This story is part of a partnership with Foss Swim School.
Last week I introduced you to Foss Swim School and how we are hoping they can get my kids swimming by summer. This week I want to share why Foss is different (and why for us, that’s a really good thing).
The Foss Difference
Sessions at Foss Swim School
Foss runs on a session schedule. Sessions are ten weeks long, with lessons once a week (you have the option to sign up for more frequent lessons). From Foss:
Each option is designed to give families, instructors and, most importantly, your swimmer a definable time to focus on swimming. Seasonal sessions are more effective than continuous programs and deliver predictable, quality results.
This works particularly well for our family since our other activities run on a similar schedule. We can easily plan around them and schedule together without running into one ending or starting while another one has not yet started. It also gives my older kids an easy to see endpoint or goal, lessons in winter and spring, and you are swimming by summer!
Foss Swim School Staff
The Foss staff are top-notch; from the desk staff to the instructors’ everyone is friendly, courteous, and smiling. They are accommodating and always willing to answer questions and provide help. This Foss difference is most obvious in the pool and on the deck around it.
The instructors and the deck staff are not only professional; they are hands-on, energetic, and most importantly, for kids, fun! They go above and beyond to get the kids involved and active in the pool. The Foss promise is that your kids will be swimming. Not just that they will learn to swim but that they will not be sitting on the side waiting for their turn. The majority of their lesson will be spent swimming back and forth and learning skills. Every class is kept small 3-4 students, and all beginner classes have a 3-1 ratio.
While sitting on the sidelines these last five weeks, I have seen deck supervisors get in the water in clothes to help assist a struggling student as well as helping parents on the sidelines. My own child’s instructors have done everything from holding their hand and singing to them to pretending that they were knocked over by the power of my child’s kicks. Their personalities really shine through and help make very rigorous class fun.
Skills Beyond Swimming
Swimming is the ultimate goal, and of course, why we started these classes. However, water safety goes beyond being able to swim, and Foss teaches the kids skills that will keep my children safer in and around water. Aside from the usual no running on the deck and showing them how to enter the water safely, my four-year-old ( Little Level 1) has learned in this first half of her season how to walk herself down the side of the wall in the pool – even when she can’t touch the bottom- and how to pull herself up and out of pool unassisted. Doesn’t it seem like a big deal to you? Imagine this scenario:
Last summer, we were at a large pool with all the kids (4 kids, one parent). I was bouncing the baby in shallow water where my three and 6-year-old could still stand. The 6-year-old walked off to deeper water with her older brother, and the 3-year-old followed. The next time I looked up, she was hanging on the side of the pool in 5 feet of water. Thankfully another parent was standing nearby and grabbed her while I scooped up the baby and ran over there to get her before she went under. Having the ability to get out on her own safety would have saved some panic and anxiety. Now we both know if she gets in over her head, she can get herself out safely.
No more wasted time the locker room.
A friend said to me, “The worst part of swim lessons is that we spend almost as much time in the locker room as they do in the pool.” Now yes, kids are slow, and Foss can’t change that, but I will say that Foss has their locker rooms set up will have you in and out faster.
Foss has two family locker rooms, which means that all my children (both sexes) and I can go in one room and get ready. Anyone who has had to send a 5-year old boy into the men’s locker room alone will appreciate this. Each locker room has two bathrooms, multiple changing rooms, and a shower. Signs everywhere enforce the rule that parents and children change in a closed room. The common area is for storing your stuff. You don’t have to worry about explaining the difference between boys and girls or having extended conversations with the lovely grandma who happens to be walking back from her shower in all her glory. Nope, in out and changed in complete modesty.
Customer service that goes beyond friendly
With our current schedule, I spend one hour at Foss one day a week while my daughters’ classes overlap. While I watch the time, I am not a clock watcher making sure that my child is swimming for precisely 30 minutes, 31 minutes, 27 minutes, eh it’s all the same to me. They have fun and learning, and since they aren’t freezing anymore, I’m not watching the time. After one lesson, while we were sitting in the waiting room, one of the deck supervisors came in and apologized that class was cut short and handed me a pass for our whole family to come to a family fun swim for free. I was shocked, looked up… the class had only ended two minutes early. Two minutes. I didn’t complain. I never even would have thought to complain. They proactively (before the staff knew I was working on their story) tried to right what they saw as a wrong and flaw in their class; how awesome is that?
When you just look at the bottom line, Foss Swim School might seem like a more expensive choice than some other programs. But, when you break it down to per lesson cost and factor in the care, attention, and skill you are getting for approximately $20 per lesson, and it’s a no-brainer, the Foss difference is worth every penny.
Need more proof? Here is our half-way video for my girls, this is during their 6th lesson. The Preschooler has never taken swim lessons and the school aged girl has never willingly put her face in the water.
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.