My reasons for enrolling my kids in swim lessons are very selfish; our family enjoys traveling anywhere with water and I want the kids to be able to come along, enjoy themselves and be safe. Otherwise, I won’t get to enjoy myself. Also, I really like the smell of chlorine on a hot day. I know, I’m weird. It reminds me of being a kid and spending entire days in the pool with my brother and sister, swimming to the bottom of the pool and touching the drain, fishing toys out of the filter, putting diving rings around our ankles and playing mermaids, cannon balling from the side and defying gravity as the youngest could lift and carry the oldest while in the water. Yes, swim lessons started as a selfish endeavor but really, I just don’t want the girls to miss out on ANY opportunity to have beautiful childhood memories.
Goldfish Swim School in Carmel (271 Merchants Square Drive, Carmel) opened their beautiful doors in April and invited kids of all ages (beginning at four months old – with parent participation) to come learn to swim in a way that is specifically designed to suit the learning needs and styles of children. Special attention was paid to every detail in the building, making it inviting and functional for children. From the colorful interior, the coolest pool toys, child sized showers, private changing rooms, a blow-dry bar for children to dry their hair following their lessons, baby changing tables with complimentary diapers and wipes, there’s just nothing Goldfish Swim School DIDN’T think of!
With nine different facilities across the US, the flagship Indiana center is the tip of perfection when it comes to really understanding what kids need in order to learn a life long skill like swimming. While most swimming pools are designed to offer a great space for learning to swim, Goldfish really is designed to offer a great space for CHILDREN to learn to swim. The pool is an inviting 90 degrees and has a ledge in the pool that is just perfect for baby swimmers and older swimmers to sit on during instruction time. The membership model allows each child to learn how to swim at their own pace and the small class sizes (four or fewer) are perfect for individualized learning.
Parents and other family members are asked to remain in the viewing area while lessons are in progress, called the Fishbowl effect, kids are able to focus on learning and communicating with instructors without distraction. Crying children are not turned away from their lessons but instead encouraged and worked with to promote comfort with the water. Reward ribbons are a favorite of Goldfish students and collected as badges of honor for completing special milestones. Progress reports and homework are given to parents with information about your own child’s swimming journey, not the progress of the collective class. Parents are invited to the pool deck during the final five minutes of each class for a report on their child.
Scout (11 months) and I took the Mini1 class and worked on crawling out of the pool, kicking legs, using arms, getting her head wet, reaching for toys and blowing bubbles. The games, the songs the teachers led and use of toys were perfect for the learning style of babies. Lulu (age 3) took the Junior1 class and it was her first time in the pool without a parent. She had such a great time and was so encouraged and proud of her accomplishments that she would put her fist in the air and shout, “I did it!”
I encourage everyone to check out the beautiful facility online and in person. Sign up for lessons or visit during a family swimming time ($5 per person/$15 family max). There’s just no way that you won’t fall in love with Goldfish Swim School and the staff who are so eager to teach your kids how to swim!
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.