Moving On Up: The Benefits of Advancing a Level in Swim Lessons

Sometimes lessons or classes for your kids may seem like a never-ending schedule-filler, with no sense of accomplishment or milestones to look forward to. But at Goldfish Swim School, your little swimmers are able to show REAL progress.

One of the best parts of lessons here is when your kid gets to move up a level! Seriously, it’s fun and exciting for your swimmer to accomplish that — in addition to learning all those swim and safety skills. It’s another way to see how the proven curriculum here creates real progress (which is one of the Top 5 Reasons Goldfish Swim School is Worth the Money). That’s some WOW customer service!

Here are the benefits you’ll see when your little goldfish meets swim skill criteria and moves up a level:

A special ribbon

The first time a Goldfish Swim School employee walks over to you during the parent discussion portion of your child’s lesson, handing you a scorecard of checked-off skill accomplishments with a ribbon and telling you that your little goldfish has moved up a level, you may be surprised at the proud tears welling up in your eyes. But that’s nothing compared to the pride your son or daughter will feel at getting that ribbon and knowing the hard work has paid off! Celebrate those extraordinary results!

Mastering old skills

Maybe your daughter was a little wobbly while practicing her floating skills. No worries; she’ll be doing that move smoothly in no time in her new level! Going underwater will be old hat for your son who used to be apprehensive about putting his face in the pool. The skills your swimmers could perform to advance a level will only continue to get better (and stronger) as the lessons continue in that next level.

Learning new skills

Our instructors use integrity, trust and compassion to teach students the basics in order to make learning to swim a gradual and natural progression. Mastering a back float in the old class turns into learning the backstroke in the new level! Funny how that works — the kids are confident and ready to learn the new skill without even thinking it’s anything new; it’s just another golden experience to them.

Swimming farther and longer

Before, your son could swim for a length of five feet. Now he’s working on swimming a length of 10 feet! And the class that swam half the width of the pool is now working on swimming the entire width! The continued development of strength and stamina in the water is one of the major benefits of keeping your child enrolled in swim lessons all year long.

New kids to learn from

Does your son want to be just like his older brother? It’s great to have a good influence! Much like the way our Jump Start Clinics expose swimmers to other students and teachers, moving up a level also invites opportunities to learn by watching someone new. You may need to move into a new class, with new students. Kids mimic each other a lot — which can actually be a good thing when they’re learning something from one another — and there may be some new kids in the class when yours advances a level.

Enroll in Goldfish Swim School

Looking to get your little one into the water? Goldfish Swim School has classes for kids ages 4 months and older! We have locations all over the country, with more on the way all the time — so find a location near you  and sign up today!

What are some of the other benefits of advancing a swim level that we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below.

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4 Reasons Not to Let Your Child Quit Swim Lessons

Maybe your son wants to play football instead of taking swim lessons. Or perhaps your daughter is bummed that her friends aren’t in her class. Or, maybe life is getting a bit chaotic for you (as is a mom’s life…always). Whatever your thoughts, it’s really important to NOT let your child quit swim lessons. Why? Read on:

For many children, swimming is a part of growing up. But don’t count on your little goldfish learning how to swim “next summer” or when there’s more time or when he or she is more interested in swimming. Once they’ve started lessons, you should really KEEP your child in swim lessons.

1. Swimming lessons may save your child’s life.

Knowing how to swim can help prevent drowning. At Goldfish Swim School, we teach kids how to get in and out of the pool safely, how to act appropriately in and around the pool and what lifeguards do, along with other safety-related lessons each week. That’s only part of why Goldfish Swim School is Worth the Money. And seriously, teaching a valuable life-saving skill is the best part of our WOW customer service.

2. It takes a while for some kids to adjust to swimming.

Water splashing on your face, getting in your eyes and going up your nose and in your mouth and down your throat: What’s not to love about that?! Plenty. Getting used to being in the water (and under it) can take some time — and that’s OK. It’s a big adjustment and it can be a bit intimidating for kids who haven’t been around water much. If you let your little swimmer quit swim lessons before they’re really comfortable in the water, he or she — and you — may miss out on the fun stuff (not to mention seeing some extraordinary results). Give them time and soon your kids won’t ever want to get out of the water!

3. Swimming is great cardiovascular exercise — and helps burn energy in those tiny Perpetual Motion Machines you’ve got running around.

Did you know that swimming works every muscle group? It’s such a fantastic way to exercise — without even realizing that you’re exercising! It strengthens all the muscles, which is great prep for any other sport your little swimmer may decide to join. Plus, just let little Johnny or Janie play around in the pool for an hour and chances are bedtime will come a lot more easily. Parenting win!

