Creating confident swimmers since 1999!

FAQ

Where are lessons offered?
What is the pool atmosphere like?
What is a session?
How long, how often, and when are private lessons?
How and when should I pay?
If one of my lessons falls on a holiday will I be charged?
If I miss one of my private lessons will I be charged?
Why don’t you offer private lessons once per week?
Should I sign up for more than one session?
Will my child have the same instructor for each lesson?
My child is almost, or a little older than, 2 ½ years old, should I sign up for Private Lessons or choose the Parent & Me group classes?
Why don’t you offer group or semi-private lessons for children over 3 years old?
What is your philosophy/teaching method?
What is the pool/teaching atmosphere?
What if my child is afraid?
When will my child learn to swim?
What is the benefit to lessons lasting just 20 minutes?
Why must the pool be heated between 88-92 degrees?
What is the difference between a “water safe” child and a swimming child?
Will “floaties” help or hinder my child’s progress?
What should I bring to class?

 

Parent & Me Group Classes
What is the recommended age for the Parent & Me group class?
When are the Parent & Me group classes, and how long do they run?
If I miss one of the five group classes can I make it up?
How many students are in a Parent & Me group class?
Do I have to organize my own Parent and Me class or do you have a class I can join?
Are Dads welcome during Parent & Me groups classes?
What type of diaper should my child wear in the pool?
What if there are various ages in the same Parent & Me group class?
Should I sign up for more than 1 session?

 

 


Where are lessons offered?

Lessons are offered at the Water Otters private pool located in Winnetka. (West San Fernando Valley). The specific street address will be provided after registration and payment have been received.

To view a more specific map please click the link here Map


What is the pool atmosphere like?

The temperature of the new, lightly chlorinated, pool is maintained between 88-92 degrees at all times for a very comfortable swim experience no matter what the weather is like. There is ample shade covering the outdoor pool to provide sun protection for your child during lessons. There are also shaded sitting areas for parents. The atmosphere is calm and quiet and during your child’s private lessons there are never other students in the water at the same time.


What is a session?

A session refers to the specific weeks during which classes or lessons occur. The private lesson session period is 3 consecutive weeks. The Parent & Me session period is 5 consecutive weeks.

To view all session dates please click the link here Session Dates


How long, how often, and when are private lessons?

How Long? – 20 minutes

How often? – 3 times per week (for 3 consecutive weeks)

When are private lessons? – Monday, Wednesday, AND Friday

Available lesson times are generally 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. Private lessons are 20 minutes/3 lessons per week (on Monday, Wednesday, AND Friday)/3 consecutive weeks.

For session dates please click here “Session Dates”


How and when should I pay?

After you have submitted your Schedule Request Form, which includes your schedule preferences, Jennifer will contact you to discuss what is currently available on the schedule. You will then receive an email with a private invitation link to the registration website (which is different than www.waterotters.com) where you will have the opportunity to register and pay for the agreed upon lesson days, times, and session(s). Payment in full, either by check or credit card, is due at the time of registration.


If one of my lessons falls on a holiday will I be charged?

There are no lessons on holidays like Independence Day and Labor Day. If one of your lessons or classes falls on a holiday you will not be charged. The pro-rated package price will be visible when you visit the private registration website and are ready to pay for lessons.


If I miss one of my private lessons will I be charged?

There are no refunds or make-up lessons available for private lessons.


Why don’t you offer private lessons once per week?

For most students learning a little bit on a lot of days is the best recipe for success. I have found that students who are exposed to swimming more often (at least 2 or 3 times per week) excel more steadily than students who have lessons infrequently (only once a week).


Should I sign up for more than one session?

Yes! My recommendation for most students is to register for two or three consecutive sessions to help build a solid foundation of water safety and swimming skills. Each session provides at least 3 hours of total instructional time.


Will my child have the same instructor for each lesson?

Yes, every lesson and class will be taught by the same instructor to maintain consistency and to strengthen the student-teacher/teacher-parent relationship. Jennifer is the teacher for all lessons offered by Water Otters Swim School.


