Swim Lessons for Preschoolers and School-Aged Kids
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Swim Lessons for Preschoolers and School-Aged Kids
Swim Schools in Lamorinda/WC area
I have a three year old and a six year old who need to learn to swim this spring. I have done some
preliminary research and the following three schools look like good options for us. We are in the
Lamorinda area - has anyone had kids who have learned to swim at these schools? Please share any
positives or negatives about your experience. Thank you!
Splash Swim School - Walnut Creek
Harriet Plummer Aquatic School - Lafayette
Little Dippers Aquatic Center - Concord
Mama of baby guppies
My daughter had swim lessons with Harriet Plummer in Lafayette quite a few years
ago. Harriet is wonderful! My daughter became an excellent swimmer and
participated on swim teams through high school and still loves swimming today.
We go to Harriet Plummer, and we love it. My child is super cautious, but under
their tutelage she has turned into a water loving little fish. Amanda
Winter weekend swim class for reluctant 5 year-old?
Our exuberantly obstinate five-year-old says he doesn't want to learn to
swim--and he's proven it by participating in two years of on-and-off (but mostly
on) swim classes at the Berkeley Y without mastering any swim skills at all.
We've tried both private and group lessons. He's reluctant to put his face in the
water, but this really doesn't seem to be about fear.
Any advice on what to try next? We live in North Oakland, both work, and are not
inclined to spend a ton more money on this endeavor. Mother of a landlubber
We have had good success with Aquatech. They have A LOT of classes all week and on
the weekends. We started my daughter when she was 3 and a half last march (she
wouldn't put her head in the water either) and now she can swim without assistance
with her head under water. I am not sure about the Y, but Aquatech has the kids use
goggles. The classes are ongoing and once they master the skills required to move
up levels, they move them up automatically and the kids get a ribbon. My daughter
is pretty proud of her ribbons. It is in Alameda, just on the other side of the
tunnel. We have been pretty happy with them.
Mom of a reluctant mermaid
Try Tim Oliver swimming. Tim Oliver is a good coach and can provide some advice.
Maybe call first.
Best swimming classes in North Berkeley/Albany?
I'm seeking feedback and recommendations for youth swimming lessons at the
Berkeley YMCA, King Pool on Hopkins, and the new Albany City Pool. My son
been slowly working his way through the swimming lessons at the Berkeley Y
while he likes swimming and wants to keep going, I think we're all getting
bored with the Y. If you have experience with one or more of the swimming
programs in the N. Berkeley and Albany area and can compare them, I'd love
hear your thoughts. The current recommendations online are rather old. We
small class sizes, engaged and skillful instructors, and a warm pool! mom
of a swimmer
My kids have had lessons at the Berkeley Y and at King pool. I think
King is better because the classes are 4 days a week, instead of twice
a week at the Y. It's the repetition that teaches them how to swim. At
King, some of the teachers are great, and some are not. Since the
lessons at King are only half an hour long, some people sign up for two
consecutive classes a day. I also know a lot of people who love a place
called Canyon for swimming lessons. Maybe it's in El Sobronte?
Mom of one great swimmer, and one not so great
We got our kids semi-private lessons at Strawberry Pool 3 summers in a
row & now they are absolutely strong, confident swimmers. Strawberry
Canyon Pool is UC and the parking is brutal. The instructors are worth
Swimming is important!
Two new Albany pools just opened in February - and swim lessons are underway. The pools
are next to Albany High School at 1311 Portland Ave at Key Route, and are shared by the
HS and the community.
Check on the availability of swim lessons for all ages from babies to seniors, as they
fill fast. I know people who have enjoyed Albany swim lessons in the past, and the
current swimmers seem very happy.
The pools (yes - TWO pools, one indoors and warm, the other outdoors and olympic size)
are amazingly wonderful. The pools and locker rooms are clean and beautiful, and there
are lots of open hours for lap swim and family swim.
Check the Albany pool site for swim lessons and hours by going to the website
Happy to be back at the Albany pool
Provate swim lessons for 3 and 5 year old
We are new to the area and I was looking for private swim instruction
for my 5 and 3 year old sons. Never had lessons before. I do not have
my own pool. Any recommendations? Thanks
My 3 1/2 year-old son adores his private swim instructor Hayley Piersol (we
found her via BPN). She's been fantastic with him and he has made a TON of
progress. He had been in lots of ''Mommy and me'' style swim classes and so he was
very comfortable in the water, but he wasn't doing anything remotely close to
When my daughter was born, I was suddenly aware of how hard it was to manage two
non-swimmers in the water and I wanted him to be safer in the pool as soon as
possible. I wasn't looking to create a competitive swimmer necessarily, but I
did want him to learn proper techniques and water safety. Hayley fit the bill
perfectly. In just a few lessons, my son has made more progress than in months
of group lessons. Ultimately a lot cheaper than investing in all the group
lessons, although I think they made a difference in getting him comfortable in
In terms of logistics, Hayley teaches weekend lessons in an odd but warm little
pool, up in the Oakland Hills by a church. There have been a few lessons missed
due to pool problems, but Hayley always communicates with us via text message
and keeps us updated. My only complaint is that the older gentleman who is
seemingly in charge of the pool is kind of a grumpy guy. He doesn't have a lot
of patience for kids. But we don't really interact with him -- he's just there
running things while Hayley and several other private instructors give lessons.
