Frequently Asked Questions
How do I enroll my child in swimming lessons? Sea Star teaches swimming on a year round basis. We teach classes by the “quarter”, with a quarter typically lasting 8 weeks. Classes meet once weekly for ½ hour, and are offered Monday – Thursday, and Saturday mornings. Schedules vary throughout the year, but our morning session generally operates between the hours of 9:30-noon, and our afternoon hours are 3:30-7:00 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Saturday, we teach from 9:30- Noon. The dates of the scheduled quarters are posted on our website. All classes maintain a 4 to 1 ratio, with four swimmers to one teacher.
During the spring and summer months we also offer “Mini – Quarters”, where we consolidate the 8 weeks into a two week time period. Mini-Quarter classes are taught Monday – Thursday for two consecutive weeks. We do this to accommodate families that vacation or have multiple activities planned for their children. Mini Quarter classes are offered during the morning hours between the hours of 9:30 – noon. All classes are ½ hour in length and include a low teacher to student ratio of 4 swimmers to one teacher.
Why don’t you post prices on the website? Because our sessions vary in length and the prices are adjusted accordingly. The best way to find out how much a particular session costs would be to call our Office at (615) 822-8800.
Can a child really learn to swim coming to class once each week? YES! In fact 90% of our students swim once each week on a year round basis. Swimming is comparable to piano, karate, dance, or any other type of lesson in which your child may be engaged where retention of skills is necessary to indicate progress. Our program is structured this way for many reasons. First, if your child is fearful of the water, they have a week to “recover” from the lesson. If they are required to attend every day, they dig their feet in and it is difficult to accomplish new skills until they relax. This usually happens by about the sixth day. When you come once a week, usually by the third class they realize “Wow, Mom and Dad are very serious about lessons and they mean business!” Then they relax, allowing more effective learning to take place. If they love the water, they anticipate their swim day and look forward to it each week. Children who swim once a week on a consistent year round basis tend to retain skills better and swim more fluidly and confidently through the water than those who do not.
What if my child cries? At Sea Star, our teachers have to make an immediate assessment about why a child is crying. Are they crying because they are strong willed? Because of a parent attachment? Is there a real fear involved? Once this assessment is made, we incorporate the following values into the class: PACE, PATTERN, and COMPASSION. By “pace”, we mean that we endeavor to give each child in the class equal attention and time. Pattern means there is a definite learning pattern that we want to complete in each class. Compassion means that we want to allow them to validate their feelings by giving them limited choices into the decision making of what will happen in class. For example, a teacher might ask, “Suzie, do you want to go underwater two times or three times today?” The fact is that in order to learn to swim, the student must learn how to submerge. We will go underwater, but she can decide how many times today.
But what if my child is REALLY UPSET? Often, a child is very adamant about the fact that they do not want to go to class. What we find is that parents who are very INTENTIONAL about coming to class will ALWAYS have positive results. Swim lessons are different from any other type of lesson in which your child will engage. The child realizes quickly that water is a suffocating liquid, and this suffocating liquid surrounds his/her head. As a result, REAL FEAR comes into play. Once again, limiting your child’s choices can help a great deal. Example: “Johnny, you can either put your suit on in the car or at the pool,” helps Johnny once again realize that you are intentional about him/her learning to swim, but you are still giving him limited control over some issues. However, please do not promise your child that he/she will not have to perform a task in swim class, such as submerging or back floating; that is the prerogative of the teacher to determine which skills are performed in class.
How do I enroll? Classes are filled on a first come, first served basis. Payment in full is required at the time of enrollment. If you are new to Sea Star, you must first fill out our online registration form. This establishes a family record that we need to enroll you in a class. You will NOT be able to select a class; you must contact our office to be enrolled in a class AFTER the online registration is completed.
We offer a priority signup period one week prior to open enrollment for any student who is currently enrolled in a quarter. We arrange classes according to your convenience, while also attempting to group swimmers together by age and ability level. For example, if you have a 7 year old beginner and you want her to swim on Wednesday afternoon at 4:00, we try to look for classes who have other 7 year old beginners at the same time. Payment in full is required at the time of signup, and for your convenience, we accept cash, check, and Visa or Mastercard. For all policies, please click on our “Policies” section.
How can my swimmer advance beyond the lesson program? At Sea Star, your child’s success and achievement of goals are very important to us. We offer a variety of classes that enable your child to climb “up the ladder”. Click on the “Curriculum” section for more details. Middle Tennessee Swim Club is our USA Swimming affiliated swim team for children who seek year round competition; for information about MTSC, please visit www.middletennesseeswimclub.com.
Can adults learn to swim? Absolutely! We encourage adults to enroll in private lessons, since they tend to have individual concerns about the water. Sea Star specializes in teaching adults who are extremely fearful. Call the office at (615) 822-8800 to arrange a lesson. We have a number of clients who have successfully overcome their fears and apprehensions, and we can refer you to them for questions and moral support. These individuals understand what you might be thinking (mainly because they’ve “been there and done that”), and they will be happy to discuss with you their triumph over “water phobia”! For more information, visit our “Classes for Adults” section.