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For children as young as 2 and a half, our intuitive approach to the developmental process of learning to swim focuses on trust and safety.
We use a variety of pool toys and games that have been developed over the twenty years Emily has been teaching, to keep kiddos excited and intrigued. The lessons are predictable and repetitive to help nervous swimmers feel comfortable and explore their presence in the water.
We wear goggles to help feel the most comfortable going underwater. Once comfortable with goggles on, we practice with them off on occasion, for safety sake. I recommend adult Speedo goggles for any child over the age of 3 and child sized goggles for children under 3. These ones are our favorites!
Parents are not in the water with the child, and our best work is done with parents on the outside of the enclosed pool area. Parents who are accompanied by more than one child or those with particularly nervous swimmers are encouraged to watch from the lesson cam in the waiting room. There is also a bench in the enclosure for those who wish to quietly observe their child's lesson. If you are looking for a parent participation class, please feel to ask, we have some wonderful classes to recommend at other locations.
We work with older children and adults as well, who are looking to improve their stroke technique or competitive edge!
Jasper is lively, animated and entertaining - our child didn't even realize she was learning (or going underwater, for that matter)! We are both educators and we were so impressed with Jasper's positive reinforcement and age appropriate activities.
"Our son had been in group lessons and had taken several private lessons elsewhere and had made, quite literally, no progress. He wouldn't even put his head underwater. Then we discovered Little Fish. Within a couple of lessons he was swimming halfway across the pool underwater. Each instructor we've had has been great with him, helped him have fun and progress every lesson. He gets out of the pool happy and proud of the progress he's made. And of course as his parents we're so happy that he's learning an important skill and enjoying himself along the way. I have no hesitation recommending Little Fish to anyone."
"Little Fish Swim School is the most amazing swimming program for kids, especially ones who are anxious about the water and swimming. The owner and all the instructors take a very validating approach to children with fears, but continue to push them and expose them to the water in a way that actually helps them move past their fears. The children are given choices and some control while they play games with the instructors as a tool for learning swimming techniques and not avoiding their anxiety. Most importantly, the children learn quickly to place their head in the water, a crucial part of overcoming their fear. I cannot recommend them enough, you will be amazed at the progress your child makes through these lessons!"
“My [2 year old] daughter was terrified to put her face in the water when she first met Emily, very quickly she was blowing bubbles. Now she goes under the water every chance she gets and practically swims halfway across our pool!”
"Before our lessons with Emily, my 3 year old son was terrified of putting his face under water - even though we had been taking lessons at the community center for a year. When I picked him up after his FIRST lesson with Emily, she told my son to show mommy what he learned. He proceeded to put his whole head under the water! Emily is truly gifted in teaching kids how to swim."
"Swimming with Emily has been the highlight of our past two summers - both kids very much look forward to her warm pool and warmer demeanor. My very shy oldest has had lessons the past two summers (he started at 3yo, now 4yo) and I love how confident and happy he is in the water. I didn't sign my 1yo up because she seemed too young. But waiting for big brother on the sideline was tough. Emily suggested we let her try it because, as a 1yo, putting her head under water wouldn't be as fun and then she'd hopefully wait a little more patiently. The joke was on us! Because of Emily's calm voice, fun games and obvious expertise, she loved it! Big brother was forced to split his lessons. Next year, we'll excitedly sign them both up."
"When my daughter started swim lessons she was absolutely afraid of putting her face in the water and not being able to touch the bottom of the pool. I had heard fabulous things about Emily, so I thought, let's do this. The first summer we had only 6 lessons and did okay. We were still terrified of the water, but at least we got in the water, but there were tears. This last summer she had lessons almost every week. The first month or two were tough for my daughter, but then, all of a sudden she was a mermaid. She loves to swim. Face in water, swimming. I am so grateful for Teacher Emily. Emily was patient, encouraging and was a team with my daughter, building trust with her. Emily did not let her get away with her tears. She helped my daughter be strong and brave in the water, to breathe through her worries and to use her strong voice. My daughter now loves to swim and I have peace of mind, that she will be safe in the water. Thank you so much. "
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