Frequently Asked Questions
Why group lessons? Aren’t private lessons better?
We believe that group lessons have a higher efficacy, cost less, and are more fun. With other children in the water, your child will forget about the “work” of swim lessons and instead look forward to the fun, familiar faces of their playmates. The energy level put off by a group of children is unmatched by any singular adult. Also, children tend to be more adventurous with new skills and inspired to follow directions better when their peers are doing the same thing. With small groups of 4 or less, each child still gets plenty of attention. It also enables us to teach longer classes (30 minutes) thereby increasing the muscle memory and skill retention of the skills being learned.
Private lessons are great, but for a short period of time. Then children get bored and progress stalls. It is also very expensive for a qualified teacher to spend time with just one child (not to mention wasted because a child can only absorb so much information).
At what age should my child begin swim lessons?
The earlier that a child is enrolled into a learn-to-swim program, the better! We begin teaching babies as young as two months. While they may not “swim” at this age, the benefits are invaluable. Also, children who begin swim classes before they reach one year of age generally accept the water more readily than older children.
Why do you teach “continuous” lessons instead of sessions?
When signing up for sessions, parents often incorrectly assume that the skills being taught should be learned in that time frame. We promote and believe in year round swim lessons in order for your children to learn to swim and be safer the water. A less intensive, more consistent approach results in higher skill retention. Summer only lessons are an antiquated idea. Your neighbor’s pool didn't disappear because it's December! A seasonal approach usually leads to the loss of swim skills in the off season and wasted time and money on your part. Children learn to swim faster in our classes because there is constant progression.
Finally, continuous lessons provide a more affordable option for customers and eliminate having to pay full tuition up front.
What should I bring to swim class?
You will need a suit and a towel. If your child is under the age of three, a snug fitting, re-usable swim diaper is required. Plastic training pants and disposable swim diapers are not allowed. We provide the rest of the equipment required for swimming class such as fins, goggles and educational toys. However, kids love to use their own stuff. Children are encouraged to bring their own goggles or fins if they so desire. Just be sure to write your child’s name on them in permanent marker.
Do all of your teachers use the same skills and techniques?
Each of our instructors is working from the same curriculum. Recommended drills, games, and techniques are all consistent throughout our teachers. However, each group dynamic is different, and we allow our teachers to write their own lesson plans for each class. Each teacher has a different personality and different strengths to offer his/her students. We think this allows us to offer a truly individualized program for each student.
What if my child cries or is afraid?
We absolutely tolerate children who are newly afraid of water. Our teachers are trained to deal with even the most fearful swimmer. We will make every effort to be patient with children who are scared and crying. We have many toys, songs and games to entice even the most skittish child. If you need help getting your child into the pool, please ask our staff for assistance . We believe that a few extra weeks is a small price to pay for a lifelong comfort in the water.
As a parent, the best thing you can do for your child is to be supportive and consistent. This will help your child adjust and overcome their fear. Delaying or avoiding swim lessons will reinforce your child’s fear. Praise for improvements will go a long way towards a happy child.
Why don’t you teach blowing bubbles?
We do not teach blowing bubbles for beginning swimmers. Exhaling under water limits buoyancy and increases the sense of urgency about getting another breath. By teaching children to hold their breath and make a “whale face”, they can swim underwater for longer periods of time and increase their lung capacity. It also prevents water from getting up their nose.
Most children will begin to exhale underwater on their own when they begin learning strokes. If not, we’ll introduce the skill at that time.
What if my child is sick?
If your child has a cold or allergies, swimming may actually be beneficial in helping them feel better. If your child has a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, they are too sick for swimming.
How do I contact my child’s teacher?
Because of our class schedule, teachers are usually too busy to talk with parents before, during, or after lessons. If you would like to speak with your child’s teacher, please fill out a Parent/Teacher Communication form . If you would like to discuss your child’s progress, any problems that have arisen, or just pass along information to your teacher, please use this form. This will help your teacher keep everything straight and ensure that you get exactly what you want. The form is available online or at the front desk. Your teacher will make every effort to contact you within 24 hours.