I really recommend Hayley -- she's sweet and lovely and has a great style with
kids. My son absolutely adores her and looks forward to swimming every Saturday.
Indoor swimming lessons w/small class-size for timid 4.5yo
My 4.5 yr old daughter loves to be in water and wants to swim, but is shy
and is terrified of classes. We tried this summer and she literally clung
to my husband, who had to get in with her (while the rest of the children
happily jumped in on their own, etc.). She's been asking to go swimming, so
I'm hoping to find a place with an indoor pool with a very small
class-size.. We're in Oakland (but would travel up to 20 mins or so).
Try Aquatech in Alameda (they also have a site in Concord).
It's just through the Webster tube. Both of my kids go
there, one of whom was very fearful. They have classes
every day, all day, so they are able to keep class sizes
small. Max class size appears to be 4 kids, although plenty
of times my kids end up with just 1 or 2 kids in the class!
I'm not sure about their class size, but I know that AquaTech Swim
School hosts indoor swim classes at Mariner Square Athletic Club
in Alameda (right next to the Webster tunnel). You could also
look into the Hayward Plunge and/or the (Point) Richmond
Natatorium, which are both indoor pools. Good luck, and if you
find a great one, would you mind emailing me? I'm looking to get
my son involved in swim classes within the next year or so but
haven't started doing serious research yet.
Aquatech swim school in Alameda (at a facility called Mariner
Square) has class sizes of 3, 4 or 6, depending on what level your
child is. They have platforms in the water so the kids can relax &
be in the water for the full 30 minutes. My son began at the
lowest level and the ratio was 3:1. The instructors are great and
they are understanding of little ones and work well when your
youngster is having a bad day! They make it manageable for your
child and give them confidence in the water. It's not that long
that your child will feel it's torturous, but it's long enough
that they make progress.
I would say they are well worth the money, because, in the end, it
is a safety issue. My son now pushes off the wall, kicks by
himself, rolls over on his back, floats, jumps in off the side and
is willing to not only get his face wet, he is willing to
submerge! These are all things he wouldn't do-
even with me in the pool right beside him. If you are coming from
Oakland to Alameda, they are right through the tube.
I think you'll be impressed with how they set up the lessons-not
only do they have instructors in the water, they have people
posted around the pool keeping an eye on the little ones who are
waiting for their turn (the ones the instructor is not working
with). So your child is safe at all times and supervised. They are
a program which is definitely worth checking out. Good luck.
Mom of a developing swimmer
Try Patti's Swim School in Castro Valley. The instructors there
are AWESOME and classes are small. We did private lessons for a
very frightened 3 year old. Their patience with her was amazing!
I would like to recommend two wonderful teachers who do private
swimming lessons with children: Hayley Peirsol and Kim Vandenburg.
My children did not want to take lessons and struggled with
classes at other facilities. They learned very little as the
classes were too big. They now take lessons with Hayley and Kim
and LOVE the classes. They have asked repeatedly to take more
classes and have the instruction times be twice as long. They can
be contacted at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Ina
Looking for a swimming instructor for children
Hi, I'm asking for a friend who's looking for a great
swimming instructor for her daughter. She also has another
friend who is looking for the same for her children. The
children range in age from 4- 10. They are looking for
someone who's located or could travel to the Berkeley/Albany
and Kensington areas.
Thanks for helping out with your suggestions. anonymous
I have discovered 2 amazing swim teachers that do private lessons:
Kim Vandenberg (email@example.com) and Hayley Peirsol
(firstname.lastname@example.org). Each gave my sons a 1/2 hour lesson and
both boys wanted many more lessons after it was over--this was after
many complaints of taking lessons at all. They both felt that they
had learned a lot in that 30 minutes. Hayley and Kim are both
professional swimmers and are kind, fun, and give clear
Swim classes for 4.5 year old who needs a little push
Since moving to the East Bay I've had a hard time finding the right swim
classes for my 4.5 yo son. We've been taking lessons at Canyon all
summer and now need to find indoor classes as the season closes.
My son needs a kind and consistent teacher who will push him and not back
down from his insistent cries that he can't do something. He has fun in
the water but needs help reaching his potential.
