Indy with Kids and the Mann Family have partnered with Goldfish Swim School over the past several years to share their swim journey and the importance of water safety.

Before my kids started taking lessons at Goldfish Swim School, we hung around a bit, so we knew what to expect. When I say that we hung around, I mean, we attended a few playdates, were guests at a couple of birthday parties that took place there and we were familiar with a handful of instructors.

There wasn’t much that surprised me, so when a new friend joined and we struck up a conversation after her first lesson, I realized that I had taken for granted that everyone felt as comfortable as we did. I want to make sure that all of you have a little bit of that familiarity ahead of you when you visit for your first lesson. Here’s what I think you should know;

Check in every lesson

If you already have your Goldfish membership card, scan it at the computer near the front desk. This will give you info about which lane the lesson will take place in, as well as the name of the instructor. If there’s a substitute instructor, this will be noted on the window near the pool deck. If you don’t have your membership card, check in at the front desk.

Line up at the door

A few minutes before lessons start, you’ll see parents and children lined up at the pool deck door. When it’s time for your lesson to begin, a Goldfish team member will come out and welcome everyone to their lesson. My eight year old gets herself to her own lane, but we walk our 3 year old to his lesson, he climbs in the pool and we walk away.

It’s really loud on the pool deck.

When you’re sitting behind the glass in the parent/waiting area, you can see everything going on, but you really have no idea if that kiddo that’s smiling from ear to ear is gleefully yelling or if the kiddo have a hard time with his first lesson is crying out loud or just staring with really wide eyes. When the door opens, energetic sounds escape. If you’re in the pool with a baby or toddler and you happen to miss something the instructor said, it’s okay to ask them to repeat it or speak louder.

The instructors want to talk to you every week

The final five minutes of your lesson time are reserved for a little show and tell meets teacher conferences. It’s a great time to ask questions, get tips on how you can help your kiddo at home and gauge your child’s growth in swimming skills. They’ll even have a chance to show off what they’ve learned.

Everyone showers

It’s true, after swim lessons, everyone heads over to the wall behind glass on the pool deck and rinses off. It gets a little crowded at first, so if you just hang back a little, you’ll miss the rush and be able to take your time. Shampoo/body wash is available for everyone to use.

You really only need to bring three things

Or course there’s plenty of others stuff you can bring to make sure your child is comfortable for the ride home, but there are three must-haves. Goggles are necessary for each kid and if you forget yours, you can borrow some or purchase a new pair. Bring a towel, or buy an official Goldfish Swim School towel in the retail area. Swimsuits are necessary too, and I’ll be the first to admit, we’ve had to buy one before. If you have a kiddo that’s still in diapers or potty training, there’s a beautiful assortment of reusable swim diapers for purchase + you’ll get one with your first lesson.

The changing rooms are great, and popular

Just like the shower situation, you’ll have the best luck snagging a changing room if you take your time and hold back a little. There are changing stalls that are a lot like when you try on clothes at store. If your kiddo needs to use the bathroom or you need a changing table for a diaper, there are a handful of large restrooms available. There’s also a changing table (with diapers provided) in the back near the blow dry bar. We take showers and shampoo everyone’s hair and then wrap up in towels and make our way off the deck to get changed into our pajamas.

It’s okay to relax

If you have a child in a swim lesson and they are old enough that you don’t have to be in the pool with them, just spend that half an hour relaxing. It’s okay to check your phone and get on the wifi. Or, you can get a front row seat by the window and watch every stroke. It’s totally up to you!

After your child completes their first lesson at Goldfish Swim School, let me know if there’s anything else you wish you had known.

The Mann family has been enrolled in swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School since January 2017. Quinn has been swimming in the Mini Class with her dad since she was about six months old. James recently left the Mini Class and joined the Junior 1 Class. Six year old Scout decided after one year that she wasn't ready to continue with swimming. Lulu began in the Glider 1 Class and in the past 18 months worked her way through Glider 1, 2, & 3 and then through Pro 1 & 2. In July 2018, she made it to the Swim Force Swim Team, a goal she's had ever since her first lesson.