How long will it take my child to learn how to swim?
It depends on what you expect them to learn. We recommend that children continue until they have earned their gold medal and can swim all four strokes. Some parents choose to leave after various other survival skills have been acquired, and before learning the strokes. Whatever your goal may be, every child learns at his or her own pace. So it is difficult to determine how long it will take a given child to earn the desired ribbons. Prior experience, physical age, and emotional maturity can all significantly impact a child’s ability to learn. However, we believe that all children will learn to swim with enough consistency and instruction.
When will my child be “safe” in the water?
Children are never “safe” in the water. Neither are adults! We always recommend constant supervision for children and that no one ever swim alone. WaterSprites supports the Safer3 program . We will teach safety skills (such as only entering the water upon invitation) every lesson. It is our belief that knowledge and respect for the water are some of the best tools in accident prevention.
How do I register for lessons?
First, fill out a registration from our home page.
Second, let us help you determine your child’s level. Please call our staff at 530-342-2999.
When can I sign up?
Because of our continuous structure, classes are ongoing and your child can be enrolled in the appropriate space anytime. Tuition will be prorated to reflect the time of enrollment. Call to discuss which level is right for your child.
Where can I find a schedule of classes?
Our schedule of classes is constantly evolving with the progress of our students. Please call with an idea of days and times that would work best for you and our staff will work to find or create a class that fits your schedule.
What are my payment options?
We will take payments three different ways:
1. Monthly automatic debit from checking or savings accounts.
2. Monthly automatic debit from Visa or MasterCard.
All accounts will be charged automatically on the first day of each month for that month's lessons.
3. If you wish to pay by cash, check or non automatic debit credit card we request that you pay three months tuition in advance.
Can I change my child’s class to a different day and/or time?
Of course you can. As long as we have availability in the appropriate level, we are happy to transfer your child to a class at a different day and/or time. If it is unavailable, we will place you on a waiting list. You will be notified as soon as an opening becomes available.
Do I need to change classes when my child earns their ribbon?
Most classes progress at a similar pace. Because of this, it is not necessary to change classes. If your child is progressing faster, or more slowly than other children in the class, we will speak with you about changing to another class.
Do you offer make-ups or credits for missed classes?
Regular attendance is essential to success in the aquatic classroom. You should bring your child to class as regularly as possible. If you should miss your weekly class, we would be happy to give you complimentary access for two to our family swim hours on Friday night. Credits will not be offered because our operational costs do not change because of an absent student. Our warm pool and friendly teachers were ready and waiting.
If we should cancel a class for any reason, your account will be credited for the missed lesson. Your credit will be deducted from your next month’s tuition.
What if my class has only one or two students?
If a class has only one or two students, we reserve the right to consolidate that class.
Why do you have an eight lesson minimum?
Eight lessons is a total of four hours. You would never expect your child to learn the piano in this amount of time, and you shouldn't expect them to be able to save their life either. We believe this is the bare minimum amount of time for a child to adjust to our structure and truly begin benefiting from our classes.
We pride ourselves on having the best learn to swim program around. It is a reflection on our reputation whether or not your child learns how to swim. Too often we see kids who have taken lessons “all summer, for the past 5 years.” All summer, once a week, minus a few vacation days is only about 3 hours of instruction. Fifteen hours of instruction over five years is not enough time, and it's a waste of money. We would hate for your child to lose out on everything that we have to offer because they were pulled out of lessons too early.
How do I withdraw from lessons?
Families who wish to withdraw from swim lessons must provide us with a 2 week written notice of their desired stop date. Withdrawal forms can be found at the front desk or online. They can be submitted online or turned into the front desk. We ask that you confirm the receipt of your request with the front desk.
Why do you need 14 days notice before withdrawing from a class?
We determine staffing needs, supplies, and other operational costs based on enrollment for the month. We ask for 14 days so that we can allow another child to fill your spot, or adjust accordingly.