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The Difference Between Group & Semi-Private Swim Lessons

Posted in Benefits of Swim Lessons, Swim Tips

At Hubbard Family Swim School, we make sure the class size is small in our toddler swim lessons so that our students get maximum instruction and attention from their teacher. Because of this, our group classes only have four students in them, tops. We also offer semi-private swim lessons for children younger than 3 who are ready to take the next steps after "parent and tot" lessons but are not quite ready for groups of 4.

Some parents wonder when or why they might consider a semi-private lesson, so we wanted to give you some insight into when that may make sense for you and your family. At Hubbard Famly Swim School semi-private lessons are designed for swimmers between the ages of 2 and 3. As many parents of a 2-year-old will tell you and what science backs up is that 2-year-olds are still developing communication skills but are looking for more independence. That creates a very exciting combination often referred to as the terrible 2's. In order to keep those children extra safe, we limit classes for 2-year-olds where parents are not in the water to 2 children max. Children with special needs also often learn better in private or semi-private lessons.


Knowing when to transition your child to semi-private or group lessons can be a difficult decision so here are some tips to help decide when might be the right time to make a change from being in the water with your student to a lesson with a teacher and a peer.  

  1. You or your little one is getting frustrated.

When it comes to swimming lessons, toddlers are notorious for struggling to pay attention. We get it - the pool is a fun place for them, and they love to splash, jump and move. It’s completely normal for your little one to be a bit distracted when they’re in swim class, but if you see your child regularly getting frustrated with the tasks and the tug of war between parent and child escalating as both of you work hard to find that perfect balance of play and learning - this may be a sign.


A semi-private can be really helpful by reducing the number of kids your child will be distracted by and allowing the teacher to be more hands-on with your little one.

  1. There’s a gap in skill level.

This could go one of two ways: Either your child is super relaxed and not in any hurry to be the first one jumping off the wall or your child is moving faster than their peers and is always underwater and trying new skills.   In either scenario, a semi-private class can provide you with a teacher who is use to cross teaching and with only two students in a class can motivate and teach to each student's level.

If your child is struggling to progress with swimming, having one teacher for two children will mean the instructor can work with your child individually more than they could otherwise. This will almost certainly help them get past some of their challenges. If your child is progressing very quickly, a semi-private lesson will allow the teacher to adapt the curriculum to meet their needs and challenge them.

  1. Groups are GREAT

Most of our students younger students under 3 do very well in the parent/child classes and the ones over 3 do very well in traditional group classes of four. We strongly believe in the power of a group teaching environment but there are definitely times when it’s in the best interest for a child under the age of 3 to enroll in a semi-private lesson. If you’re interested in learning more about our learn to swim program, please contact us.