I'm thinking of singing up for classes at the Berkeley Y and was
wondering if people could share their experiences with me. Thanks!
looking for swim whisperer
We've had only great experiences with the Y's swim classes, with my daughter
attending them all year round for the past 3 years. She started at 4.5 and
would not put her face in the water with her parents. She was doing it on
day one in the class with no tears. She is now an avid and excellent
swimmer, joining the swim team at the Y. We're about to start with our
4.5-year-old son, so maybe we'll see you there!
If you are thinking of swim lessons at the Y, don't waste
your time and money with the nightmare of group lessons. The
pool and locker room are very crowded and the kids are
distracted. Invest in private or semi private lesson. After
almost two years of group lessons we saw little results.
When we switched to semi private lessons, the kids were
actually swimming within a few classes. Totally worth every
penny. And it's obvious that all the instructors love their
job. Swim mom
My daughter has been taking swim lessons this summer at Tim Oliver and will
continue through the winter because they have a tent they put over the
entire pool in the cold and rainy months. She has learned an incredible
amount and I have found their combination of encouragement and firmness to
be a good fit for her. We took classes all last summer at the Sherman Swim
School (which was fine) but we like Tim Oliver better. We live in South
Berkeley and it takes about 15 min. Also, for what it's worth, I think
private lessons are more efficient and cost-effective in the long run.
Hello -- I want to take my 3.5 year old to swim classes but as a
working mom the drive to Canyon, Haufler, or Harriet Plummer is
impractical. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with private
lessons at the downtown Berkeley Y? I'm also wondering if there are
any experienced private swim instructors who work near Berkeley. Our
child has never taken any swim classes, so he would be starting fresh.
My daughter has been taking private swim lessons through the
Berkeley at the King Pool on Hopkins Street in North Berkeley, and
she finally learned how to swim. The only downside is that, although
the pool is heated, it is outside. Google ''City of Berkeley
Aquatics'' for current schedule and cost. Robin
I have been trying to find a swim coach who gives private lessons.
I have an 8 year old daughter who swims on a swim team and takes
group lessons at the Y but could really benefit from some
one-on-one instruction in stroke technique. This person must be a
current or former competitive swimmer - not just someone who has
taken a Swim Lesson certification course. I would prefer someone
who will get in the water with her. And they need to have access to
Tim Oliver Swimming off Redwood Rd in Oakland.
timoliverswimming.com. They are amazing. Lynne
An excellent and very experienced swim coach is Tim Oliver. He and
his staff teach all of the competitive swim strokes. He is great
with kids, beginners and advanced students. He offers semi and
private lessons in at a private pool in the Oakland hills year
round. He also has a non-competitive swim team. We are in Berkeley
but it was well worth the drive to Oakland. He has the expertise to
really develop a high level of swim technique even for young
When my daughter was 8 she took private swim lessons from the
and thrived under that instruction. She now swims
competitively with beautiful crawl, breast and back stroke.
I can't be the only one with this request...for those of us
who have kids who are not swim team material but want them
to be competent swimmers - what are the alternatives? Are
there swim clinics that include games and freestyle swimming
maybe twice a week? We just can't do the swim team but I am
worried that my child won't be a competent swimmer when it
gets to lake swimming or other unexpected circumstances.
Shouldn't there be something like this out there?
my kids take lessons at Canyon Swim School in El Sobrante.
after two summers, my son is a competent swimmer and my
daughter is almost there. It is lessons, though, not play
time. if you want free swim time, check out The Plunge in
Point Richmond, scheduled to open in August, I think.
Want to be in pool with four year old for lessons
My four year old daughter hasn't taken any swimming lessons
yet, and it's high time. We live in central/east Oakland.
Which places do you recommend that allow parents in the pool
with this age group, give plenty of individualized
attention, have good instruction, and also have lots of fun?
I'm currently considering Mills and Tim Oliver. Thanks!
We've had a great experience with the lessons at Roberts
Pool, up in the hills near Chabot Space center.
I'm not sure if they let parents in, or how many openings
they still have for this summer. But the head guy is
approachable and may be willing to work with you. The
instructors seem to do a good job of tailoring the lessons
to the kids, getting the shy or scared kids into the pool
The number is 1-888-EBPARKS (1-888-327-2757), option 2.
My son has learned a lot there the last two summers.
Bryan in Oakland
Could someone recommend some great swim clases for children? Our 4 year old wants to take lessons and we would appreciate
any feedback on great instruction for kids swimming.
Thanks so much,
We are a big fan of the Canyon Swim School in El Sobrante.
We tried the Y, we tried the now defunct Albany pool and
none of these places matched Canyon for the commitment of
their instructors, their effective program, and their
results. Our child has been going there for years and has
excellent skills and confidence in the water.
Canyon Swim School in El Sobrante is the best! We tried
several other places, and lessons didn't work at all. At one
place I actually had to get in the water and help the
Then I found Canyon. My kids took lessons there for 5
years. The teachers are experienced with kids and with
swimming, and they have a method that works. They start
lessons in April, I think. Their number is (510) 223-4600,
Aquatech at Mariner's Square in Alameda is great. Our 4yo
went from afraid to be in the pool to swimming in less than
a year! My older daughter has become a much stronger
swimmer which was very reassuring during our trip to
Hawaii. The classes are 30 min with 1-4 kids to a teacher.