4. These aren’t just swim lessons; they’re LIFE lessons.

Imagine your little man is all grown up and getting married (sob!). Then picture him going on a honeymoon to Hawaii. But, your adult son won’t be heading out on the boat with his new bride to experience any thrilling water adventures such as surfing or snorkeling — because he can’t swim! Maybe he’s even afraid of the water. This is a shame because there’s such beauty underwater (besides just being fun to swim in). All because he wanted to quit swim lessons to do something else with his time and he never got around to learning how to swim and be comfortable in the water. This is an extreme example but think hard: You probably know several adults who don’t know how to swim or who are afraid of the water, right?

Swimming isn’t just for sport; it’s a great skill to have for the rest of your life. Celebrate and swim!

Before your kid quits swim lessons, find out WHY your child wants to quit.

Is your land-locked little one just a little nervous, or actually deeply anxious about swimming? If so, don’t force or bribe him or her. Instead, try to make swimming FUN, slowly but surely, little by little.

But if he or she is just nervous, talk to your child about why. Let him or her know that you hear what is being said — and that you understand — and that it’s OK to be nervous. Bonus: Our instructors at Goldfish Swim School are GREAT at using their integrity, trust and compassion for helping little swimmers deal with their nervousness!

Goldfish Swim School

Keep in mind these 4 Reasons Not to Let Your Child Quit Swim Lessons and just keep on swimming! Not in lessons yet? Enroll your kids today in Goldfish Swim School and see for yourself the golden experience we provide! We have locations in seven states – with more on the way.

Do you have any more reasons to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

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Back to School: 10 Things your Family MUST Do Before Holiday Break

The kids are in school and settled. You’ve got a GOLDEN routine going, with lunches, homework and swim lessons. But there are only a few short months between now and when the busy holiday season arrives, right? If you are looking to add some spark to your family routine, don’t sweat. We’ve got you covered with this list of 10 Things your Family MUST Do Before Holiday Break! Pin this and bookmark it for ideas on special things to do with your family.

1. Cook dinner together

With hectic schedules (we know you often have to be in three places at once, Super Mom!), it’s essential to make dinner as quick and efficient as possible. And having everyone eating at the same time is a feat. But, at least once, make a family date to have EVERYONE help out cooking the meal. Your 3-year-old can mix together the ingredients for some homemade chocolate chip cookies while your older child helps to make the main dish. With everyone doing something, it will be the best-tasting meal you’ve had in a long time!

2. Have a family game night

There are tons of great games out there for all ages — even preschoolers! Designate a night to gather everyone together to play some games. If you have little ones, play a game or two with them before they go to bed and then continue the fun with the older kids after. And when they go to sleep, mom and dad can keep playing some more board games! A new Friday night routine, perhaps?

3. Go to Family Swim at Goldfish Swim School

Instead of always just watching the kids while they’re learning to swim, jump in the pool WITH them and have them show off all their moves to you! Each of our many locations offers a Family Swim at various times and you’re welcome to test the waters — even if you’re NOT currently enrolled in one of our programs! (But if you do want to enroll, here are the Top 5 Reasons Goldfish Swim School is Worth the Money.)

4. Give back

With Thanksgiving in November, it’s the time of the year to give thanks for all you’ve got — and to give back to those who need it. Whether it’s giving of your time and delivering meals to homebound seniors, using your skills to help someone in need by building, repairing or cleaning up a home, buying a gift for less fortunate children or any other kind deed, make sure you give back and volunteer in thanks for all you’ve been given.

Volunteering will not only make you feel good while helping someone else. It’ll also help your kids learn valuable lessons. Make it a part of their youth to think about those who need help and they’ll take that important lesson well into adulthood. (Our staff regularly finds ways to give back, too!)

5. Write a letter

When’s the last time you wrote a real, honest-to-goodness letter in your own handwriting? Your wedding thank you notes? And have your kids written real letters? Well, now’s the time! Everyone should pick one loved one — friend or family member — and jot down some lovely thoughts to send via snail mail.

You could get all fancy and get some decorative stationery (or dig out that old stuff in the bottom of your desk drawer), but it isn’t necessary. Regular old lined paper is fine. What counts is that it’s hand-written and from the heart. Even if your little ones are just learning to write, you can help them write a few words and they can color the rest or adorn the paper with stickers. Your loved ones will be THRILLED to receive letters; promise!

6. Have a family movie night

You probably watch movies quite a bit, especially after the kids go to sleep — or maybe you pop one in for them while you’re off doing a few household chores. But at least once before the holidays hit, plan an actual family movie night where everyone sits down at the same time to watch a movie. Pick it out beforehand and if you’re the Pinterest type, find some family activities, crafts, food or other themed stuff to create even more ambiance.

Can’t agree on a movie? Turn it into a few family movie nights: Have one person pick an appropriate movie the first week and rotate next week until everyone has had a turn. Who knows, by then maybe you’ll have created a new weekly or monthly tradition!

