I wrote a few weeks ago that N had now graduated from Water Babies now he’s four. You’d think it would be simple to just transfer him over to new swimming classes and all would be lovely and fine.
However, if you’ve never tried to get your child (and I’m talking post-baby swimming lessons) into swimming lessons and haven’t had them on a waiting list since birth, then start thinking about it now. It can be a total nightmare.
I’ve heard of people queuing at leisure centres for hours in the hope of being there face to face will get them on the list when they open, ahead of phone call sign ups – it can be like this even for people already in classes but just wanting to move up a class. And others who’ve been told there’s just no chance as the waiting lists are as long as their arms! Add to that working parents that means afterschool lessons aren’t an option, and you’ll be nobbling other parents in the hope of getting children signed up for classes at a reasonable age.
I really wanted to get him into the standard group swimming lessons at the same pool. For starters, he was obviously used to the pool; it’s only a 5 minute(ish) drive away, they do Saturday lessons. And most of his cousins have learnt or are learning there, and had done really well with the teacher. They tend to have 2 teachers, running 2 classes in tandem so I was hoping that once existing children had rebooked their classes, that there would be some spaces in the several classes that are the level he was recommended to go into.
Then the panic set in as the booking date approached. If he didn’t get a space, I knew I’d not have a chance of getting him into the right class at the town leisure centre, because they’re rumoured to be a nightmare to get into. There is another small town near us with a pool and I’d have probably been ok getting a space there, but it was further away, a new pool, and I couldn’t for the life of me work out what level class he’d need to do. Classes tend to start with ‘never having been in a pool before’ – which he’s not on his own, but has otherwise swum for nearly 4 years. So he wouldn’t be wanting introduction to water classes. But then the next class seemed to be reception age – with a list of things they needed to be able to do. So he’d have been in theory too young, and for the checklist some of which N could do, some he’d refuse to do but which he should be able to do, and others he definitely couldn’t.
The teacher/manager of the swimming lessons I wanted him to join is really laid back though. Long delays in replies to emails, no replies to voicemails, and then I collared her at the pool after one of our lessons to check when bookings was opening. Then the date I’d been given was wrong for new starters. Argghh.
Eventually booking day arrived and I was on the phone at 4 o’clock dead. But they didn’t have the laptop so couldn’t check the spaces and could I ring back. As I was at work, I was then paranoid that someone else would get in before me and there’d be no spaces. Thankfully when I called back, they still had spaces for the Saturday early sessions. And I was booked on. Of course it wasn’t as simple as that because our old classes didn’t finish until half term, so although I was booking him on from January, he wasn’t starting until February. Luckily they’re accommodating of that, so last week was N’s first class…but that’s another post.
I was relieved that we got a space, at a time that’s convenient. Especially when I spoke to one of the mums at nursery who has twins who’re also 4…and they had to wait a year to get lessons.
Have you ever had nightmares trying to get children into swimming lessons?
Why not take a look at these similar posts.