They have multiple levels and the kids get ribbons as they
advance from starfish to Orca. It is just on the otherside
of the Webster tube.
my kids go to Canyon swim school in El Sobrante.
They went to the Oakland Y once a week for a year when they were 2 and 4 years old.
During that year they had fun and the 4 year old learned to put his face in the water
(not his head) and to sort of steer while kicking with a kick board, the younger made
no progress that was tangible.
Within a month of going to canyon swim school in El Sobrante (twice a week), they
were both doing things happily that they had never even tried at the Y.
I am looking for an instructor to give swimming lessons to our 3
children (age 2, 6 and 10). We live in the Berkeley Hills and have
our own pool, so I would need somebody to come to our house after
school (around 5PM) once or twice a week. Experience with teaching
children a must.
I just wanted to put in a good word for two wonderful special
needs swimming instructors, Derrick Hensman and Alon Altman. They
have taught my autistic son at the Berkeley High Warm Pool for
many months now and he has made terrific progress swimming and he
absolutely LOVES to go. Both the instructors are really patient,
calm, and understand kids with sensory issues and limited verbal
abilities. Derrick's email is email@example.com. Alon's
email is firstname.lastname@example.org
My son's regular swim teacher had a substitute last week. My son
really liked him.
I don't know if he's amenable to coming to your house, but I do
know he's looking for instruction opportunities (he sent an email
around asking us for recommendations).
His information is:
Qualifications: 15 years as a swim instructor for children 6
months of age and older; 15 years of teaching adults and seniors;
7 years of teaching developmentally challenged individuals (i.e.
Autism and Down Syndrome); Certified Water Safety Instructor
(WSI); Lifeguard; First Aid and CPR certified.
I need classes for my two kids my daughter is 7 and my son is 4 and are eager to
learn, if you know a public place were i can take them please tell me. thanks
You don't say where you are located, but
Oakland Parks and Rec does kids
swimming lessons at a number of pools around the city. My daughter (4 1/2) is
currently taking their Tiny Tots program at De Fremery pool; last year we did
a parent/child class together.
I used to take my kids to the Berkeley Y for swimming, but didn't like the
ratio of kids to teacher, the hassle of parking, and the slow progress they
I then found out about
Haufler Acquatics via BPN. I was really happy with them
- excellent ratio, daily except Fridays, good variety of teachers. No website,
only phone: 510/446-7946 I've also heard positive things about Oakland Park
and Rec swimming, but find their website difficult. They hold their lessons at
a variety of pools.
Search by category: Swimming, then look for Youth Learn to Swim.
I also looked into lessons at the Orinda Park Pool.
I'm looking for a weekday morning or weekday 2 or 3pm swim
class for my 4 year old. Can anyone recommend one within
reasonable distance from Rockridge? Thanks so much!
(The Berkeley and Oakland YMCAs only have morning classes on
Saturdays, and don't currently offer early afternoon classes.)
(We're aiming for early bedtimes.)
My son is an instructor at Aquatech Swim School
They have a wonderful program that allows kids to graduate from one
swimming level to the next. It's right on the other side of the Alameda
Tube and a convenient location. They have an indoor poor for swim
lessons all year.
Here is the exact email I just got from the berkeley Y - because I was
also curious about a swim class for my 3 year old.
For our pre-school lessons we have a few options. Our first option is
to attend one of our 4 week sessions (classes meet 2x week for 4
weeks). These classes are offered on Monday/Wednesdays or
The second option is to attend one of our 8 week sessions (classes meet
1x week for 8 weeks). These classes are offered on Saturdays and Friday
looking for swim lessons appropriate for a 6 year old, after school near
alameda or oakland.
AquaTech Swim School in Alameda has a great program. They are
very organized and offer high quality instruction. They are
also indoor and year round. We have our 3 kids in the program
5, 7, 10 are their ages, and they love it!
The website is www.aquatechswimschool.com if you want to check
You should try Tim Oliver -
he is fantastic. He had my daughter
swimming in the first couple lessons. Everyone i know raves
about him. He is very patient and calm. His pool is
fabulous-warm and uses an ozone system instead of chlorine
(great for those of us who have ecxema problems). For those of
you looking at the archives he used to be at the piedmont swim
club. His pool is off redwood road on campus drive. Email
email@example.com or phone 510)759-2782.
I'd like to help my shy and water-shy 3-year-old daughter get
comfortable in the water and am looking for a good class/pool. I fear
anything where I'm not allowed to be with her in the water would be a
no-go for her. To add to this, she is mildly asthmatic and eczematic
so chlorine levels in water and air (vapor) are a concern. Does
anyone know of an open-air, not-too-chlorinated pool in or near
Berkeley where they allow parents in the water with the kids? We are
open to either late-August or early fall classes. Thanks!
