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Swimming
8 year old


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#1 Done

Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:10 PM

hi there,

after some opinions...

my child has been doing swimming lessons once a week since age 3. We attend the local council pool. the lessons go for half an hour and there is up to 4 in a group.

we have generally had the same teacher for long periods of time, most recent teacher since mid last year, teacher prior to that for 2.5 years.

the year before we did take to one term off, but since Oct 2011 we have been each week. before that we hadn't taken any time off.

lessons only stop for 2 weeks over Christmas.

so basically in over 5 years, week in week out except for one term, child has been in swimming lessons.

considering this, what do you think would be the swimming ability of the child. ie how far should they be able to swim eg 10m, 25m, 50m etc

what strokes should they have learnt by now. eg free style, breath stroke, butterfly, back stroke?

thanks!

#2 pitzinoodles

Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:35 PM

No personal experience with my kids, but from when I taught swimming yonks ago, I'd say an 8 yo with 5yrs of lessons should swim 25m in free and breaststroke and attempt backstroke. Probably only able to do the dolphin kick of fly.

#3 Lil-Mum

Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:13 AM

My 8yo DD has also been swimming since she was a baby.

She can swim 25-50m in freestyle and backstroke, but can't really do much breaststroke yet.

Edited by Lil-Mum, 15 February 2013 - 12:14 AM.


#4 ~iMum~

Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:19 AM

DS (9) hasn't really had swimming lessons since he was a baby and can swim 50m freestyle. Just this week was chosen as first reserve for the school swimming carnival team. DS (7) also hasn't had lessons since he was a baby, and was slower to take to water safety and swimming, but can swim 25m freestyle as at this week. Just throwing it out there for you, OP. original.gif We live in a hot area and spend a lot of time outdoors near water. I don't necessarily believe swimming lessons = swimming ability, on it's own. Familiarity with water is the other key ingredient to being both water safe and a good swimmer.

#5 30bt

Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:56 AM

my DD 8 can swim 50 m breastroke, backstroke and freestyle. She has done swimming lessons all year every year. She's never going to be the fastest but she is a strong swimmer!

#6 Rachel70

Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:18 AM

My DS who is 8 graduated from kings swim school last year. He can swim 1km freestyle, and do all other strokes just as well.
We went to swimming lessons every week for 4 years.
My DD is the same.
I would worry that after having lessons for so long your kids still can't swim very far or well.
My DD who is 9 now does squad 3 times a week and swims an hour each time. This is just continuous laps of an Olympic sized pool with stops for guidance from the coach.
We are a family that loves the water and spend a lot of time over summer in the water.

Edited by Rachel70, 15 February 2013 - 06:32 AM.


#7 barrington

Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:25 AM

QUOTE (pitzinoodles @ 14/02/2013, 11:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No personal experience with my kids, but from when I taught swimming yonks ago, I'd say an 8 yo with 5yrs of lessons should swim 25m in free and breaststroke and attempt backstroke. Probably only able to do the dolphin kick of fly.

My DS (8) who hasn't had swimming lessons since he was a baby, can swim 25 metres of freestyle and breaststroke, but not backstroke.  I would rate his swimming ability as average and would have expected someone who has has lessons continuously to be a lot better than my DS.

#8 mumto3princesses

Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:26 AM

Depends on the child.

My twins are 9yrs now and very different. Always have been. They both started at 2yrs 10mths. Usually once a week lessons with the odd 1 week intensive in the holidays.

DD#2 was petrified and still is what her swimming teacher calls a nervous swimmer. While DD#3 had no fear from the start.

At just turned 8yrs DD#2 was swimming 25m freestyle and backstroke. (Other strokes get added as they progress) Went in the school carnival at 8yrs 2mths and swam 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke (2x 25m). She was very nervous and had a teacher on the side telling her how good she was going but she did it.  Now at 9yrs and 3mths she can swim 50m without stopping in freestyle or backstroke or breaststroke. Trying to do tumble turns. Very close to going up to the next level which is a mini squad where they do lap after lap of the 25m pool for 45mins and learn dolphin kick. She even manged to come 3rd in 50m backstroke in the school carnival this year.

