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.
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 we moved, the summer only program wasn’t working for my children. The morning lessons at the pool always seemed to be so cold and the young staff frequently couldn’t handle a kid that 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 it’s 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.
We started Foss on January 5th and I am impressed beyond words. My youngest, 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 totally 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 under water 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 are working 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 structure of the class. 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 scared kids it’s really an effective way to get them past the fear and have them seeing success right from the start.
I’ll be updating you throughout our session, so follow along and see how we do.
Foss has locations in Libertyville, Highland Park, and South Barrington. Spring Registration starts on February 4.
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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.