Survival Swim Classes for a 5 Year Old

Updated on January 21, 2012
J.B. asks from Garfield, WA
6 answers

have any moms done the isr swim classes with an older child thats close to 5. if you dont know what that is its a swim class that teaches babies and toddlers to manuver to their backs if they fall in to a pool, lake etc. they also teach them to do a flip so they can swim then go to their back sto breath and swim again to reach a side. i was wondering if any parents have done this with their almost 5 year olds.

here is a link that has classes for 1-6 year olds.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I have always been under the impression that these types of swim classes only work in the small babies because their natural instincts kick in that allow them to float. In my opinion I believe they would not work for a 5 year that age children have a more (healthy? Un-healthy?) fear of water and drowning.

If I were you I would just get my child in a regular old swimming class...and do it soon. Not to be snarky but all my kids could swim and I mean REALLY swim by 3. I have always looked at swimming as a NECESSARY life saving skill and not something to be put off.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I answered this question a long time ago. My daughter was considerably younger, but to this day at almost 18, she still is NOT all that comfortable in the water. Never in a million years would I do it again. Here is my original response.

We did this course with our oldest daughter 15 years ago, and I can truthfully say that I would never do it again. It instilled a fear of water/swimming with her. It took two years of semi-private lessons in a warm, loving, and nurturing environment to help her overcome her fear. At 17, she is still not a great swimmer and is really hesitant to get in deep water. We started our younger daughter in mommy/tot lessons at 9 months old. She learned many of the same things as ISR but in the warm, loving, and nurturing environment. She also learned to swim not just survival swimming. She took lessons for 9 months. She loves the water to this day. During a homeschool period in 5th grade, we enrolled her in lessons at the rec center in a neighboring community. Mind you she had not taken lessons since she was 18 months old. She was placed in level 2, tested out of that, placed in level 3, and tested out of that. She completed level 4 and 5 and is a beautiful and strong swimmer. We don't live near the water and the closest pool is 20+ miles away, so she doesn't have the opportunity to swim on a regular basis, but the skills are there. I do believe that swimming is a life skill and learning to swim is not an optional choice. I just believe that ISR is not the right choice and would never choose to expose my child to this harsh method again.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

we started swim lessons at age 18 months for our older son. He took lessons until he made thru the entire program.

9 years later, we taught our younger son most of the basics. He had swim lessons briefly at preK, & then continued with the rest of the basics thru Scouts. He's a certified swimmer now, & is considering his lifeguard certification, too.

I say the earlier the better! But, we did hit the river/lake just from the boating end of it, we needed this safety precaution in place. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My kids took them at 1 year and 18 months. But my now 5-yr old is on the swim team and takes private one-on-one lessons.

I would speak directly with the ISR instructor and see what her opinion is. Your money may be better spent on private lessons. Their level of training is incredible and our instructor was very honest and caring towards the kids. She would NEVER take on a child for whom she didn't feel the lessons were appropriate.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I would just do swim lessons. We take classes through the Red Cross in our area.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Swim classes are never a waste of money or time. Getting them used to the water is a must.
We had ours in the water as infants. We taught them all the basics. We did find swim lessons through the park district so they could be with other kids their age.
They have also been on and are on various swim teams.
If you have access to a pool, get him in it.

1 mom found this helpful
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