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Progression and comparing to other students or siblings

The question I get asked the most is, “When is my child promoting?” or “Why is my child doing something the other children are/aren’t doing?” That is a tricky question, and the answer can be tricky as well.

Every child is different.

I love getting to know your children and learning what they need to be the best swimmers they can be. Our passion for teaching swimming goes deeper than enjoying spending time with your children in the water.

Houston Swim Club Swim School has many different levels and each level focuses on different skills based on your child’s ability. Every child is different. Our instructors teach the whole child, so each lesson is molded to the needs of each student. Sometimes what your child needs isn’t necessarily a skill in our levels!


No matter the skill we are teaching, or how we are teaching it, we always follow the order of these fundamental blocks.

1. Comfort in the Water
2. Breath Control
3. Getting a Breath
4. Body Position
5. Kicking
6. Arms/Pulling

Building Blocks are what makes our swim classes unique! Yes, every child will do the same activity in class, but what each child is working on in that activity can and will vary. That’s why we have structured levels; we teach to your child, but having your child in the appropriate level helps the instructor focus on the skills your child is ready for.

We always master the earlier building block before moving to the next.

We must learn to walk before we can run. We want children to swim with proper technique, and learning Swimming Building Blocks out of order leads to focus in the wrong areas. We want swimmers to have muscle memory behind a skill before we introduce a new one. If we add a skill too soon, they will put all their focus on that new skill and forget the other skill. It can be challenging to teach a child to swim the correct way when they haven’t mastered the building block before it.

So yes, sometimes we need to spend more time on a skill they are struggling with. There are a lot of different parts to swimming. Each part needs plenty of care and attention so when we put the pieces together, we have a swimmer that has a strong technical foundation of swimming that we can continue to build on.

Children learn best together.

children learn best together

Some children progress slower or faster than others (including siblings). We think that’s one of the benefits of being in group lessons! Often children will work harder in swim class when they see their friend or sibling performing a skill.

For example, you may see me teaching a child to roll in and out of the water multiple times while your child is not rolling as much. I’m not holding them back, I am pushing your child to have better breath control which needs to be established before we get to the rolling in and out multiple times.

We are a safety swim school FIRST, then we are a technical swim school.

We want your child to be safe in and around the water. Our main focus is to give your children lifesaving skills. A strong foundation of comfort is so important in swimming, and that’s why it’s our first building block. Being comfortable in the water is the key to successful swim lessons. We want your child to feel included in swim class, safe, and having fun. We are still going to go through all the activities, but if we’re still working on comfort, we may be working towards a different goal than the other students. Don’t worry! We’ve done this for a long time, and your child WILL get it, even if it takes a little more time.

As you can see, answering the question, “When is my child going to be promoted” is very tricky.

If you have any questions about what your child is working on, just ask! I love to be able to talk about what your child needs to work on, because different things are being focused on between children, and parents and instructors being on the same page is crucial to your child’s success. I do know what your child is working on. Because so many things play a part in a child’s progress, it is so beneficial to have an open door of communication with your instructor. We can update you on their progress and the skills they may need a bit more work on at any time.

Our passion to teach people how to swim, and your child’s progress is always our most important focus.


 icon-howeyWritten by Matt Hicks, Pool Manager, Houston Swim Club Cypress

Dec 5, 2023
"Houston Swim Club" 

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