive.
We were optimistic about an adaptive swim class offered by the city, but once again, progress was minimal. The pool was freezing—like blue lips, could barely make it through the class, frigid. It was also large and loud, with way too many distractions. The instructors tried their best, but aside from one-on-one instruction, there was no real distinction between this “adaptive” program and a regular community swim class.
I was sceptical when I heard about the Goldfish Swim School opening near us. I didn’t believe it would be any different from past swim school experiences.
But, we decided to give it a try and holy sh…allow waters! Avery’s swimming has dramatically improved after only a few months of weekly lessons. She was swimming confidently, and with proper technique, after only four classes!
I’ve since recommended Goldfish Swim School to everyone!! Friends, neighbours, strangers on the internet, random moms in the grocery checkout line.
It’s just so exciting to have found a program that is fun, safe and effective. We love it so much that my son is starting as a volunteer at Goldfish, and plans to work toward becoming an instructor.
There’s a video at the end of this post if you like to take a peek at this swim school through our eyes. (Avery’s attempt at blow drying her hair at the end is my favourite.)
Here’s are a few of the reasons why we highly recommend Goldfish Swim School:
Oakville, Ontario is the first Goldfish Swim School location in Canada. The program has been running across the United States for years with great success. And as a successful franchise, they’ve worked it all out. Seriously, they’ve thought of everything.
From the bright and colourful facility, to the friendly trained and certified instructors, they had us hooked. Sorry Bubbles (Goldfish mascot), that was not meant as a sick fishing pun, I swear.
Getting my kiddo out of her wet suit and dressed makes me sweaty and cranky. This is why I’m thrilled with the convenient Goldfish change room set up. Unisex, with plenty of large individual stalls, both moms and dads can easily help their kids dress in comfort.
The glassed-in shower area (bathing suits stay on for obvious reasons… this is no Club Hedonism situation) allows parents to help their kids rinse off and shampoo (tear-free shampoo is provided).
There’s a blow drying station with actual blow dryers, not those pitiful wall mounted machines that give off about as much hot air as blowing out a birthday candle.
Our favourite touch (I’m obsessed and routinely trick my child into letting me do it for her) is the bathing suit drying machine. Check out the demo in the video below.
Avery checks herself in at the front desk before each lesson and is greeted warmly by name. “It’s an inviting and safe place where kids overcome their fears, learn to swim, respect the water, and have lots of fun while doing it. The award-winning tropical environment and shiver-free pools (the water is a consistent 90 degrees and 4ft shallow from end to end!) are simply the fun backdrop for where kids do some serious growing and learning. This is ‘The Science of SwimPlay®.’
Aside from the top-notch facilities, it’s the swim program itself that puts the gold in goldfish.
Instructors guide you through to the right swim lesson level. Each swim level has specific swim requirements. Staff observe each lesson to determine when children are ready to advance.
At the end of each class parents are invited onto the pool deck for a lesson summary, and to watch their child demonstrate a skill they’re working on. This provides parents with immediate feedback about their kid’s progress and also in my case, really big hair (it’s humid in there).
There’s one lifeguard on duty for every four students, so when an instructor needs to take their eyes off a swimmer to demonstrate a technique, kids are always being carefully watched. This means I can relax and enjoy the free wifi from the viewing area. Sometimes I imagine I’m in the Caribbean.
Unlike typical swim lessons that lock you into a set day and time for a predetermined session, Goldfish Oakville’s unique “Perpetual Lessons” model lets you choose a lesson time that fits your family’s schedule. If your schedule changes, they’ll switch you to a different day or time without a fuss. There’s no wasted time or money and, most important, your child’s development stays on track with no interruptions.
Pay month-to-month rather than paying for a multi-month session in advance. If you have to take a break for any reason, you can. Just submit a short Withdrawal Form 30 days before your last lesson and then let them know when you’re ready to start back up.
Goldfish Swim School might be pricier than some of the other schools we’ve tried, but it’s absolutely worth it. Avery loves her teacher, the lessons, the whole shebang. And best of all…she’s finally swimming!
Dive in and learn more at www.goldfishswimschool.com/oakville
Watch this short video to check out Goldfish Swim School for yourself.
Disclosure: We were offered a free block of lessons in exchange for our honest feedback. I explained I wouldn’t be able to post a review if we weren’t absolutely in love with the program. Well, we are. In fact, I’d say our experience has gone swimmingly well.