Merritt Island Swim School Philosophy
The technique and goals at MI Swim School are unique. We specialize in creating a safe, customized lesson experience for infants and children. Using positive reinforcement and a family atmosphere, we provide a gentle, caring environment to effectively teach children to swim and float along with problem-solving skills to help them safely enjoy the water.
Teaching your child to be independent in the water is a cumulative process. It is similar to putting together pieces of a puzzle. Each individual part of the process is taught and as a skill is mastered, the next skills is introduced, which builds upon what has previously been learned.¬† Classes are one-on-one and are individualized to honor the physical, cognitive and emotional development of each student.¬† You will be amazed to watch your little one progress through lessons, seeing results in weeks, not years!
Once skilled, students will also have the opportunity to practice fully clothed, since statistics show that 86% of children who drown are fully clothed.¬† We don’t want the first time a child experiences swimming fully clothed to be during an emergency.¬† Swimming in clothes presents different challenges than swimming in a bathing suit.¬† Students practice with their instructor and are guided through any necessary adjustments before practicing independently.
As your child masters each new skill, your instructor will invite you in the pool with your child and teach you how to play and interact in the water so that swimming and floating skills are practiced correctly.¬† Your instructor will help you develop a maintenance schedule to come back periodically for refresher lessons to adjust and improve upon skills according to growth and development.
Roll’n'Float: ¬†Infants 6 to 12+ months
This is an important survival skill for students who can sit up independently and roll from side to side.¬† After learning to float, he or she will be gradually taught to rotate from a face-down position in the water to a back float. The baby will be taught to rest and breathe on his or her back until picked up. A child who enrolls in the floating class as an infant will learn the correct posture for swimming early which will facilitate learning at the next level. The typical infant will take approximately 3-4 weeks to attain these skills.
Swim-Float-Swim: ¬†Children 1 to 3 years
Aquatic Self-Reliance is the ability to move through the water independently while breathing effortlessly. Many programs teach children to swim and lift his/her head to breathe. Lifting the head for a breath expends great amounts of energy to attain air and children have limited sustainable energy. The head lift technique will soon fatigue a child. Alternatively, the rollback to a float to breathe is effortless, offering unlimited rest and air while in the water, thus equipping the child with aquatic self-reliance skills to potentially save himself in an emergency situation and to SAFELY enjoy the water.¬†¬† This rotary swimming technique transitions nicely into proper side-breathing postures when transitioning to formal strokes.
Students are taught to swim though the water (basic crawl stroke), roll on their backs to float, rest and breathe when they need air; and then flip over to continue swimming until they reach a point of safety. ¬†This swim-float-swim sequence can be repeated as many times as is necessary to reach safety. While the toddler years are the perfect time to begin learning these skills, they can be learned at any age and create a safe swimming foundation for older children as well.¬† This skill set can be achieved with 5 lessons per week in approximately 4-6 weeks.¬† Older children can typically master these skills in a much shorter amount of time.
Strokes’n'Floats: ¬†Children 4 and up
Children in this age group tend to learn the basics of swimming and floating very quickly and can begin to learn the basic elements of the 4 competitive strokes as well as snorkeling, diving for toys, etc.¬† Games and fun swimming exercises are incorporated into lessons to enhance your child’s swimming ability.
After your child has learned to swim and float independently, skill maintenance is crucial!¬† As your child grows and develops, skills need to be fine-tuned and swimming ability should be constantly developed.
Your instructor will help develop a maintenance schedule that is customized to your family’s needs.
Infant Swimming Resource (ISR)
The ISR Self Rescue‚ĄĘ Swimming technique used at MI Swim School was founded in 1966 by Dr. Harvey Barnett right here in Brevard County.¬† Click here for the full story. ¬†ISR is now the global leader in the industry it pioneered: survival swimming lessons for infants and young children. Our team of nearly 450 highly trained ISR Instructors provides the safest and most effective survival swimming lessons available. The ISR Self-Rescue‚ĄĘ instruction our students receive today is the product of over 45 years of research and achieves unparalleled results. ¬†To date, ISR has delivered more than 7,750,000 ISR Self-Rescue‚ĄĘ lessons and saved more than 800 lives.
ISR believes pool fences, supervision, and pool alarms are important parts of a necessary multi-layered approach to drowning prevention. However, traditional lines of defense break down, and the over 4,000 drowning deaths per year bear a grim testament to the fact that traditional approaches are missing a key component: the child. ISR‚Äôs core conviction is that the child is the most important part of a drowning prevention strategy and our over 260,000 ISR graduates and 800 documented survival stories are proof that children can save themselves. Children are curious, capable, and have an uncanny ability to overcome obstacles like pool fences; at ISR we take that ability and teach them skills to potentially save themselves if they find themselves in the water alone.
The behavioral science required to teach an infant to handle himself in the water is primarily found within sensorimotor learning and infant psychology and development. The practical application of this, however, must be custom-tailored to your child’s physical abilities.
In addition to teaching your child, ISR has developed a complete program of parent education concerning many facets of drowning prevention. The Parent Resource Guide is available to all parents registering their children in the program and it includes such topics as attitude and emotions, physiology and safety before, during and after the lessons, family aquatic safety and other valuable information.
Why teach your child?¬†
In 2009 Ruth Brenner and her colleagues conducted a research project at the National Institute of Health to investigate the connection between swimming lessons and drowning. ¬†They discovered that participation in formal swimming lessons provided and 88% reduction in risk of drowning in children ages 1-4 years. ¬†They reported that swim lesson ‚Äúshould be considered for inclusion as part of a complete prevention program‚ÄĚ. ¬†Can you put a value on your child’s safety or your peace of mind?
Additional data comes from research at the German Sports College in Cologne. These studies demonstrate that swim lessons for babies and toddlers don‚Äôt just save lives but they can accelerate their development physically, intellectually and emotionally. As compared with a control group which did not take year-round lessons, the children who swam consistently from infancy were significantly stronger and more coordinated. The children also scored higher for intelligence and problem-solving, which carried over into excellence in academic achievement. Emotionally, they were found to be more self-disciplined with greater self-control and an increased desire to succeed. They rated higher in self-esteem and were more independent and comfortable in social situations than the control groups.
These are just a few reasons for enrolling your child in swim lessons with MI Swim School.