When your child started swim lessons you could see improvements week to week, but now things seem to be slowing down. Lately it seems as though your child hasn’t been learning any new skills. You’re beginning to wonder if your child should continue lessons. Sound familiar?
What has actually happened is your child has reached a learning plateau. A learning plateau is a period of time while learning a new skill where there appears to be little or no progress. This is completely normal and happens to many children. A learning plateau is just a temporary set back, and can be worked through. Here are some tips on what to do if your child reaches a learning plateau:
- Be Patient: Remaining patient with children when they reach a learning plateau is important. Even if externally the child’s progress appears at a stand still, the child’s brain is busy sorting out all the information it is receiving. Acting frustrated will just hinder your child’s progress.
- Don’t Take a Break: Repetition is important. Taking a break from swim lessons may cause your child to lose some of the information they have been learning. This may result in needing to re-teach certain skills and methods.
- Don’t Give Up: It is important during these times to continue regular swim lessons! Discontinuing your child from swim lessons will deny them the opportunity to fully develop the skills they have been working on. Swim instructors have encountered learning plateaus before and are experienced in helping children work through it. Stroke clinics focus on refining particular skills and are the perfect compliment to lessons, especially when in need of a learning boost.
- Talk to Instructors: Swim teachers will be happy to help you understand the skills that your child is learning; even when it looks like progress is slowing down.
Remember, swimming is a skill that lasts a lifetime!