My child is almost, or a little older than, 2 ½ years old, should I sign up for Private Lessons or choose the Parent & Me group classes?

With a child close to 2 ½ years in age I have found that it is best to participate in Parent & Me group classes first. As your child’s age and ability increases they may be ready for private lessons, especially if they have had an opportunity to establish a solid foundation in the Parent & Me group classes from the beginning. Choosing the best learning environment for your child depends on your child’s temperament, ability, and learning style. Please speak to Jennifer if you need assistance deciding what class would be best for your child.


Why don’t you offer group or semi-private lessons for children over 3 years old?

Private one-on-one instruction allows the teacher to provide focused undivided attention on the student and tailor each and every lesson to individual student’s needs. The only group class options available are the Parent & Me group classes.


What is your philosophy/teaching method?

Water Otters Swim School’s teaching method embraces a child centered approach to teaching students about swimming and water safety. Children will never be forced to demonstrate skills before they are ready and comfortable. For a detailed explanation please refer to the “Philosophy” page link.


What is the pool/teaching atmosphere?

A warm, calm, and quiet pool environment will be provided for efficient and safe learning. No other children or instructors will be using the pool during your child’s lesson.


What if my child is afraid?

My teaching style utilizes gentle, reassuring methods to help a child create his/her own level of comfort and safety in the water. I believe any child can master the art of swimming through consistent practice, trust, and a strong bond with a patient teacher.


When will my child learn to swim?

That depends on several factors. The process of learning is different for each child. Your child will swim when he/she is ready, confident, and decides to! However, I have found that the earlier a student is exposed to fun, child-centered, age appropriate lessons, the faster the student learns to swim.


What is the benefit to lessons lasting just 20 minutes?

For most young students, I have found that 15-20 minute lessons are the optimum amount of time for a child’s attention span. When learning new skills, swim lessons between 15-20 minutes have proven to produce the best chance for success for each and every child. I have observed group lessons which teach several students at one time, some lasting 30 minutes or more, and have noticed that during that group lesson less individual time may actually be devoted to your child. I teach only private lessons to ensure my attention will be focused entirely on your child. During a private lesson I can provide a teaching style which is particularly suited for each individual student. When your child is one-on-one with me I can take into consideration any special needs they may have, identify specific fears, and determine how to best motivate your child towards success!


Why must the pool be heated between 88-92 degrees?

Comfort is the key; if you want optimum results you need to provide the optimum environment. I have found that 88-92 degrees is warm enough for most children to ensure that they all feel at ease in the water. Please understand that your child may have been in pools that are much cooler and not complained of being too cold. However, during a lesson their bodies may be moving around in the water much less. Water in a pool feels much cooler than the air temperature to a child. Childrens’ bodies lose heat much faster than adults and a pool heated to 90 degrees may feel significantly cooler to a child than an adult.


What is the difference between a “water safe” child and a swimming child?

Drowning accidents are the leading cause of injury/deaths among children under five, many of whom were considered “water safe”. But what is “water safe”? I believe this term refers to a child who understands and respects the water. Your child should be able, if accidentally submerged into a pool, to make their way to the side and pull themselves out. This differs from a swimming child in that a swimming child is able to move freely in the water, demonstrates a comfortable buoyancy, and is able to come up for breaths frequently. However, even a young child who can swim should not be considered “water safe” There are many situations where water can lead to death. In California, drowning surpasses all other causes of death to children ages 14 and under. Furthermore, of all preschoolers who drown, 70 percent are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning. We must remember to teach respect for the water and never leave a child unattended or unwatched.


Will “floaties” help or hinder my child’s progress?

