ISR Lesson Overview with Certified ISR Master Instructor
All ISR lessons are one-on-one, student and Instructor. This allows the Instructor to focus fully on the individual needs of the student as all children are unique in their personalities and their cognitive learning abilities. ISR lessons are student directed lessons, tailored to the changing needs of the individual child throughout every moment of each lesson. Although lessons are one-on-one, they are not “closed” to other students and/ or parents. It often helps children to stay engaged when other children are watching their progress and cheering them on.
Lessons are approximately ten minutes a day. ISR lessons are kept short to avoid muscle exhaustion. ISR students work hard to achieve their float and the swim-float-swim sequence and although they are given rests throughout the maximum ten minute lesson, their muscles can fatigue quickly while learning these new skills.
5 Days per Week - Monday thru Friday
Consistency and repetition are the foundation to successful and engaged students. Lessons are only ten minutes a day, but the consistency and repetition of five days a week is what builds the skills they need to survive an aquatic environment. The average student will take approximately four to six weeks to complete the ISR course. All children learn at different speeds, but consistency is a major factor in determining the amount of weeks a student’s lessons will last.
The Sooner - The Safer.
Parents are instrumental in their child’s development. Infant Swimming Resource classes are no different. Children respond to their parents emotions and ISR knows what an important tool this can be when teaching a child to swim. We encourage parents to always stay upbeat and positive during the lessons as well as in discussions about swim classes at home. We also encourage parents to be active in their child’s swimming development by teaching parents ways to interact with their child in the water safely and in accordance with their development in their ISR lessons.
Once a child begins to exhibit strong propulsion in the water, Certified Master Instructor and Infant Swimming Resource Drowning Prevention Specialist Becki Pinckard allows parents to get into the pool on Friday lessons to teach them how to interact with their child in the water while still honoring their newly acquired aquatic skills.
Upon completion of lessons, you may see behaviors in the child’s swimming at home that is not consistent with what your child was doing during lessons. This is a natural progression for your child. As he becomes more comfortable and confident in the water, he will begin to experiment and explore the aquatic environment. It is important to know that this does not mean that your child has “forgotten” the skills learned during ISR lessons. However, it may be necessary to schedule a Maintenance Lesson.
Maintenance Lessons are designed to fine-tune your child’s skills or to prevent problems from developing in your child’s technique. A few months after completion of ISR lessons, your child may develop unwanted habits out of regular play time in the pool. For example, your child may begin to swim farther without rolling over for breath or may try swimming with her head out of water. Some habits formed from normal exploration in the water may begin to affect your child’s ability to swim and float.
During Maintenance Lessons, I will discuss with you different ways to swim with your child to reinforce the correct swimming behaviors and how to control the swimming environment to avoid negative behaviors. There are no set time frames for Maintenance Lessons. They are contingent upon the behaviors being exhibited by your child. In most cases, behaviors can be reinforced or corrected in one or two Maintenance Lessons. However, some parents choose to bring their children for maintenance Lessons once a week or every two weeks throughout the summer to consistently reinforce proper swimming behaviors.
ISR recommends that all students, especially between the ages of 12 months and 4 years, return to an ISR Instructor at least once a year for Refresher Lessons. Refresher lessons usually last about half of the time if took the child to become fully skilled the first season.
Children grow physically, emotionally, and mentally very quickly in the first six years of their lives. Their center of gravity will change as their limbs become longer and their concept of water changes as their brains become more advanced.
Refresher Lessons help our students assimilate their new bodies and minds to the skills they previously learned so they can continue to swim safely and effectively. It is important to remember that your child does not “forget” the skills acquired with ISR. However, most children are not regularly in the water in the winter and during this extended period of time your child will mature mentally and physically. Refresher Lessons are designed to help your child adjust her swim and float to her new more mature body and mind and to reinforce her confidence in the water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because ISR lessons are one-one-one, the student gets almost one full hour of individual instruction. Self-Rescue™ tasks broken down into daily small approximations help the student to learn quickly and best. The consistency of coming 5 days a week results in improved learning and retention of skills for the student.
