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Swim Float Swim


Welcome to Dawson Swimming where infants and toddlers and swimmers of all ages learn to swim, survive and enjoy the water. This swim program is especially designed to help children as young as 10 months old learn the skills that can help them save themselves if they should experience a water emergency. In these survival swim lessons, swimmers learn the swimming and floating skills that will serve them throughout their lives. By mastering proper body positioning in the water as well as rotating their body into a lifesaving back float your child can be an efficient swimmer and a confident one. As a parent, you will be gaining peace of mind in and around swimming pools with your child that will make summers more enjoyable for your family! 

  • A Bit About The Teacher 

I have been swimming for as long as I can remember. As a child my siblings and I formed the only swimming team in our small east Texas town, with our dad at the helm as coach. As my siblings and I grew into our teen years we formed a swim program and began teaching swimming lessons from our parents’ back yard pool. Our family taught most of the kids in Greenville, TX from the late 80’s through the early 90’s. Teaching swimming has followed me through college and graduate school. I hold 2 degrees in theological studies and I am a happy wife and mother of 3.  I am a graduate of the Dolphin Babies Swim School Apprenticing program and have been trained in the swim-float-swim method for infants and toddlers under Nancy Sullivan. 

  • Sensorimotor Learning 101 

At Dawson Swimming we teach aquatic survival using sensorimotor learning. This means that a child learns by experiencing what works and what doesn’t work for him in the water. This happens by experiencing his body in relation to the water and adjusting his position and breath accordingly. This is done at the sensorimotor level, not only as a cognitive process. 

For this reason the instructor will fill you in on when and how to praise your child throughout the course of the lesson. As a parent, you will learn how and what to do to foster your child’s learning between and after lessons. 


  • Cost and Payment 

Swim-float-swim lessons are private, one-on-one, ten minute lessons. Lessons are taught every day, Monday through Thursday.  Lessons are $80 a week. The first two weeks of lessons are to be paid by the first day. This reserves your spot in the swim schedule. Beginning the third week, payment will be made every Monday until your child has passed both their swim tests (generally this is a 2-6 week period, depending on the age of the child). Payment may be made in cash, by Venmo or Zelle. If paying by cash, please put the money in an envelope with your child’s name on the outside. Checks should be made to Dawson Swimming


Consistency is imperative to the success of this program. Repetition strengthens and confirms the lifesaving principles your child will be acquiring. It is suggested that you make plans for this program in your schedule so that it takes priority for the few short weeks of its duration. Unlike other kinds of lessons and programs, this commitment of approximately 2-6 weeks will result in a lifetime of benefits for you and your child. However, life gets crazy and we understand that lessons may be missed. Regrettably, due to the tight schedule of my spring and summer swim schedule, make up lessons are not offered. Upon signing up for the program you agree to pay for 4 weekly lessons whether you are able to make all the lessons or not. If there is a significant medical issue that arises, please let me know and we can consider how to proceed. 

  • Before Your Child’s Lesson 

Please arrive 5-7 minutes early. 

Children that are not fully potty trained are required to wear a cloth swim diaper (disposable swim diapers will not work). This is a Health District regulation. The purpose of the swim diaper is to keep fecal matter within the diaper and to contain the pool from being contaminated. