During our recent visits to Great Wolf Lodge, we learned that our little guy is in love with the water! With the summer fast approaching, we wanted to make sure Patrick was ready for the pool. Swim lessons were a priority for us because we want Patrick to learn water safety at an early age. Goldfish Swim School was the perfect place to begin his water safety education, and have fun doing it! We signed Patrick up for one month of Mini 2 swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School’s Cleveland East Side location. Here are 10 things we loved about Goldfish Swim School during our first month of swim lessons with Patrick!
**I received a complimentary month of swim lessons for my son to help facilitate this review. I received no other compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.**
1. Kid-friendly facility
From the moment you walk into a Goldfish Swim School facility, there is not doubt it was designed with kids in mind. The bright colors and tropical decor greet you as you arrive, as does the friendly staff at the desk. The water is always kept at a warm 90 degrees, which makes it welcoming to dive into! With the warm pool area, kids can stay warm even after getting out of the water. While still in the pool area, kids can rinse off in the shower area, stocked with tear-free shampoo. The dressing area includes changing rooms of various sizes, hair dryers, swim suit dryers, and even spare diapers! Patrick loves giving the Goldfish a high-five after each lesson!
2. Swim lesson options and flexibility
We, just like most families, have an extremely busy schedule. When we had looked at other pools for swim lessons, we had 1 or 2 options to pick from. If we couldn’t fit that into our schedule, we couldn’t sign up for lessons. If we missed the sign-up deadline, we were out of luck until the next set of sessions weeks later. If we had to miss a lesson during our session schedule, there was no way to make it up. This always frustrated me to the point where I had never signed Patrick up because I found no options that easily fit into our schedules.
I was so impressed and pleased with the options given to us when we signed Patrick up for lessons. It wasn’t about when could we adjust our schedule to fit in lessons, but which of their many daily options fit best into our schedule. We were not locked in to a set day and time, and could adjust it as needed. We had to miss a lesson one week due to Patrick getting tubes put in his ears and his adenoids removed, and they let us schedule a make-up lesson with no problems. The options and flexibility were one of my favorite things about Goldfish Swim School!
On top of the variety of times lessons are available, there are many swim program options to choose from. Instructors will make sure that your child is placed in the correct program that is appropriate for him or her. We signed Patrick up for Mini 2, which allowed one of us to be in the water with him during the lesson. We worked on water safety and getting comfortable with the water, all while having fun together.
3. Friendly and skilled instructors
During our 4 lessons, we had the chance to work with 3 different instructors. Each one of them did a great job of explaining not only how to do each exercise, but also why we were doing each one. They were friendly with the kids and helpful to the parents. With a maximum student to teacher ration of 4:1, the little swimmer get the chance to receive personalized instruction from Red Cross certified swim instructors.
4. Skill-building activities
Surrounding the pool deck and hanging on the walls are a variety of unique and educational tools that are used for skill-building activities during lessons. Each lesson includes a variety of activities, each meant to improve a water safety skill, however the kids just think they are fun games! Patrick enjoyed reaching to collect colored balls to return to a container (working on pulling skills for swimming), sitting on large foam floats (developing independence and comfort in water), pouring water over Daddy and himself (working on holding his breath), and getting out of the pool to grab the rubber duck (teaching safe ways to exit the pool) just to name a few. These are things that we continued to work with him outside of lessons as well.
5. Family viewing deck
If your child is not in an adult participation class, or if you are there to observe, there is a great family viewing deck right outside of the pool deck. While the pool deck is kept warm for the swimmers, on the other side of the glass the viewing deck is air conditioned and cool. The glass wall separating the two decks also keeps the echoing sound of the swim lessons out the viewing area. Parents can see and unobstructed view of their child learning how to swim, while enjoying a cup of coffee from the snack bar.
6. Progress reports and communication
The last 5-minutes of class, parents are invited to come in and speak with the class’s instructor about their student’s progress. Students also get occasional written progress reports completed by Goldfish staff member who observes the student during the lesson. The skills the staff member observed the student completing are identified, as well as skills that still need to be worked on. On top of communicating your student’s progress, Goldfish Swim School is great about communicating with parents. Email communications get sent out when you register, make a change, or schedule a make-up session. Monthly newsletters are sent out letting you know about upcoming events, changes, recognition, and other important information.
7. Goal setting and recognition
Each swim program comes with its own set of clearly communicated goals. These goals are worked on during lessons, and they also give homework on ways these can be worked on at home too. Once a student achieves all of the goals in one program, he can move on to the next. Goldfish Swim School also does a great job of positive reinforcement and recognition. Students receive fun, colored ribbons to recognize milestones and accomplishments. Star students are also recognized in the monthly newsletter, on social media, and on the wall at the facility. Goldfish not only recognizes the students with recognition, but also the staff with Employee of the Month.
8. Monthly themes
Each month, Goldfish Swim School has a different, fun theme. This theme is integrated into activities during lessons and recognition. There are weekly themed prizes available after lessons too! It is also something fun for kids to look forward to! The theme was “jungle” during our month of lessons in May, and switched to “wild west” in June.
9. Family swim
Family swim is offered several times a week, and is open to everyone in the community. Cost is $5 per swimmer, with a maximum of $15 per family. This is a great way to practice those skills learned during lessons, plus to enjoy some fun as a family! We took advantage of family swim one rainy Sunday afternoon. Patrick had a blast riding the foam motorcycle and rafts, plus splashing around with Mommy and Daddy!
A photo posted by Kristen Kelly (@readysetparenthood) on
10. It’s fun!
Most importantly, it is fun! We absolutely loved out swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School. Patrick ran into the facility each week, excited to begin his lesson. I appreciated how kid-focused the entire experience was. Although we have migrated to our outdoor pool for the summer months, we will continue to enjoy family swims during rainy days and plan to return during Cleveland’s colder months to keep Patrick’s swimming skills strong.
Goldfish Swim School Giveaway
Enter to Win a FREE Month of Swim Lessons (a $103 value) from Goldfish Swim School’s Cleveland East Side Location!