Each year I talk with parents about the use of various flotation devices or “floaties”. Flotation devices are meant to keep a child’s head above water therefore maintaining the body in a vertical position. When learning to swim one of the most important lessons to learn is how to keep your body horizontal, or on top of the water. Often, I can tell if a student has been using something in the water to “help” them stay afloat before they are able to swim by themselves, because of the way they are kicking their legs. The type of kick needed to propel a child though the water while using “floaties” (a bent leg kick) is not the type of kick that will help them to stay afloat once the flotation device is removed. Actually, this type of bent leg kick and vertical positioning will actually assist in sinking their body lower into the water, submerging their head, and sometimes causing panic. Therefore, it is necessary to teach an entirely new kicking style and how to feel relaxed in a horizontal position on top of the water. Sometimes this old kicking style is the hardest habit to break and unfortunately, most students who have used “floaties” need additional lessons to “unlearn” the techniques they have used.


What should I bring to class?

For the Parent & Me Classes please be sure to bring:
Towels: 3 towels total – one for you, one for your baby, and one to lay down as a dry surface for your baby
Sunscreen: and, if desired, sun protective clothing such as hats, water shirts, etc.
Swim Diaper: Your child needs to wear a reusable, snug fitting swim diaper

For the Private Lessons please be sure to bring a towel and sun protection for your child(ren). If your child is not completely potty trained, or if you are concerned that they might not make it to the bathroom in time, they are required to wear a reusable, snug fitting swim diaper.

Goggles, toys, and any other items needed during classes and lessons will be provided!


What is the recommended age for the Parent and Me group class?

Six months to three years.


When are the Parent & Me group classes, and how long do they run?

  • Parent & Me group classes are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 am, 10:00 am, and 11:00 am (1 class each week, you choose your preferred day and time for the session).
  • Each full session consists of 1 class per week running for 5 consecutive weeks.
  • You may register for up to two Parent & Me classes per week. Please speak to Jennifer for details.
  • Class time is 40 minutes, including time to enter and exit the pool.

For session dates please click here Session Dates (please be sure to scroll down to the Parent & Me section of the page)


How many students are in a Parent and Me group class?

Typically there are between 6-8 students registered in one class – the more students, the more smiles!


Do I have to organize my own Parent and Me class or do you have a class I can join?

You can join a class Jennifer has created at the Water Otters pool or you are welcome to gather a group of at least 5 friends to create your own class. If you have a group of friends and just need a pool, you can create a class or join a class to be taught at the Water Otters pool located in Winnetka.


Are Dads welcome during Parent and Me group classes?

Yes, Dads are welcome and encouraged! In fact, other family members and caregivers are also invited to participate if possible.


If I miss one of the five group classes can I make it up?

Yes! The makeup class takes place during the week immediately after the 5th week of your session. The makeup class is held on the same day and time as the classes you have just completed. You will be reminded of the makeup class day and time at your first class.


What days and times are the Parent and Me group classes?

Classes are offered at 9:00 am, 10:00 am, and 11:00 am in the morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


What type of diaper should my child wear in the pool?

Please purchase a REUSABLE tight fitting leak-proof swim diaper (which has a soft layer against the baby’s skin, an inner absorbent layer, and a waterproof outer layer). These types of diapers have the most effective method of maintaining a healthy pool water environment. DISPOSABLE swim diapers are no longer accepted or required.

Usually reusable swim diapers can be found seasonally at Target or various baby stores. Recommendations on where to purchase reusable diapers online can be found on my website under the “Water Safety” page. You are also able to find them on Amazon or at one of my favorite retail suppliers of swim gear, Finis. For the Finis website click here Finis.

Additionally, be aware that if your child wears just a disposable swim diaper in your car seat you could end up with a very wet seat!

It is not acceptable to only have your child wear a disposable swim diaper because these types of diapers are not well designed to hold in solids.


What if there are various ages in the same Parent and Me group class?

It is very common for children to be at different developmental stages regardless to their proximity in age. Because of this, group classes are structured to be taught to children of different ages and stages, but wherever your baby is at developmentally will fit in perfectly to any group class.


Should I sign up for more than one Parent & Me session?

Yes! Many families have so much fun during their first Parent & Me session that they would like to continue classes throughout the summer.

Please note that your specific day may not be available in future sessions. Please register for subsequent sessions early to avoid losing your preferred day.