Monday, February 6, 2012

Saving Money Challenge: Skip the Swimming Lessons

I have two kids.  Ages 5 & 4.  This makes me a parenting expert.  One thing I can say (because I did it) is that if you don't have the money or don't want to shell out the money - skip the swimming lessons for the little ones.  You might feel pressured to do it or feel that Little Johnny NEEDS to take swimming lessons at age 3 so he doesn't drown.  Honestly, I feel like my kids have gotten much more out of me just taking them swimming and getting them comfortable in the pool.

Sure, the lessons are a nice little boost to their morals or some crap like that when they pass a level.  But quite honestly, they're only usually 30 minutes and they are in a group of 5 or 6 and spend most of the time hanging out on the wall.  If you want Little Johnny to get comfortable in the water, just slap on a suit yourself and take him for an hour at least 1 time a week.  Once they have the understanding of water and whatnot, sure - go ahead - swim lesson them up so they can learn different strokes and whatnot.  Probably around age 6.  You're not a horrible parent if you don't put them in swimming lessons at an early age and quite frankly, you might just feel like it's a waste of money.

This post is partially inspired by the group challenge Precious started at Frugal Makes Cents.


Anonymous said...

My three year old can swim WELL due to swim lessons. He absolutely would not have learned from me...he hates doing anything we want him to do. He was familiar with the water when we started the lessons in July. We pay $10 a lesson/$40 a month and he's in a group of three children. He is able to do a modified three year old version of many strokes and I feel comfortable allowing him in the pool when I don't want to go in. Keeping in mind I am aware I might need to get wet in a dire situation, BUT he's self sufficient and I didn't spend an ungodly amount of money to do it. (It took six months for him to swim very well and we get comments every time we take him to the pool on non-lesson days on how amazing it is that we have a little fishy). On a side note, my son LOVES the water, and will probably be a swimmer for life...not by our doing, he's always loved the water. I wouldn't pay money for swim lessons if my three year old hated it. :-) I see your point, BUT swim lessons are my sons high point of the week and the money FOR US was well worth it. To do young lessons or not should be based on the individual child, (mine can't manage to play group games but can swim...and we are proud just the same). :-)

Erica @ Just Call Me Cheap said...

At least I'm not the only "bad parent"out there who hasn't caved into the pressure from all of the other pre-school mommies to sign my kid up for every activity under the sun.

Besides, I would rather spend my money on beer

; )

GG said...

I totally agree with you. I wasted money on swim lessons for my daughter when I could least afford it and she hated every minute of it. She never drowned and is now teaching her own children water safety and survival. Lessons may be the route for some, but definitely not necessary for everyone.