Living in New Zealand, learning to swim is an essential part of growing up. Not just for personal safety, health, and fitness, but also to participate in all of the fun, water-based activities and see all of the beautiful places our country has to offer!
Are you looking to enrol your child in swimming lessons at your local Fulton Swim School, but you’re not sure if it’s the right time of year?
What is the best time of year to take swimming lessons?
It’s almost like asking when the best time of year to learn a valuable life skill like CPR is, or when the best time of year to have fun is! There’s no right or wrong answer, but there are plenty of great reasons to do it sooner rather than later!
All of the pools at all of our Fulton Swim Schools are heated to a comfortable 32 degrees Celsius, so there’s no wrong time of year to take swimming lessons!
However, since we’ve been teaching young Kiwis to swim since 2005, we know a thing or two about swimming lessons. We know that children do best with their swimming, grow their confidence faster, and enjoy it more if they come on a regular basis, which is why we run classes year round (yes, that means we run through the school holidays!), with just a small break for Christmas.
Running classes year-round means that we can attract and retain awesome swimming teachers, and it means that you have the flexibility to choose when your child starts their swimming lessons - no waiting until the next term starts. Also, if you decide that you’d like to pull your child out of lessons, for whatever reason, you’re not locked in until the end of the term.
Since we’ve been doing this for more than 18 years, we have noticed pros and cons of taking classes during each season. Here’s the rundown:
Spring is a great time to start swimming lessons because the weather is starting to get warmer, and outdoor pools may begin to open for the season, meaning more chances to practise between lessons!
Taking swimming lessons in spring is also good if your child has some fear of the water because it gives them some time to overcome it and feel more comfortable before summer kicks into gear.
Summer is a popular time to take swimming lessons because it’s the time of year when every child gets invited to the beach, the river, or the local pool to play with their friends and fend off the heat.
It’s a good time of year to learn because your child will likely be excited to improve their swimming and motivated because of the water activities they can take part in. Plus, there are lots of opportunities to practise, so your little one will improve quickly!
However, if you have trips away planned for the summer, it may be disruptive for your child to be attending swimming lessons sporadically, so that’s something to consider before you commit to lessons. We know that life can sometimes get in the way! That’s why we offer our makeup token system. We’re one of the few extra curricular activities that offers the chance to make up the missed lesson within the next 3 months (subject to our Ts & Cs).
As summer ends, we generally enter a quieter period at our swim schools. It’s good news for you though! It often means smaller classes, and more one-on-one attention for your child. It’s also a good time of year to take swimming lessons as fun summer memories are still fresh in your children’s minds, so they might be more motivated to improve their swimming before the next summer.
Instinctively, you might not think that winter is the best time to enrol your child in swimming lessons. But, with heated pools, smaller classes, and less pressure to gain confidence before that school trip, the family holiday, or your wee one’s best friend’s beach birthday party, it’s a really nice time to take swimming lessons.
It’s a great excuse to get out of the house, spend some time somewhere warm, and make sure your kids are getting a good amount of regular exercise, despite the yucky weather. It’s still a good idea to be conscious of the cold after classes though, make sure your child stays warm and dry to avoid any winter chills.
The worst time to start swimming lessons
The absolute worst time to start swimming lessons is at the point where you can’t commit to them consistently. Because many children have some level of fear of being in the water to begin with, it’s important to start swimming lessons and keep at it, so that they can build their confidence and we can get them excited to spend time in the water.
If your child starts swimming lessons right before you go on holiday, before the Christmas break, or before a very busy period in your life where it may be difficult to attend classes, it could make your child more anxious about learning to swim, and we definitely don’t want that!
The best time to start swimming lessons
Ultimately, the best time to start swimming lessons is when you feel your child is ready, and whenever suits your schedule best. But really, it comes down to your family’s personal preferences and circumstances - you know what is best for your family.
They say that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but the second best time is today. There are pros and cons to taking swimming lessons at any time of year (mostly pros!), but rather than getting bogged down about starting at the right time, it’s more important to get in the pool and give it a go!
So, whenever you’re ready to dive in, let us know by booking a class (you may want to complete our Swim Level Assessment Form first to work out which class would suit best), or pop in for a look around your nearest Fulton Swim School. We can’t wait to help your little one learn to swim!