About Markham Dolphin Aquatics
A Unique Swimming Lesson Experience!
We are passionate about teaching this life saving lesson, and learning to swim. Having children of our own, we can resonate how parents feel knowing their children are confident and most importantly, safe around water. While we are so happy to share this experience, it is also comforting and re-assuring to have a small ratio of students to instructor (3:1 or 4:1).
There is no better way to learn, than in a small setting, and on a consistent basis.
We welcome parents to attend on the last day of their session to see how their child has progressed. Please see our FAQ page 'General' tab and "Can Parents Stay During Their Child's Lesson" for more information.
We take pride in a developmental school.
This means that your child’s age, stage and individual needs are taken into account and incorporated into their program. We know that a two year old and a five year old do not learn the same way. We also know that a reticent, cautious child has different needs than an outgoing, fearless child.
Each student follows the same basic format in terms of skills learned, however, some children are entirely eager to stick their whole head under water from day one while others can take up to two summers to learn to swim, depending on the age they are when they start.
It is important to remember that each child really does learn when they are ready and that our responsibility as teachers is to give them the CORRECT set of skills from day one, along with an understanding of the rules about safety, so as they progress, their skills and their confidence are matched.
This is the key to true water safety; experience and education. A child needs both in order to truly become water safe.
We practice fun.
At Markham Dolphin Aquatics we want the child’s initial experience to be one of fun. Fun keeps them engaged, enthusiastic and eager for more. Our own skills are built around this and it holds true, especially for the very young children we teach.
We teach age-appropriate safety skills.
A two year old’s understanding of water safety is minimal, however, he or she will become increasingly comfortable and relaxed and may even swim at this age. We call this ‘unintentional safety.’ This means that children can swim and may be able to save themselves unintentionally without really being cognizant of the fact.
The following of developmental guidelines is entirely appropriate and preferred. It's best not to give a very young child too much information. The results are better if they are merely acting instinctively based on what they have processed thus far. As children get older, we talk to them openly about water safety skills and rules. We incorporate water safe drills into their lessons and build their confidence around mini-achievements, such as treading water, with the goal of increasing the number of seconds they can tread each time we practice.
We focus on breathing, while IN the water.
What is most important to remember - and what Markham Dolphin Aquatics NEVER forgets - is that your child may be two or three years old now, but they grow up quickly and memories are formed from experiences they encounter every step of the way.
Adults who were not properly taught to swim as children, likely have grown up avoiding the water and thus the potential embarrassment of not being able to swim. The number one complaint often heard is ‘I don’t know how to breathe’ or, ‘I’m not comfortable breathing in the water and I’m always out of breath.’ We know that while learning to breathe properly takes time and often seems mundane during the process, it is crucial to developing a long term love of swimming and water safety.
Learning to breathe correctly while swimming, is very different from learning to swim while holding your breath. One is calm, relaxed and empowering... the other is frantic, panicked and urgent.
For the child who holds their breath while swimming, their goal is to get to the side as quickly as possible. For the child who can regulate their breathing, the side is there when they want it, but they are also entirely comfortable being where they are, in the moment.
It is an excellent metaphor for life.