--Not Mermaids Yet
For this question and the one about toddler swim classes, I highly
recommend Canyon Swim School
in El Sobrante (510-223-4600). The parking
lot is on San Pablo Dam Rd, just past Appian Way. I first heard of this
place ~24 years ago, from a mom who lived the other side of Montclair
(from Berkeley). It is true that gas was cheaper then, but the warm
water, small classes, and high quality of the teachers can't be beat. My
kids are now 18-29, but I have taken other kids here more recently (as
well as to other swim classes) as an occasional summer nanny - this still
gets my vote as the best place for your kid to learn to love swimming and
become proficient at it. The youngest class is for baby and mom, and the
classes progress up through competitive swim techniques like flip turns,
etc. The classes usually have about 4 kids per teacher. What I found to
be a real plus was that if a child was afraid to try something, rather
than ignore the child, or make the other 3 wait for !
eons, an extra teacher came out of the office to help with the child that
was anxious. Anxious child was happy, other kids weren't frustrated -
great all the way around.
I'm looking for someone to teach my 5 yr old grandson to swim. He has selective
mutism and needs a special environment where I can be in the pool with him. All the
places I've looked at thus far require that caregivers are not in the pool, sometimes
not even in the area. It would be great if his 3 yr old twin sisters could also be in
the pool, learning to swim, as this would make him more comfortable (and teach them to
swim). If anyone has any ideas, I would be appreciative. Thank you.
My children have been taking private lessons at
AquaTech Swim School in Alameda
since the beginning of March and they both love it. Recently, a boy with
autism has started lessons at the same time we are there and I've been very
impressed with the way the teacher (Adrienne) interacts with him and his
progress. Family members have gotten in the pool with him, so I'm sure that
wouldn't be a problem. I would definitely contact them to discuss your
grandson's situation. It's quite possible they could arrange lessons with a
different teacher for your granddaughters at the same time.
Here's the contact information: http://www.aquatechswimschool.com/
Phone number is: (510) 337-0200
Happy Swim Mom
I'm looking for a group swim class in Berkeley or Albany that my 4.5-year-old
daughter can take by herself (i.e., I don't have to get in with her). An added
bonus would be that I could take my 1-year-old into the pool while she's
having her lesson. I thought the city of Berkeley let 4-year-olds take classes
without parents, but it looks the age limit is 5. My daughter is almost
swimming and very very interested and independent.
Well, it's not in Berkeley or Albany, but we drive down to
Aquatech Swim school in Alameda. I needed lessons for my son
that I didn't need to get in the water for, and they have them.
They are great and I highly recommend them.
Mama of a Solo Swimmer
I'm looking for private swimming lessons for my son who will be 4 this
summer. Any suggestions will be welcome. Thanks!
The best place I have taken my kids for swimming lessons is, hands
down, Canyon Swim School
in El Sobrante. They do offer private
lessons. My kids were absolutely freaked by the water, hated
swimming lessons everywhere else. Within 4 weeks, my then-6-yr old
son went from puking on his first day he was so scared, to swimming
across the pool unassisted in a clearly-recognizable crawl stroke.
They are not a ''tough love'' type of teaching place... it is all
about what the kid is ready for and willing to do. They are the
BEST! Their website is canyonswimschool.com. I am so sold on them
that I commute from Oakland to El Sobrante. Happy swimming!
Yes, I have to agree Canyon School
is a great place. Their
program is great for all ages and children learn fast and
have fun. Each teacher understands and approaches each child
carefully and meets child needs without pushing to hard.
Several years ago I worked for them as swim instructor and
had a lot of successful stories. Now I am thinking to take my
own 20 month old for lessons. They do offer private lessons
they are 20 min long and they have very nice make up policy.
You're also might consider group lessons because this is
where children strive and do a lot better after a couple
private lessons. Children love to learn by example and be in
the group. Instructors are always dedicate equal amount of
time for each child. Brown family who runs this program have
experience for over 70 years so everything is very well
I'm looking for someone skilled to give swim lessons to my 4-year-old and her
friend privately so that I would not have to be in the water (I have a baby).
In Berkeley if possible, or nearby.
Although they are not in Berkeley, I HIGHLY recommend Aqua
Tech Swim at Mariner Square in Alameda
http://aquatechswimschool.com/. They do offer private
lessons, but their maximum student to teacher ratio is 3:1,
so you could save a lot of money if your child and her friend
are in a class, plus one other student.