But then DD#3 at just turned 8yrs was already in the mini squad. At 8yrs swam 50m freestyle in the carnival and came 2nd (had to swim as 9yrs old) and then came 3rd in breastroke and backstroke 50m against 10yr olds as they swim them together. Now at 9yrs is doing squad. Will always swim at least 100m or sometimes 150m without stopping. Learning butterfly. Continous laps of the pool. Breaks are just long enough for coach to say what she wants them to do next and waiting for her turn to go. She's not fast though yet and pretty much the slowest in her class but she just hasn't got the hang of going faster yet and has to be reminded to go faster. She absolutely loves swimming.

Edited by mumto3princesses, 15 February 2013 - 06:29 AM.


#9 BeakyHoneyButt

Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:27 AM

I depends on the child. My daughters are 4 and 6. been in lessons for the same amount of time. And this year they are in the same class. 4 year old is just a strong swimmer I suppose.

#10 the wudges

Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:37 AM

DS (also 8) can swim a few 25m laps of freestyle and backstroke with good technique. He is learning butterfly, breaststroke and to do tumble turns. His swim school focusses on stroke and technique rather than distance.

#11 Rachel70

Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:45 AM

I agree it is important that your children get their technique correct before they worry about distance. There is no point in swimming long distances if you are doing it wrong.
My DS stayed at the same level for ages once as he struggled with the correct leg movements for breaststroke.
As a added bonus I have picked up a few tips to improve my own swimming.
I must admit that I feel very proud to watch my children swim and tell myself that's its been worth the thousands of $ it cost me.

#12 annodam

Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:46 AM

It really depends on the child, I guess.
DD who is 11½ now, has been swimming since she was 6mo.
Very similar to your situation, never missed a lesson except for the holidays.

At 8yo she was able to swim both 50m free & back plus 25m of breast at that age.  
She had also been introduced to the dolphin kick.
I could tell with her from an early age, she was going to be a fish!
She just loved it & still does!

My son who is 4yo is nowhere near the level his sister was at the same age, despite starting at 6mo & more or less having the same amount of lessons.
He also loves swimming but his ability is not quite as good as his sisters.

Our swim school focuses on good technique first before moving onto the next level.

#13 unicorn

Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:55 AM

DD7 has been swimming since she was a babe in arms. It has only bee the last two years we have done swimming lessons for her and she is swimming freestyle, backstroke and breast stroke quite well and now working on turns and butterfly.
One of my friends' daughter is in DD's class at school and she can swim all four stokes well, as well as dives and turns, she is 6. For the length of time you have been going to lessons I would expect near this level as well, barring any issues your child might have that would delay them.
I would expect 100m comfortably if the focus was on laps,  50 if they were focusing more on stroke than distance.

#14 brazen

Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:59 AM

it depends on the child. ryan was much more confident than emelia is now. she can swim around 5m, if she's feeling confident. he could swim 10 or so. rora swims just about as well as emelia does, at 6yo

i would take a break for a few months or up to a year then try again. that really seems to help my kids when they're over it

#15 katrina24

Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:16 AM

I think that every child is different and variations in ability are not necessarily due to poor instruction. My 7 year old DD has had lessons since she was a baby nod has only just swum 25 m freestyle.  DD2 who is 5 will likely do that a lot sooner.

#16 Sentient Puddle

Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:28 AM

I too would not be focussing on distances covered. I would be focussing on how well they have the survival information and techniques down and can put them into practice.  How well they can tread water and how their strokes are progressing from term to term.  If you are seeing improvement in all of the above then I would be happy.  

My 7 year old about to turn 8 can swim freestyle and backstroke with quite good technique and can tread water for long periods of time.  He knows and can put into practice water safety techniques and is learning to dive.  As an aside my just turned 6 year old is in the same class and at the same level (at least on paper) as it is a big level to conquer!

#17 Kemismum

Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:56 AM

It really depends on so many factors.

