I have friends who have had good luck with swim lessons closer to Berkeley and Oakland. I envy them; they sign up for a couple sessions at the Y and their sons and daughters can now swim safely. But if the casual classes aren't doing the trick for you, and you're ready to get serious (or your kid, of course I mean your child… why would YOU obsess about your child's progress swimming?!), it's time to make the drive to Canyon Swim School.
For children over the age of four (and in some cases younger), parents watch from shaded lawn chairs while well-qualified teachers get children to do what you thought was impossible: line up, put a timid face in the water, blow bubbles, and (finally) SWIM. Classes are organized, regimented, and no-nonsense. Teachers are tanned, friendly, and basically miracle-workers.
Progress builds on prerequisite skills for each class level. Children are not made to feel inferior if they repeat lessons (in fact, its expected).
Just in case you see us somewhere, I will readily admit that my son is not a strong swimmer yet. He is still quite timid in the water. I watched him go from flat-out refusal to go in the water to front float (with help) and bubble blowing through our rookie foray into swim lessons. I appreciate the Canyon Swim School approach and techniques and can't wait to return next month with little brother.
Parent tip: Celebrate after-lesson successes with a pretzel rod and an icy pop!
Canyon Swim School is located at 21 Campbell Lane (a tiny road), El Sobrante, CA 94803 at 4201 San Pablo Dam Road near Appian Way. Here are directions.