Although consistency is key in ISR lessons, I understand that circumstances arise where a occasionally a student has to miss for an illness or vacation. In the event a lesson is missed, I am happy to offer make up lessons for number of days missed after the student has completed lessons. These make up days can be used immediately following the completion of lessons, or until the end of the current season before lessons have ended for the summer.
Lessons are daily Monday – Friday for approximately 10 min each day.
While the lessons are one-on-one with the Instructors each day, once the student has some skills (and are close to finishing up) we encourage & love it when the parents get in the water for at least a lesson or two (Fridays are usually great days for this) so that we can show you how to best work with your kids in the water to be able to use and maintain the skills they have learned! However, if you say “no way” or are not able to get in the water with us any time before your child’s lessons end, we are certainly more than happy to verbally guide you through some things that you can do while having fun and swimming with your kiddos outside of lessons. You can also feel free to video a session where we explain things like that as well and then you’ll have it for future reference. 🙂
Yes, absolutely! Not all ISR Instructors move on to strokes with your child but I DO! ISR transitions into strokes so well because the student has already been learning to turn their face to roll to their back so integrating that into a freestyle stroke is the next step! Once they have the basic freestyle mastered, they can move onto the other 3 basic strokes (backstroke, breast stroke, and butterfly). The great thing about moving onto strokes with an ISR Instructor, is that we make sure that we don’t put the ISR behaviors and self-rescue skills on extinction. Please contact me directly to inquire about strokes pricing and availability as it differs a bit from ISR lessons.
- Heather T.
I live 2 houses away from our community pool, where a lot of swimmers leave the gate propped open. I keep a close eye on my son (now 20 months) but know that he can dart out of sight and over to the pool if I forget to lock the front door and blink my eyes at the same time. As soon as he started walking, I was stressed out about our proximity to the pool and the danger it could pose. After a little bit of research and a very informative phone call to Becki, I knew that ISR swim lessons were the only way to go. The price tag seemed a little hefty and I had to develop a good sales pitch to my husband, but in the end I knew that there was no substitute for such proven survival swim instruction and my son’s safety around water.
I was worried that my son would be stressed out being put in such an intense learning environment, or that he would learn to hate the water and swimming, but the opposite was true. Sure, he would cry during some lessons and protest. But at the end of each lesson, he would smile so big and I could see how proud he was of his hard work and ccomplishments. After a few weeks, my husband and sister came to observe and were very impressed with how well Merrick could float on his back and find the steps, the edge of the pool and the instructor in the water.
It has been 2 months since he completed his lessons and our pool has finally warmed up enough to see what he remembers. His first time back in the water, I “tested” his memory in finding the steps, the side and the exit railing. I also had him swim between my sister and I (a distance of over 8 feet) and we were thrilled to see that he remembered everything! If the edge or steps were too far for him to swim, he immediately would roll over to his back and float perfectly. I can’t thank Becki enough for putting my mind at ease and teaching my son such amazing skills at such a young age!
My husband and I were very skeptical before we started lessons, but we knew someone who had success so we thought we should give it a try. Our daughter was almost 2 and swimming with floaties. After only a few weeks of ISR lessons she was independent in the water. The summer was so much fun because she was safe in the water and enjoyed swimming. We are looking forward to our refresher course next week. My six year old was in traditional swim lessons for a couple years and still never learned to float in pool and swim safe until she was five and finally took ISR lessons!!! I would recommend this to anyone with a small child and plans on using a pool this summer.
I can’t say enough about Miss Becki and ISR lessons. It has made our family time at the pool so much more enjoyable. We moved from NJ and started ISR lessons prior to our first summer (my sons were 3 yrs and 8 mos respectively). It was the best thing we have done. Both boys are in their 3rd year of lessons and it has been so great to see them grow with their confidence in the water as well as our peace of mind knowing that they would be able to save themselves if ever in an accident. It certainly isn’t a replacement for adult supervision, but gives children an added resource. I have recommended Miss Becki to several friends because her passion and caring approach to teaching is second to none.
-Susan, Chandler, AZ
It is sooo worth it and our instructor (Becki Pinckard) was fabulous. It was a passion for her to make sure no more children drown. She was so caring and wonderful, I really can’t say enough good things about her. Our son first took it when he was like 8 months and then again last year (before he was 2) and he was totally swimming last summer. We spend so much time in the pool it was totally worth it!