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Are private swimming lessons worth the cost?

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Having just come to the end of two years of private one-to-one swimming lessons for my daughter, two questions I was regularly asked were how much do private lessons cost?  And, are private swimming lessons worth it?

I’m here to tell you that the answers will totally vary depending on every location and also each individual child.  But, for us the cost and the private swimming lessons were absolutely worth it for our daughter.  I’ll share why below.

How much do private swimming lessons cost?

Firstly, most people were always interested to know how much private lessons cost.  For us they were £19 per half hour lesson.   This was for a weekly lesson.

It wasn’t a private pool.  For the first year we went on a Sunday and it was a public swim session.  For the second year we went on a Saturday and there were two group classes at the same time and another private lesson.  This meant it wasn’t a totally private lesson, but a shared pool.

I’m sure it’s possible to find a 100% private lesson with the pool to yourself, but expect to pay for the privilege.

In comparison, we tried a year of a group swimming class for around £20 per month for 4-5 lessons, depending on how many Saturdays fell in the calendar month. 

Some swim schools such as Seriously Fun charge around £17 per lesson with the benefit that the groups are small and it’s a private swim school.

It’s all about weighing up the pros and cons for your child, or even yourself if you need adult lessons.  Do they/you need total privacy and one-to-one lessons to progress?  Or perhaps just a smaller sized group lesson is enough?

The benefits of private one-to-one swimming lessons

I am totally writing this from our own experience, but the benefits of the private swimming lessons far outweighed the higher cost.

We went from paying around £20 per month to paying this per week when we moved from a group to a private lesson!

We also changed pools, but that had an added benefit as we moved to a pool less than 1 mile away for the private lessons, whereas the group lessons were about 6-7 miles away.

Although the group lessons were a lot cheaper for us, I felt like we wasted money for one whole year. 

Bella was so terrified of the water that she didn’t progress at all in one whole year!  Other children were joining the class and moving up to the next group in a matter of weeks, or sometimes months, yet Bella was still at the same point after a whole year.

She was so terrified of the water and I asked the teacher about private lessons, but she said Bella didn’t need them.

I definitely should have followed my gut instinct and gone with the private lessons from the start.

Here are the benefits I saw with having private lessons.

A more personalised approach

In the group lessons they were trying to follow a syllabus and make all the children do the same.  That might be fine for most children, but Bella was so scared of the water and needed to overcome this fear first instead of being taught swimming technique.

In the private lessons her teacher spent weeks just getting her used to the water, able to put her face in and to not scream when water splashed her on the face!

It was exactly what she needed.

Once she was over the fear of the swimming pool and water in her face then she could start learning swimming technique.

More time for the child

In the group lessons they couldn’t give Bella the time she needed.  They had to move onto the next child and get them to do whatever it was they were asking.

It meant Bella was often left sat on the side of the pool as they couldn’t dedicate any extra time with her or else the other children would miss out.

This is why I was so surprised they didn’t recommend private lessons as it was clear to me that Bella needed more time and attention because of her fear of the water.

In private lessons she had all the attention and time from the teacher.

If it took her longer to achieve a task then she was allowed that time.  It wasn’t rushed and there was no child waiting for their turn.

Quicker progression

In one whole year of group lessons, Bella didn’t progress.  She was still terrified of water splashing her in the face and wouldn’t dare put her face in the water!

Within a few weeks of private lessons she started putting her face in the water and didn’t mind water being poured on her head.  It did take a bit of time as she was so worried, but it was a lot quicker than the group lessons.  We noticed a difference really quickly in comparison!

After one year of private lessons she was able to swim unaided!

Final word

For us the benefits to the private lessons, and the change in confidence in the water in Bella, made the extra cost worth it.  Private lessons were the right choice for her.

Group swimming lessons also have many benefits and it will depend on the nature of your child to whether they are suitable.  In group lessons the children can be motivated by their peers to improve their own skills and also to stop getting bored!  It’s also a way to learn patience, take it in turns and even make friends.

So, all in all, if your child needs extra attention in swimming or has a fear of the water that won’t shift, then yes, private lessons are absolutely worth it.

However, if they are confident in the water and ready to learn then group swimming lessons are a much more affordable option.