Swimming by Summer with Foss Swim School

Libertyville, IL

This story is part of a partnership with Foss Swim School.

Swimmers guaranteed that’s Foss Swim School‘s motto…although, after my kids, they may want to change that! We have four kids, two have taken swim lessons before, but none of them can swim. In fact, for some of them, even showering is torture. As they get older and want to do more parties and outings and spend time on the family boats, we decided swimming had to be a priority. We wanted at least our two oldest, ages 7 and 9, to be swimming by summer. I can’t take four kids to the pool if I have to worry about all four of them drowning. I needed some of them to at least be able to keep their head above water on their own.

Swim Lessons at Foss Swim School

We have previously done swim lessons through our park district in the city and at a local pool over the summers. While we were making some progress before moving, the summer-only program wasn’t working for my children. The morning lessons at the pool always seemed so cold, and the young staff frequently couldn’t handle a kid who didn’t want to get wet. My kids spent a lot of time sitting on the side and not learning.

When we began investigating schools where the kids could take lessons, year-round Foss Swim School kept coming back to the top. Not only because it seemed like a great program, but because its location was perfect for our family. The Foss Libertyville location is just 10 minutes from my kids’ school, and with multiple classes running at a time, we could get most of our kids in class at the same time. With multiple kids and multiple activities, this convenience is worth the cost.

Foss Preschooler Swim LEssons, foss swim school

We started Foss on January 5th, and I am impressed beyond words. My youngest, who is in the Littles Level 1, was doing a doggy paddle with assistance on the first day. When she was extremely fearful of doing the back float, the instructor was kind and patient and helped deal with the issue. He held her ears closed and allowed me to hold her hand from the side so we could get through it.

My older daughter…she swam like a rock, a rock afraid to go under water. 

Her very first lesson, VERY FIRST LESSON, she not only was putting her face in the water and paddling, but she jumped off the side and went underwater, for the first time in her life! Now instead of being afraid of the water and showers, she is putting her face in and loves swimming. She looks forward to going every week.

This video is of both girls at their first lesson, you can see my oldest going underwater for the first time at the end:

If you’re keeping score, you know there is at least one more kid in lessons, my oldest… He is almost 10; he hates the water and hates swimming. He does, however, love water slides and boating. My husband and I mandated that if he doesn’t learn to swim, he can’t go out in the boat or on the pier alone in Wisconsin. He is going to test the Foss swimmers guaranteed rule. He is very stiff and reluctant, but the instructors work with him, and I have high hopes.

What I have loved about Foss Swim School, beyond the small class size, which is stellar – no more than 4 in a class and 1-2 teachers per class, is the class structure. There is an order and routine to every class that they go through, and there is no playing around, no time to be scared, no time to wallow on the side complaining about getting wet. Some may find this unceremonious approach harsh, but for older afraid kids, it’s an effective way to get them past the fear and have them seeing success right from the start.

Foss Middle Kid Level Lessons, foss swim school

I’ll be updating you throughout our session, so follow along and see how we do.

Connect with Foss Swim School
Foss has locations in Libertyville, Highland Park, and South Barrington.
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Disclosure: Foss is providing us with swim lessons in order to show you the progress that kids can make in one session. No compensation has been received and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Swimming by Summer with Foss Swim School
About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.


  1. We love FOSS as well. Totally worth the money and drive! My six year old was very hesitant in the water and is now almost swimming on his own. It will make swimming this summer less stressful and fun (now that we can move away from the baby pool)

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