7. Read a book for fun

For some people, this is a given. For others, there may always be other things going on where sitting down with a book gets thrown on the back burner. Make it a point to give yourself a half hour (or more) each night to yourself so you can read a new book. And have your kids read something that isn’t required reading, too. Head to the library together and pick out something interesting for everyone. Then, turn the TV off and get cozy with your books instead! BONUS: When your kids see YOU reading, it helps them learn that reading is important.

8. Take a family walk around your neighborhood

After dinner one night (maybe the one everyone helped pitch in for), round everyone up for a leisurely walk around the block. Take time to stop and smell the roses…OK, maybe not literally, but at least take time to notice the roses. And different types of trees. And the sky. And your neighbors.

Use this time to talk to each other, too. Point out different colors and objects to your preschooler, or sneak in some questions to your teen while you’re walking. Slow down and enjoy the evening!

9. Pick a no-screen day

Say what? No, seriously, turn off the TV, tablet, computer and phone for just one day. No morning cartoons, no evening news, no checking in on Facebook or reading emails (set an outgoing message if you must to let others know how to reach you if it can’t wait one day). You may need some help reminding yourself of this, so it’s OK if you have to stick a couple of Post-It notes on those screens.

Use the time instead to talk to each other, read a book, go outdoors – anything else. And then pick another day when you’re going to go screen-free again!

10. Clean out the junk

We know; it’s hard enough to keep the living room free of Legos and princess fairies; getting rid of stuff you don’t need seems like a pipe dream. But you can do it! Work on one room a week or month and comb through everything. If you haven’t used it in a year, it’s time to pitch it — and if you don’t think you’ll use it in the next year, do the same (donate it and you’ll be crossing off #4 off this list, too!). Why is this super important? Well, of course cleaning up the clutter helps ease your mind, but then when the school projects and holiday gifts start coming in, you’ll have a place for them. Maybe.

Goldfish Swim School

At Goldfish Swim School, we display our integrity, compassion and trust when it comes to your family time here. Want to give your kids extraordinary results? Find a Goldfish Swim School location near you  and give us a call today to sign up for classes! We’ll WOW you with our customer service and celebrate each victory!

Did we leave any “must-do” activities out? Leave a comment and let us know what’s on your Top 10 List of things to do with your family before holiday break!

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5 Back-to-School Tips for Parents AND Kids

Heading back to school brings with it good and bad: The sad end of a carefree summer, but the return to a daily routine full of socializing, learning and fun. To help you and your kids adjust to the back-to-school world, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 Back-to-School Tips for Parents AND Kids for you to print out and pin (you do have a Pinterest account, right?) for reference:

1. Establish a morning routine

Dreading racing around in the morning, packing lunches, getting dressed, filling backpacks and getting the kids out the door on time? Yeah, we know. Time doesn’t seem to matter much to little ones, but routines help kids know what is expected — and will certainly make the morning run more smoothly. So, create your own morning routine — before school starts up again.

Now, we’re not saying you have to spend the last days of summer vacation waking up and hustling at 6 a.m. Rather, start your wakeups a little bit earlier each day. Whether you set an alarm or are just early risers (lucky you!), don’t lollygag around in the morning. Wake up, shower if needed, get dressed and have breakfast just like you would on a school day. That way, when it’s time for school your kids will already be in the habit of MOVING in the morning. Hopefully.

2. Establish a nighttime routine

In many ways, having a nightly and bedtime routine — for YOU as well as your kids will make for an even easier morning. It’s true! We know you’re pressed for time and getting ready for the next day is the last thing you want to do before you relax at night after a long day of work and driving the kids around. But if you take a few minutes to get everything situated, you’ll save yourself from scrambling — especially if you’re already running behind for one of a million reasons.

Have homework done, permission slips signed and put into backpacks before bed. Then, have your children shower, read a book and be tucked in by the same time every night. A good night’s sleep makes for an easier wake-up!

Now for prepping. First, make sure the kids are set for the morning. That means picking out outfits (or letting them pick). Spare no detail: include socks, shoes, hair accessories, etc. or at least have everything ready to go for packing. And the backpacks are already packed, right?

And for you: Make sure YOU have your outfit all picked out, cleaned and ironed, too. It’s hard enough to get the kids moving and ready in the morning without having to worry about getting yourself ready, too. Set your alarm and allow yourself enough time to primp before you’re rounding up the little ones. Then head to bed. Don’t forget, a good night’s sleep helps YOU, too!

3. Plan ahead for after-school activities

Back-to-school is the perfect time to sign up for swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School. We teach kids ages 4 months and older basic swim strokes, water safety, advanced swim strokes — and we have FUN while we’re doing it!

And, since Goldfish Swim School offers swim lessons in the evenings and on the weekends year-round, your kids can look forward to school because that means they’ll be jumping in the pool at the end of the day!

