A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange

kids and swimming lessons

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My town didn't have a pool, so definitely no lessons in school.
It *used* to be that to get a bachelor's degree at a lot of state universities you either had to take a swim test (and pass) or enroll in a basic swim class (which would fulfill your PE requirement)--it wasn't uncommon for people who could swim to not take the test, default into swim class and take the "easy A" :P

Swimming in the US has some racial and cultural baggage that are lasting effects of segregated pools.

I got "swimming lessons" via my primary school, at the local leisure centre pool (it's very rare for schools to have their own).

They consisted of the teacher telling us to get in the pool and saying, "go on, swim".

I never learned.

I got swimming lessons as a kid in school. It was part of the standard curiculum. I have no idea if every school did or does this, but even if schools don't do it, most parents will send their kids to swimming lessons, because the Netherlands has so much water that you want your kids to be able to help themselves if some accident happens to them someday.

I'm in the US. No pools at any of the schools I went to growing up, no lessons. My son is now in middle school, same thing - no swimming pool at any of the schools, no lessons. My parents paid for lessons, we paid for my son to take lessons. I would imagine that only wealthy communities have swimming pools/lessons associated with schools.

I learned at the YMCA (through paid lessons), but my middle and high schools did have pools.  The high school pool was very old (building was from 1929) but reasonably well cared for, and was just about what you'd expect from an indoor pool at a high school.  The junior high pool, though . . . it was stuck in underneath the bleachers behind the gym.  It was a tiny room (4-lane pool), it stank to high heaven because it wasn't ventilated very well, and the ceiling slanted because of the bleachers overhead so if you climbed out too fast on one side you were in danger of banging your head and falling back in the water.  We only had 49-minute class periods, so for swimming that meant 10 minutes to change at the beginning of class and 25 minutes (for girls, 15 for boys) at the end, so that left less than 15 minutes each class for actually swimming.  It was a required unit in gym class in 9th grade.  At the end of the unit was the waive test (which I thought was "wave test" for the longest time) - if you could do two laps of front crawl and tread water for five minutes, you didn't have to take swimming in high school.  About half of us passed.


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