When you fix up swimming lessons for your child, all you’re probably thinking about is keeping them safe around water, and well…it’s just something, a bit like riding a bike, that every kid needs to learn how to do at some stage.
So, it might come as a bit of a surprise to you to discover that their lessons in the pool can also have a significant positive effect in the classroom. Here are three unexpected but important benefits of arranging those swimming lessons for your children:
1. Higher marks in tests
Did you know that kids who are having a course of swimming lessons can actually perform better in school as a result?
This might seem like a grand claim to make but there’s a recent academic study by UCL that strongly supports it. Children in swimming lessons score higher on average in some subjects, such as Maths.
How come? The study suggests that the sense of achievement that comes from learning to swim in the pool is reflected by an appetite for success in the classroom, which translates to improved performance and higher marks.
Not quite so surprising, perhaps, is the fact that children who do regular exercise of any kind are more likely to be more relaxed and less frenetic in the classroom. Recent research indicates regular physical activity can indeed lead to both a rise in academic standards and an improvement in behavioural issues. This can be explained by the natural endorphins that are released during exercise which cause a sense of well-being.
Good for developing muscles but with low impact on joints, swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for your body. It increases the heart rate and helps strengthen cardiovascular health. Add to that the fact that swimming lessons help to teach children the important skills of time management, communication and how to process feedback from a teacher appropriately, and you have a gift that keeps on giving.
2. More focus on what the teacher is saying
This is all to do with reducing the level of stress, something that children are prone to suffer from every bit as much as adults. A child who is feeling stressed will have their mind on other things when they’re sitting at their desk, and won’t find it easy to focus on the wisdom being imparted at the front of the classroom.
Swimming lessons, and exercise in general, help relieve stress and enable kids to reach their full potential both in the water and out of it. Getting rid of all that excess energy with exercise also makes it easier for children to settle down and pay attention in class. It follows, of course, that children who are switched on to what is being said are more likely to do better in their studies.
3. More active participation in lessons
Research has shown that a child’s self-confidence can have a significant bearing on their progress in the classroom. Learning how to swim, and the accompanying sense of achievement will give your child a boost of self-confidence that will have the knock-on effect of making them feel more comfortable to contribute during their academic lessons.
The more they participate, the more they will benefit. Increased self-confidence will make your child less fearful of raising their hand to ask for an explanation when there’s something in the lesson they don’t understand.
And here’s your bonus benefit: Swimming lessons will help your child make friends at school
While we all want our children to do as well as possible in the classroom, most of us appreciate that success at school can’t just be measured by the marks achieved in tests and exams. Social development is also a vital component of education.
During swimming lessons, mixing with the instructor and the other children in the class helps develop the social skills that every child needs to make friends and thrive. Your child will learn the importance of how to behave around other kids, and respect the personal space of others, making it easier to establish friendships at school.
Mastering the art of swimming over a period of time will also help increase your child’s self-esteem. That’s another quality that will stand them in good stead when it comes to developing successful relationships with their peers.
Put all these factors together and you can begin to appreciate that learning to swim isn’t just about personal safety and having fun in the pool. The benefits are more far-reaching than you could ever have imagined.
Book now with Swimtime
If you’re keen to take advantage of some, or all of these benefits, the process couldn’t be easier. To book local lessons with award-winning Swimtime, the UK’s largest independent swim school, just follow this link to our user-friendly website.