Phone:  320-762-2868
Fax:      320-762-2944
Hotline:320-762-3010

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Lakes Area Recreation
720 Fillmore Street
Suite B020
Alexandria MN 56308

Lakes Area Gymnastics
1910 Aga Drive
Alexandria MN 56308
320-219-9724

Swimming Lesson 
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Is my child able to wear goggles during lessons?
YES! Your child is more than welcome to bing a pair of goggles for use during class. However; goggles that are a face-mask design, or that cover the nose, are not allowed as swimmers will need to be able to breath out of their nose when rhythmic/rotary breathing.

Will my child be required to open their eyes underwater?
Swimmers will not be required to open their eyes underwater in order to pass a level, however; they will be encourage to at least try to open their eyes while their face and/or head are submerged. Learning to open the eyes underwater is a basic skill that helps swimmers swim safely. By opening the eyes underwater, swimmers learn to watch where they are going, watch out for other swimmers, and watch for any dangerous elements they could encounter.

What if my child is scared or crying?
If your child is nervous or crying, please take a moment to chat with the instructor and then let him/her work with your child. Some children may suffer from separation anxiety, and this will go away as soon as the child gets to know and trust the instructor. A fear of new places may also cause a few tears, and this will also go away with time. Begin afraid of the water is not uncommon in younger beginners, but the instructor will compassionately help your child adjust to the water through games and basic skills such as blowing bubbles, songs, and water toys. With time, your child will be happy and successful in the water. Please be patient and allow the instructor and staff to work their magic with your child! The best thing for your child is to continue coming to lessons and interact with the instructor and other students.

Why don't you offer make-up lessons?
Currently, the way our program is structured, we do not manage our classes with a continuous "in/out" of students. This is due in part tot he limited number of openings we offer and the large amount of participants we serve, and partly because our program is designed to build a relationship between the instructor and each new class for the entire session they are enrolled in.

Why is my child repeating a level?
This is probably the most Frequently Asked Question of them all! Learning to swim is one of the most challenging skill sets for most children. With swimming, your child has to meet and overcome any fears associated with just being in and around a pool before being able to focus on skills. Even if your child isn't fearful of the water, it may take them several tries to successfully perform all of the required skills for their level. Our lessons are progressive, and passing children before they are ready for the next level will just set them up for failure in the future. It's true - some children may repeat a level 2, 3 or even 4 or more times - but our goal is to move chidren as efficiently as possible when they are appropriately ready to move. All of this takes time, patience, and practice - from both you and your child. Your child will need lots of positive support and reinforcement from you - a little encouragement will go a long way! Practice OUTSIDE of lessons (throughout the year), is also crucial to skill acquisition!

Why can't my child wear water wings during lessons?
The use of water wings does not provide any kind of skill benefit, and actually promotes incorrect swimming technique. Water wings also provide a false sense of security and will force a child to float in a face-down position if they venture into water that is over their head. Inflatables should never be used as a substitute for good supervision or for U.S. Coast Guard approved lifejackets.

If I have a question or concern about lessons, whom do I talk to?
We recommend communication with your child's instructor first and foremost. However; if you don't feel comfortable approaching the instructor, of if the issue or questions hasn't been resolved after speaking with him/her, you may also speak with the Aquatic Manager. You can contact the Aquatic Manager through the Lakes Area Recreation office at 762-2868.

What is the difference between a Mid-session Progress Report and a Report Card?
Mid-session progress reports are give out mid-session and are used to inform parents of the mid-term progress of their swimmer. Our hope with mid-session progress reports are two-fold: 1) we hope that this will give parents an idea of what their children are working on so they may help them practice outside of lessons and 2) we hope that this will facilitate better communication between instructors and parents as well as help enhance the quality of our 
swimming lesson program.
Report cards are given out at the end of each session, and will detail what your child has successfully completed, and what, if anything, they have not. Report cards will notify you if your child needs to repeat the level they are currently in, or if they have successfully passed.

Why do you only offer swim lessons in the afternoons, and only in the spring and summer?
Our lessons are somewhat limited due to the fact we share the pool with a variety of other activities and organizations. Boys and girls junior high and varsity swim teams, Swim Club, diving clinics, scuba classes, Special Olympics, triathlon clinics and many other activities also need pool time! We are doing our absolute best to offer you as many lessons as we can, and we appreciate your patronage!

Why are parents and siblings only allowed in a specific area?
We request parents and anyone else who would like to observe lessons sit in the bleacher area to limit any distractions or interruptions during class. Children will have an easier time adjusting to the pool and class environment and better absorb skills when they are able to focus without any distractions. Limiting parents and other observers to the bleacher area also helps us limit dirt and other bacteria that can be carried in on shoes.

Why don't participants spend the entire class time in the water?
Instructors may spend time before or during class discussing and practicing water safety skills. Water safety skills are an integral part of the swim lessons we offer. Water safety topics will cover ways to be safe in, on and around the water and will teach participants how to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.