Frequently Asked Questions
How do I enroll my child in swim lessons? Sea Star teaches swimming on a year round basis. We teach classes on a “quarter” system, with each quarter lasting approximately 8 weeks. Classes meet once weekly for 30 minutes, and are offered on Monday – Thursday and Saturday mornings and Monday – Thursday in the afternoons and evenings. Schedules vary throughout the year, but our morning classes usually run every 30 minutes between 9:30 and noon, and our afternoon/evening hours are 4:00-7:00 on Monday and Wednesday, and 4:00-6:30 on Tuesday and Thursday. Our Jr. Select class, which requires coach approval, meets on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. On Saturdays, we teach from 9:30-Noon. The dates of the scheduled quarters are posted on our website. At the beginner and lap swim level, our classes maintain a 4 to 1 ratio, with 4 swimmers to one teacher.
During the summer months, we also offer “Mini Quarters”, where we consolidate the 8 weeks of a normal session into a two week session. Mini Quarter classes are taught on Monday-Thursday for two consecutive weeks. We do this to accommodate families who have vacations or other activities planned for their children during the busy summer months. Mini Quarters are offered as both morning and afternoon classes (every 30 minutes between 9:30-Noon and 4:30-6:30. All classes are ½ hour in length and offer a low teacher to student ratio of 4 swimmers to one teacher. NOTE: Mini Quarters are intended to be Beginner up to a Lap Swim level. During Mini Quarter sessions, we do not teach Parent/Child, Little Flippers, Barracudas, Stroke and Conditioning or Jr. Select classes.
What if my child cries? At Sea Star, our teachers have to make an immediate assessment about why a child is crying. Are they crying because they are strong willed? Because of a parent attachment? Is there a real fear involved? Once this assessment is made, we incorporate the following values into the class: PACE, PATTERN, and COMPASSION. By “pace”, we mean that we endeavor to give each child in the class equal attention and time. “Pattern” means there is a definite learning pattern that we want to complete in each class. “Compassion” means that we want to allow them to validate their feeling by giving them limited choices into the decision making of what will happen in class. For example, a teacher might ask, “Suzie, do you want to go underwater two times or three times today?” The fact is that in order to learn to swim, the student must learn how to submerge. We will go underwater, but she can decide how many times today.
But what if my child is REALLY UPSET? Often, a child is very adamant about the fact that they do not want to go to class. What we find is that the parents who are very intentional about coming to class will ALWAYS have positive results. Swim lessons are different from any other type of lesson in which your child will engage. The child realizes quickly that water is a suffocating liquid, and this suffocating liquid surrounds his/her head. As a result, REAL FEAR comes into play. Once again, limiting your child’s choices can help a great deal. Example: “Johnny, you can either put your suit on in the car or at the pool,” helps Johnny to realize that you are intentional about him learning to swim, but you are still giving him limited control over some issues. However, PLEASE do not promise your child that he/she will not have to perform a task in swim class, such as submerging or back floating; that is the prerogative of the teacher to determine which skills are performed in class.
Can a child really learn to swim coming to class once each week? YES! In fact, 90% of our students swim once each week on a year round basis. Swimming is comparable to piano, karate, dance, or any other type of lesson in which your child may be engaged where retention of skills is necessary to indicate progress. Our program is structured in this way for many reasons. First, if your child is fearful of the water, they have a week to “recover” from the lesson. If they are required to attend every day, they dig their feet in and it is difficult to accomplish new skills until they relax. This usually happens by about the sixth day. When you come once a week, usually by the third class, they realize “Wow, Mom and Dad are very serious about lessons and they mean business!” Then they relax, allowing more effective learning to take place. If they love the water, they anticipate their swim day and look forward to it each week. Children who swim once a week on an consistent, year round basis tend to retain skills better and swim more fluidly and confidently through the water than those who do not.
Why don’t you post prices on the website? Simple answer is that because our sessions vary in length, and prices will be adjusted accordingly. If you are in a Saturday class that only meets 7 times instead of the 8 classes on other days, we adjust fees for that Saturday class. The best way to find out how much a particular session costs would be to call our Office at (615) 822-8800.
How do I enroll? Classes are filled on a first come, first served basis. Payment in full is required at the time of enrollment. If you are new to Sea Star, you must first fill out an online registration form. This establishes a family record that we need to enroll you in a class. You will NOT be able to select a class; you must contact our Office to be enrolled in a class AFTER the online registration is completed.
If you have completed an online registration at any point in time, you will receive an email when Open Enrollment for a quarter begins. We arrange classes according to your convenience, while also attempting to group swimmers by age and ability level. For example, if you have a 7 year old beginner and you want her to swim on Wednesday afternoon at 4:00, we try to look for classes who have other 7 year old beginners at the same time. Payment in full is required at the time of enrollment, and for your convenience, we accept cash, check, Visa or Mastercard. For all of our policies, please visit our Policies page.
How can my swimmer advance beyond the lesson program? At Sea Star, your child’s success and achievement of goals are very important to us. We offer a variety of classes that enable your child to climb “up the ladder”. Click on the Classes page for more details. Middle Tennessee Swim Club is our USA Swimming affiliated swim team for children who seek year round competition; for more information about MTSC, please visit www.middletennesseeswimclub.com.
Can adults learn to swim? Absolutely! We encourage adults to enroll in private lessons, since they tend to have individual concerns about the water. Sea Star specialized in teaching adults who are extremely fearful. Call the Office at 615-822-8800 to arrange a lesson. We have a number of clients who have successfully overcome their fears and apprehensions, and we can refer you to them for questions and moral support. These individuals understand what you might be thinking (mainly because they have “been there and done that”), and they will be happy to discuss with you their triumph over “water phobia”! For more information, visit our Classes for Adults section.