My DS is about to turn 7 and can swim 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke and is learning breastroke and butterfly. He is ahead of the majority of his peers and has been doing this since 5. Whereas my DD is about to turn 5 and looks like she is having her first swimming lesson every single week ( for the last 4 years  sad.gif ). DD prefers to swim underwater. We are always at the pool as we are a big swimming family and both kids have had the same exposure but one just has more apptitude in the water ( and one is more willing to listen to me give advice).

An old acquaintance from my own swimming days son is also 7 and in squad, swimming all 4 strokes for kms. He comes from a long line of swimming champions and has inherited the genes. He is way way way above his peers. But again he has literally grown up at a pool.

At 8, I would expect a child who has had only swimming lessons for that long to be able to swim 25m Freestyle and 25m Backstroke as a minimum, but as pps have said I would concentrate more on style than distance.

#18 sophiasmum

Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:02 AM

I would say definitely 25m freestyle.

I'm not a swimmer so don't know all the other strokes.

#19 cward

Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:03 AM

I agree with all the PP's in saying that every child is different.  Both my DD's have done swimming lessons up to about 7 and my DD10 has done squads since nearly 8.  She does two afternoons from Oct to March of sqaud training for 1.5 hrs swimming laps of the 50m pool with input from coaches.  She then races on saturday mornings.  She definitely isnt a champion but can confidently swim all 4 strokes.

My DD2 (6) will probably not do swimming lessons this winter but has been doing them up to now.  She can swim 25m freestyle and backstroke (she raced in both of these last year) and thinks she can do breaststroke!

There are kids from 7 up who do sqaud training and are swimming laps of the 50m pool confidently without stopping but I'm not sure what level of previous lessons they have had.

#20 Nanaimo Girl

Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:05 AM

At age 9 my DD had been doing weekly swimming lessons since age 5 and was still stuck at level 2. I was beginning to despair that she would never learn to swim. And then one day it "clicked" what she had to and there was no stopping her.

#21 Chalkie

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:14 PM

Hi, try not to compare to others.  However I would suggest after 5 years of lessons, 25 m of freestyle with good technique, maybe 25m (or less) backstroke.

My 2 kids have learnt at very different paces.

My eldest was petrified of the water until around 7 - so 4 years of lessons hardly saw him put his head in the water.

But - perseverence paid off - at 12 he qualified for the State titles this January.  He also swims 5-7 times a week.  I suspect he will stick with swimming for a lot younger than my younger ds who was a MUCH stronger swimmer at age 7-8 (could do 50 of all 4 strokes at that age).

If you have confidence that your child is getting good instruction it will come.

#22 hills mum bec

Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

My 8 year old DD never had any swimming lessons until she was 6.  for the past 3 summers she has had swimming lessons once a week from November to Mach plus 1 week of Vacswim & 1 week of school swimming every January.  She can swim 25m freestyle & about 10m of breast stroke or back stroke.

I have a lot of friends who sent their kids to swimming lessons since they were babies but my kids have only ever had the summer lessons which they couldn't start until school age.  My kids swim just as well if not better than the kids who have had swimming lessons all their lives.

#23 liveworkplay

Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:50 PM

My just turned 9 year old has only been having formal lessons since she was 5.5, so 3.5 years. She can swim (at least) 50m freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke. She can also tumble turn and dive from standing. In her swimming trials last week (first year she has been able to go in the school swim carnival) she got into the top division for all 3 strokes.

I personally do not think formal lessons are necessary from such a young age. From my experience with DD1 and DD2, they are just as, if not stronger swimmers from starting later then others . They were both very keen to learn to swim "properly" and that's when we started lessons. Water orientation and then basics of floating and gliding are very easy to teach yourself.

#24 Done

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:45 PM

thanks for all your responses.

well after all our years of lessons, he can swim 50m in a form of freestyle.

backstroke he attempts, but can't do it straight more than 10m before he hits the rope.

i think 1/2 hour lessons mean he can't progress any more as he really only gets at tops 7 minutes swim time when there are 4 in the lesson.

to change swim schools or not!?!?

#25 FauxPas

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:55 PM


We changed swim schools for our DS (4 yo) about a year ago as the YMCA classes were not progressing him very well.  He is doing so much better now. Ratio in the private class is lower 2:1 and same teacher since we started.  Cost is more but not hugely.




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