Already enrolled at Goldfish Swim School? Great! Back-to-school is a great reason to stay with those lessons (just like staying with summer lessons). Why? Kids love routine. But even more, they LOVE swimming at Goldfish Swim School! It’s a great way to celebrate their hard work at school and help them perfect those swim strokes at the same time.

4. Get organized with school supplies

Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure your kids have backpacks, lunchboxes, pens, notebooks and clothes (and shoes) they’ll need for school. Color code the items for each person or subject — and designate a spot to put all school supplies. Find somewhere to leave backpacks or homework that isn’t going to create clutter. Maybe create a homework station if you don’t have desks, so your students know ahead of time where they will be working and keeping supplies. That way, things won’t get lost and the homework hour won’t drag on because that favorite pencil has gone missing.

And, especially if you have little ones, consider putting labels on their stuff. Not only will this help in school to locate any lost items, if you have more than one child, it will also help at home to prevent squabbles over a notebook.

5. TALK excitedly about school

If you’re dreading the hustle-and-bustle of getting up early to round up the kids and get them out the door, they’ll pick up on that and dread the days, too. Instead, focus on what exciting new things are in store this year.

New school? Wonder out loud about all the cool new things they’ll do and the after-school activities they’ll offer. Same school? Talk about the new teacher and all the new things they’ll learn this year — and ask what they’re most excited about discovering. Guess about the new friends they’ll make and all the fun things to do with those friends this year.

Help get your kids excited for the new school year and continue that enthusiasm all year long. It’ll be contagious!

Goldfish Swim School

At Goldfish Swim School, we’re all about giving your kids a golden experience while teaching them to swim — and producing extraordinary results.. We do this by using integrity, compassion and trust to provide WOW customer service! Find a location near you and give us a call to learn about all we can offer your young swimmer!

What’s the best back-to-school tip you’ve learned over the years?

Stay tuned: We’ll have more tips for you on how to enjoy your fall season on our next blog!

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Ann Arbor is the Top Swim City!

Ann Arbor has been named the country’s top swim city – and it just so happens that there’s a Goldfish Swim School in Ann Arbor! Coincidence? We think not! It turns out that USA Swimming (the governing body of the sport) and Speedo conducted a study where tons of factors were evaluated to determine the top swim cities. So what did they look at? The number of swim clubs, active swimmers and even the amount of top-level swimmers in the area were all examined.

Everyone knows all about Olympic medalist Michael Phelps and his ties to Ann Arbor, where he did some of his training — but did you know that Olympic medalist Kara Lynn Joyce also prepped for swimming glory in Ann Arbor? Yep. And another swimmer, Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt, trained there, too — and she even lived in Canton, Mich.

Peter Vanderkaay, a swimmer and Olympic medal winner, has Ann Arbor ties, too. But he was born in Royal Oak, Mich. and raised in Rochester, Mich.! How’s that for some star swimming power?!

And, not only is there a Goldfish Swim School in Ann Arbor, there’s also one in Vanderkaay’s hometown of Rochester (plus a BUNCH more locations in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia and Pennsylvania). All locations are ready to give your kids a golden experience! Are your little goldfish future Olympians?

Even if you’re not trying to develop your kids into Olympic swimmers, we can sure start them on that path and celebrate when they get there!

Goldfish Swim School Helps Top Swim Cities

Washington, D.C. ranks No. 11 on USA Swimming’s list of top swim cities and Pittsburgh, Penn. is on the list, too — and we’ll have a Goldfish Swim School in BOTH cities soon! Plus there’s already a Goldfish Swim School in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus — which just so happens to be a top swim city, too.

And did you know the girls’ swim team at Carmel High School in Indiana (home city to another Goldfish location!) has won 28 consecutive Indiana state high school swimming championships? Not bad for a land-locked state.

And how many life-long swimmers in Naperville, Ill. (which is also home to a Goldfish Swim School!) got their start splashing around at Centennial Beach. This old quarry has welcomed water lovers for years.

Community involvement is key to creating a top swim city and we’re all about making more Goldfish Swim School cities into top swim cities. How? We do it by teaching kids 4 months and older how to swim — and providing extraordinary results.

Our specialized swim instructors use their integrity, compassion and trust — along with a proven curriculum — to teach young swimmers how to stay safe in the water, basic swim strokes and even advanced swimming techniques. And they want to keep swimming!

Sign Up For Goldfish Swim School

Find out about Goldfish Swim School’s WOW customer service when you enroll your own young goldfish in lessons. You can register online or stop by your nearest swim school to sign up in person. Check out for even more information. Happy swimming!

P.S. Did we miss an awesome water or swimming fact about YOUR favorite Goldfish Swim School location? Share it in the comments!

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