The teachers are great--and the staff work really hard to
ensure that the kids are learning and progressing. The pool
is indoors and parents are not required to get into the pool
My kids have been at aquatech for awhile and we are very
happy mom of fish children
I would like to sign my 3yo up for a swim class. (He hasn't
really ever spent any time in a pool.) I also have a 9mo whom I
would need to take to the lesson. I think some classes don't
require parent participation, but I know my son would want me to
participate while he's learning something new. I wouldn't feel
comfortable taking the 9mo with me in the pool. Know any
instructors/clubs who are experienced dealing with this?
mom needs ideas
Your son's old enough to take lessons at the Downtown Berkeley YMCA (my 3.5 y/o is
taking lessons now - he's a ''pike'') w/out you if you want to give it a try. The
instructors are very patient and sweet w/ the little guys. OR - you can do a
child class to start (he'll prob be the oldest kid, but who cares? It's fun for
you!) And bring your baby to childwatch while you both take the class. Give them a
call and talk to Beth, the Assoc. Aquatic Director for more info.
Water Babies' Mom
Can anyone recommend a swim class appropriate for me or my
husband to take our 2 and 5 year old boys? I recall there was
one at the Berkeley High warm pool, does that class still
exist? I'm looking for classes other than those offered at the
Berkeley YMCA, for some reason my husband wants to look
Have you looked into the Albany pool. It's an indoor pool,
warmish, around 84 degrees. They have parents and tots
classes for small people and then more advanced classes
(without parents in the water) for older ones. If you went on
Saturday mornings you can almost do them back to back. The
parents and tots teacher, Shirley, has been doing the classes for
years. The facilities are quite a bit funkier than the Y however,
but then you don't have to pay for a membership etc...either.
We tried several places, but found the best place to be Canyon in
El Sobrante. It is a bit of a drive but well worth it. For one
thing it tends to be a bit warmer than Berkeley (I am talking
about Spring and Summer). The pool is heated and they have the
most wonderful instructors as well as smaller classes. If you
start in the Winter I think Albany's indoor pool would be a good
place. I love to swim
We are trying to find a really good place to take our children
(3-6 years old) for swimming lessons. We have already tried
Strawberry Canyon, the Berkeley YMCA, and Canyon Swim Lessons
(El Sobrante). But does anyone know of a place for swim lessons with great,
experienced teachers, a warm pool, decent facilities, good
management, and parking? We are willing to pay more and to
travel a bit farther (from Berkeley) if necessary for the right
place. Has anyone tried the El Cerrito Community Pool for
I can't say enough great things about Sherman Swim School in Lafayette. They teach children from infant on up. The pool is warm-90 degrees-which takes the whole cold factor out so they can learn! It's warm outside and it has covered UV shade over the pool, so no sunburns. The teachers are well trained, kind and have boundless patience. The lessons are only 15 minutes for 4-5 and under and 30 minutes once they have a longer attention span and more skills. This keeps everything fun, warm and moving. They are private lessons. While it might seem like a lot of drive all the way there for 15 minutes (we live in El Cerrito) is has been well worth it. My son has been going since he was 2 years old, he is now six and surfs-by himself-
boggie boards, kayaks and has a great time in the water. My daughter is three and loves the water too. We are a water family and while we don't push for ex.''you have to surf'' the swim lessons are a must.
El Cerrito's lessons are fine but the weather is cold and windy most of the time. We drive to Lafayette and love it. It's also samll and friendly.
I can't say enough good things about Harriet Plummer's Aquatic School in Lafayette. 30 years of experience, warm pool (even a bubble and 90+ water in winter!), proven methods, convenient location right off of Hwy 24, 15-minute lessons for the little ones, reasonably priced. We took our daughters to Harriet when they were each 3 years old. She's taken them from putting their little faces in the water at 3yrs old to stroke refinement at 10 yrs old. In 10 years of living in the East Bay, I've never heard anything but raves review about Harriet!
I take my son to Aqua Stars Swim School in Lafayette. It's a swim school run out of the woman's house. She offers private lessons for 15 to 30 minutes at a time. Monday-Thursdays 0900-
4ish. You pick a time that is available and that is your slot for as long as you continue lessons. What's great is that the pool is always heated to at least 90 and during the winter months, she has this huge bubble dome (6 feet high) that encloses the pool so that it stays quite warm inside this bubble (like a mild sauna). This, of course, allows for year round swim lessons and not just in the good weather months. The teachers are quite good and patient. You enter at the side of the house and there is a changing room and bathroom in the back area by the pool. She usually offers 4 week sessions at a time. The number there is 925-283-7119.
My son took swimming lessons also at the YMCA, Strawberry Canyon, Canyon swim school and addionally at Campolinda highschool. Nothing worked. He refused to get his head under water, and I was exhausted and out $600+!! Then I found out about Harriett Plummer Aquatics in Lafayette (Just off hwy 24 on the Pleasant Hill Road Exit). The drive was WORTH IT.
