Kids on 12th: Swimming Lessons
A question that I am constantly asked about is where I take my boys for swimming lessons in Philadelphia. I recently started taking my two boys to 12 Street Gym (via Kids on 12th, the organization responsible for the handling all the kids swimming classes).
You have two options when choosing swimming lessons for kids, you can pick from “group” or “private” lessons. My boys love to play and love being around their friends. Sometimes their “social” behavior prevents them from paying attention in their after school classes, which is why I opted to try the “private” swimming lessons.
Judy Hershman (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the children’s swimming instructor at Kids on 12th. Originally, I was hesitant about how she was going to manage both of my boys in the pool at the same time, however, Judy is clearly a professional and had no problem with my energetic little crew. In fact after a few minutes the boys acted like they had know Judy forever. Reminding me that if you are willing to take them in a pool they will be your best friends for life.
The lesson started with both my boys hopping right in the water. Judy had one of my sons, Oliver sit on the steps while she took my other son, Henry out into the water. She did some training and then returned, allowing the two boys to trade places. They never wait long in between turns and now whoever is waiting ends up kicking around while they wait for their turn.
I am seeing the boys improve from each swimming lesson. They are getting more comfortable with having their faces under water, being dunked, and floating on their backs. So far a lot of the lesson is focused on them using their arms – in order to develop their swimming technique. Judy calles out “bullet” arms and “rocket” arms over and over to help them remember how they should be moving their arms. The kicking the feet part we have down. If you are a parent of boys you know exactly what I mean.
Most of the classes that my boys take are for learning something new while expensing some energy, but this class is one that I take a lot more seriously. So far, a huge reason that I like this private lesson is because Judy stays on top of them and is very attentive. Her being attentive makes my boys realize they can have fun in the pool, yet they know they are there to learn. One activity that showcased this was a game in which Judy throws balls around the pool. My boys are expected to swim to the balls, not just by floating or kicking, but they are encouraged to use their arms too, something that is not natural for them. Since Judy’s instruction, I can see them getting better with each lesson.
Currently there is a private lesson that starts right before ours that also has two brothers. I’m guessing these boys are probably about a year older than mine (making them 4 & 5 years old). The oldest boy is already in the pool swimming confidently by himself, while the younger boy is not very far behind. He probably only needs a couple more lessons before he will be swimming on his own.
My boys literally watch the clock until it is time for their swimming lesson. They are excited all day whenever they know they have them.
I know a lot of families taking children’s swimming lessons at the various YMCA’s across the city and are very happy with the results. We did that two years ago and happen to have a very different experience. With the boys being around the ocean and pools for the majority of the summer I was really looking for lessons that were a little more intense to get them swimming a little quicker if possible. My boys love swimming lessons with Judy and as a mom I am really happy with the big smiles on their proud faces and how they are progressing.
Details / Parking
- The pool is located on the lower level of 12th Street Gym.
- There is metered parking but during our evening time slot I can never find any so we park in the lot directly across the street which is $8.00.
- There are plenty of places to go grab dinner at after the lessons.
- During our lesson there are about three other private lessons going on in the pool. There are chairs and tables around the pool where parents can sit and watch the lessons.
- There are two showers, a bathroom and a small changing room.
COST: I will be honest the cost of the class is higher then others. Which is one of the reasons I wanted to share our experience. The lessons are really good and I am happy with the individual attention the boys are getting in their lessons. I am also happy with how they are progressing and how much they love going to their swimming lessons.
Kids on 12th offers beginner group swim lessons every Tuesday at 4:45 or Saturday at 2:00. The fee is $96 per child for an 8-week session plus a pool fee of either $10 per child paid at the door every lesson or you can buy a pool membership for $29.95 per month per child with a minimum purchase of 3 months. They also offer private lessons by appointment. The fee is $35 per child per 45-minute lesson if they take separate lesson or $25 per child per 45-minute lesson if they share the lesson, plus the pool fee.
CONTACT: 204 South 12th Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 / email@example.com