Last weekend, AJ had his first swimming lesson with Old City Swim School, a local swim school that holds lessons at pools on the campus of Gallaudet University. Old City offers “Parent and Tot” classes for children ages 2-3, and “Learn to Swim” for kids 3 and up (see descriptions here). AJ, newly 3, is enrolled in Learn to Swim.
I went along for this first lesson to get the lay of the land. Going forward, this is going to be a Daddy-and-AJ activity, but this is a class in which parents do not actually participate. Parents relinquish their children to the instructors and sit in a waiting area on the far side of the pool, with the view pictured above.
As a beginner, AJ is starting at Level 1, which focuses on putting one’s face in the water and blowing bubbles. When he masters those skills, he will get a sticker to put on his certificate and move on to Level 2, which is about floating and gliding.
After some initial hesitation, AJ got into the pool with his instructor, who was in charge of AJ and one other child. From a distance, I could see AJ bobbing around the pool with the instructor and practicing holding onto the edge of the pool and climbing out.
The class is 30 minutes long, and about 20 minutes in, AJ sustained some kind of boo-boo and began to cry while sitting on the edge of the pool. I saw Head Coach Meg come over to him. She held his hand and walked him along the edge of the pool. It looked like she was pointing out the different groups of kids working at different levels and talking to him about the skills they were working on.
At the end of the half-hour, she brought AJ around the pool to the parents’ waiting area and gave us a quick summary of his lesson. I asked AJ if he wanted to do swimming every Saturday. His answer was a big smile and a yes.
We are looking forward to seeing how AJ’s skills develop with Old City Swim School. Here are all the swim lesson options that I have found on the Hill. The following are all listed on the page Activities/Classes for Toddlers and Preschoolers.
Bobby Broome Aquatics
- All levels
- Variable schedule | Waterside Fitness and Swim Club, 901 6th St SW | Registration required
DCPR: Learn to Swim for Parent/Child Level B
“Improve skills learned in Parent and Child Aquatics Level A and teaches more advanced skills. Continue to build on water safety knowledge.”
- Ages 2-4 years
- Several-week sessions offered seasonally | Rumsey Aquatic Center and other D.C. public pool locations | Registration required
Old City Swim School
“Old City Swim School is a technique-driven learn-to-swim-program that teaches mastery of the four classic swim strokes. A level-based “building block” curriculum, swimmers are promoted from one level to the next upon successful mastery of the specific skills required at each of the 10 levels.”
- Ages 2 and up
- Weekly classes | Gallaudet campus | Registration required
WeAquatics: Infant Swim and Learn to Swim
“We believe swimming offers something for everyone. The beauty of swimming is that it is what you make of it..”
- Ages 6 months and up (Infant Swim) and 4 years and up (Learn to Swim)
- Email for schedule: info@WEAquatics.com | Gallaudet University and other D.C. locations | Registration required