Harriet has operated a swim school for over 25 years out of her home. She has a tried and true swim instruction method and experienced swim instructors (who are long term employees). They teach specific things on each day of instruction. Classes are individual and only 15 minutes long, and she's a bit expensive. But totally worth it. My son had his head under water in the first lesson, and was swimming across the pool by the 2nd month (only after 6 lessons). In the winter she covers her pool with a big dome to keep it warm - you have to enter via a zippered opening. She has a comfortable dressing room and parking.
You might say, ''why should I spend all that money for a class that is 15 minutes long''! The class is your child and the instructor, which means your child gets individual attention instead of hanging onto the side of the pool waiting for 5-6 other kids. They pack a lot of instruction into 15 minutes. Then at the end of the class, your child doesn't want to leave, and says that was quick! Children don't get burnt out in a long 30 min. class.
I cannot say enough about her and her swim school. I wish I didn't waste my time and money on all the other swim schools!
Harriet can be reached at 925 943-7331 Maya
I've been taking my 2 year old son to La Petite Baleen in San Bruno. It's excellent, and meets all your requirements. It's a bit far, about 45 minutes, but worth it. Check out their website: http://www.swimlpb.com/
Mom of a baby fishy
Does anybody know of a swim program that offers classes at the
same time each week rather than a continuous program? I would
love to sign my 3-year-old up for a swim class every Friday
this summer if one is available.
The Downtown Berkeley YMCA has swimming lessons on Friday
mornings at 10 or 10:30am. The swimming lessons are in a
shallow, warm pool and the teachers are trained to teach skills
in a fun way. Call the YMCA for more details (510-848-9622) or
check their website at www.baymca.org.
I'm looking for an afternoon swim class for my 5 yo in the
Oakland/Lamorinda area for this summer. I'd like to find a
class for him rather than private instruction. He's a
beginner. Thanks for any suggestions.
Trying to plan
Berkeley City Pools
Haufler Aquatics Swim School Oakland
If you live in Lamorinda, the Canyon Swim School in El Sobrante would be a
relatively easy commute. However, if you are in Oakland it would be terrible! I
tried Canyon after being dissatisfied with teaching abilities of the young
instructors at the Berkeley YMCA. All of the instructors at Canyon are adults,
and I have been very pleased with their teaching abilities. After a week at
Canyon, my 4 year old went from bobbing to swimming across the pool. We
continued that season and the next, and I've been pleased with her progress.
The sign-up process may seem a bit disorganized at first, but once you're in it
gets easier. Call them at 223-4600 to get a brochure. Sessions are already
starting and continue through the summer.
I'm looking for winter-time swim lessons for my beginner-level,
almost-5-year-old. We did classes at the Berkeley Y last year,
which were ok, but the pool was too deep for her to touch bottom,
and the instructors weren't as attentive as we'd have liked. We
LOVED the Canyon Swim School this summer, but it's not open in
the winter. Any suggestions? Warm, shallow, great teachers???
my 6 year old daughter takes private swim lessons in lafayette,
all year round by Harriet Plummer Aquatics. She has a covering
over the heated pool in the winter and the water is very warm.
I cannot speak highly enough of this program. it got my (then)
4 year old who was afraid to put her head under the water to
swim across the pool within one week. we have had all the
teachers and they all are great (altho if you are lucky enough
to get harriet, she's the best) i don't have the number handy
but she's probably listed in lafayette under harriet plummer.
We have been fruitlessly trying to arrange private swim lessons since May for our
just about 6 year old and have come up short. We have been having a terrible
experience trying to arrange this through the Walnut Creek YMCA (through whom
she had private lessons last summer), which uses the JCC pool (our daughter is in
summer camp there). Our daughter broke my heart the other day when she said she
doesn't want to go in the pool during camp because she's embarrassed as she's the
only one who can't swim. My husband and I both work, so Saturday lessons are the
only thing that will work for us. Our daughter insists on private lessons with a
female instructor. If anyone has any recommendations for anything in the Walnut
Creek area (Lamorinda, WC, Pleasant Hill, Concord), I would really appreciate
hearing them. I am so sad for our daughter. And it's HOT out here and I really want
her to get into the water at camp if at all possible to have fun and to cool off!
I know of a really great swim school in Lafayette but I don't know if they
have lessons on Saturday. Try giving them a call, Sherman Swim
School (925) 283-2100.
My children learned to swim at Canyon Swim School years ago and I thought they
were great. It is in El Sobrante but convenient to Orinda. I don't know their
schedule now, but I think I recall that they had Saturday classes (and they do have
private lessons--or at least did). You can reach them at:
Canyon Swim School Fred & Bill Brown
21 Campbell Lane, El Sobrate, CA 94803
Try Harriet Plummer in Lafayette, Sherman Swim School in
Lafayette, or Little Dippers in Pleasant Hill. They do private
lessons, but do fillup fast.
Have you tried Sherman Swim School in Lafayette.They only
give private lessons and looks like a great place.
The Sherman Swim School in Lafayette just started Saturday
lessons. They are private lessons (15 or 30 minutes) depending
on the age of your daughter. They are a little pricey - but
amazing! I have rec'd to many friends and all have come away
saying - why didn't I do this years ago. My son learned more in
two 15 minute sessions than he had in two years of other group
and private lessons. He's now jumping off the diving board and
swimming the length of the pool and he is only 5 - call right
away as they are often booked.
Does anyone have any recommendations for swim lessons for a 6-
year old? I would like to enroll my daughter in a swimming
program this summer and want to see if there are any advice on
where is the best place. We live in east Oakland, in the
Diamond District and would like some place close-by if anyone
knows of any program.
Mills College offers summer swim lesson for swimmers of all ages and
abilities, no college affiliation necessary. For more info call the pool at
430-2170 or visit the web site http://www.mills.edu/ATHL/pool/index.html
Have a fun summer!
Oakland Hills Tennis Club
Oakland Swim Lessons: Oakland Parks & Recreation swim lessons
at Lions Pool in Diamond Park; Mills College summer swim
lessons (fills up fast); Head-Royce School summer swim lessons;
and East Bay Regional Park runs summer swim lesson at Roberts
Pool in Roberts Park. If you live close to Oakland/San Leandro
border, City of San Leandro runs swim lessons at a number of
pools and only charges a few dollars more for non-San Leandro
I'm looking for recommendations for private swim lessons for
my 3 year old son. I'm not interested in classes because I
have a baby and I am unable to get in the water with my 3 year
old for group classes. Any solid recommendations would be
greatly appreciated. Also, what is the going rate for private
swim lessons? Thanks.-
Piedmont Swim Club
Richmond Swim Center
Try Sherman Swim School in Lafayette. They only have private
lessons and for a 3 year old they are about 15 inutes long. The
sessions are usually 2 or 3 days per week for 2 or 3 weeks. I
think they are open March-October. They are amazing! It is
pretty expensive, but it really worked for our 4 year old. I
wish we had started him there at 2 rather than waster two summers
of other lessons.
mother of a swimmer
Four families in search of a swim instructor to teach in an
Orinda backyard pool. All four children are at five years old
and can swim at differing levels. We're looking for someone
from a high school or college swim team who is enthusiastic,
friendly, and willing to teach with some of us parents in the
pool (for the more fearful of the four kids!). Can provide
transportation to Orinda from Oakland or Berkeley. Please write
me back and let me know if you have any folks in mind who would
be interested in doing this - we're ready and raring to go!
Thanks - Julie
I would check with the folks at Strawberry Canyon. They offer
private swim lessons and we have had great luck with the
teachers. They seem to be very bright and motivated students with
really good training.
I'm seeking information on
swimming lessons for a first grader. Can someone recommend
places to get Swimming Lessons, on Saturdays, in or near
Berkeley. Full-time working parent with first grade daughter
needs to have her daughter ''water safe''(or nearly so) by this
summer, and I'm at a loss as to where to look. Does anyone
have recommendations for excellent group lessons, or individual
lessons. She is not particularly fearful, just needs
the ''push'', and instruction. I'm not looking for information
on which pools are open, but on where the actual lessons (not
for a preschooler!) can be obtained. Thanks so much!
Seeking Saturday Swimming
Canyon Pool in El Sobrante has Saturday lessons during the
spring. Last year spring was significantly less crowded than
the summer scene. Saturday lessons start 4/12. My kids
been going to Canyon for group lessons for a few years and have
learned to swim well while having a good time. It takes about
15 minutes to get there from Berkeley on a Saturday AM. The
instructors are experienced and the water is warm at Canyon.
has Saturday lessons throughout the year. Some
people really like their lessons, though they were a disaster
for our son and I've heard similar reports from other
parents. The quality of teaching varies significantly,
depending on the experience of the teacher. Berkeley Y
probably has Saturday lessons, never done these but have heard
After trying the YMCA and Albany Pool
with mixed results, I
finally discovered Canyon Pool Swim School, and I have been
taking my elementary-aged son there for several years. Canyon is
very good for older children as well as toddlers. The school is
located at 21 Campbell Lane in El Sobrante, where San Pablo Dam
road intersects Appian Way. Their phone number is 510-223-4600.
I would say that classes once a week, on Saturdays, is a slow way
to learn how to swim. I noticed a big difference in my son's
ability to swim when we went twice a week, in the evening. Canyon
does offer Saturday classes, but they also have classes M/W and
T/Th every half hour, as late as 6:30pm, so you might
consider that as an option. The pool is heated and the
instructors are fantastic. The small class size (usually 4-6
kids with 1-2 instructors) really helps the kids learn to swim.
Canyon Pool Swim School is located at 21 Campbell Lane in El Sobrante.
Their phone number is 510-223-4600. The spring classes begin on April
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