Whether it is a trip to the beach or the local pool parents often fret over water safety when their children are involved. Ensuring our daughter knows how to swim has been a top priority, especially with pool season in full swing. We were elated when Goldfish of Anderson reached out to see if we would be interested in documenting Sophie’s progress in exchange for complimentary swim lessons. Friends who had children enrolled in Goldfish West Chester had nothing but fantastic things to say so we were grateful to have one open up closer to home. We dove right into lessons and here is our honest review of Goldfish Anderson. Be sure to read our post to the end, because this is one happy ending you don’t want to miss.
A Little History
Sophie has been enrolled in swim classes at a local swim school since she was 8 weeks old, she is currently 2 years old. Being comfortable in the water and having a few basic skills down pat, made her excel in the Mini 2 class at Goldfish. To this point, all of her swim classes involved having me in the water with her. She was at a stage where she had outgrown the “baby” class and needed to expand her skills. We decided to move her into Mini 3 which is a class that does not require a parent in the water.
The First Class at Goldfish Anderson
To tell you the first class went off with a hitch would be a lie. Sophie cried from the minute I handed her to the instructor to the minute I came back to get her. It was heartbreaking to see her struggle with mommy attachment, especially when I know just how much she is capable of doing. Honestly, I cried a little too. It was hard. Often times little acts of kindness go further than the person giving it can ever know. To the staff member who came out to check on me and kindly reassured me that this is a common behavior they see frequently; Thank You. To the instructor, Ms. Jam, who took my crying daughter into her arms and spent one-on-one time getting to know her; Thank You. To the other instructors who swoop in flawlessly to take over the lesson for the other swimmers; Thank You.
After class, I scooped up my sobbing daughter and shuffled into the nearest changing room where I just held her until she calmed down. I contemplated whether this is something I want to continue to put her through. She went from back floating and jumping into the pool to acting like the water was made of molten lava. Maybe she wasn’t ready to move up. On our way out, I questioned the front desk as to if I needed to move back to Mini 2. The lady was incredible and told me that kids often cry for upwards of six weeks before they finally break through the barrier. It gave me hope so I vowed I would give it six weeks, before reconsidering my options.
The Next Month
For the whole next month, Sophie cried each time I handed her over to her instructor. Big crocodile tears rolled down her cheeks as I attempted to snag a photo or two of her progress. Class by class she cried a little less, but still the majority of the entire lesson she was held by the instructor. Watching the other children use paddleboards, go under the water and work on their kicks restored hope that once she broke through this one big anxiety barrier she would make the progress I knew she was ready for. Since watching your child crying and pointing at you through the glass can take its toll, I took this time to check out a few of the great perks that Goldfish offers.
A Few Perks of Goldfish Swim School in Anderson
Upon arriving at Goldfish Anderson you will note that the viewing area for the parents is quite impressive. Plenty of seating, up close and tropical. However, my favorite is personal touches such as a basket of complimentary diapers, wipes and lotion in the event you forgot yours. We also adore the swimsuit dryer. Pop the wet suit in and it will be dry in seconds. Having an army of hairdryers is vital, especially during the winter months when it can get bitterly cold. Little touches like step stools and Bumbo chairs in the restrooms make life significantly easier.
Another great feature is that they have toys, books, coloring and a chalkboard to keep other little ones entertained while a sibling or friend is in class. Sophie especially loves the resident fish in their aquarium. It is routine to greet them and bid them farewell every class. They also have a snack shack because let’s face it, swimming makes everyone hungry!
Class Number 6
Before entering the class I always prep my daughter by telling her that the instructor, Ms. Jam, can’t wait to swim with her. I try to build the excitement up, with it only to end in tears. Imagine the shocked and stunned look on my face when Sophie willing jumped to Ms. Jam in the water. No tears, no crying, no screaming. As I stood there dumbfounded, Ms. Jam didn’t miss a beat and immediately starting working with Sophie. Finally, she was showing them what I knew she could do all along. I honestly don’t know whose child was in the pool kicking, practicing her strokes and jumping in. Clearly, not mine! She was laughing, playing and best of all learning. She finally broke through that anxiety barrier. A staff member who has been with us since the beginning stepped out to celebrate with me! It was a joyous occasion for everyone. I love it that the staff celebrates every child’s milestones, not just mine.
A fun feature of Goldfish is that parents get to come in and watch the last five minutes of class. My daughter put on a show for me when I arrived. Jumping, going under the water and padding away. I was astonished, to say the least. My heart was so full that after the end of class I wanted to hug each instructor who played a part in helping us overcome our fears. Parents; don’t be discouraged if your child cries the first few classes. It happens and most children overcome their fears in a matter of weeks.
Since our big breakthrough, we have continued to make progress. The instructors take the time to get the kids comfortable with them before pushing any new skill. After a few great classes under her belt, my daughter is now going under the water with ease, using proper swim posture and techniques. Her self-esteem has skyrocketed in response to the constant praise and encouragement she gets from the staff. I couldn’t be happy. Each class is a half-hour long and it flys by so quickly now that she is loving every minute. At the end of each class, we get a report card and a ribbon or two depending on what she accomplished. These ribbons are proudly displayed throughout our entire home.
Another important feature is that not only are the instructors teaching the children how to swim, they are also teaching them water safety. Vital pieces like being able to climb out of a pool, waiting to be invited into the water, and floating. Don’t be shy to ask for tips to practice at home. We have a pool at our home which terrifies me so I am constantly asking for tips and skill to practice while we are at home.
A Few Housekeeping Items
- Swim Diapers: Goldfish requires a reusable swim diaper called for children who are not yet potty trained. They sell them at Goldfish in the event you forgot and need to purchase one. Tip: You get a 25% coupon when you enroll in lessons. Utilize this at their pro shop for goggles or a swim diaper!
- Rescheduling a class: Life happens. Kids get sick, vacation rolls around, etc. Whatever reason you may have Goldfish is flexible in allowing your make up a total of 13 classes a year. Just call ahead to reschedule.
- The changing stalls are a good size and can accommodate a whole family usually.
- Showers are available to use after swim class. They even have soap!
- Goldfish Swim Schools are national. Find the one closest to you here!
- For a little older swimmers looking into their Jump Start Clinics.
Looking for more fun things to do in Cincinnati with your little ones? Check out our family-favorite activities here.
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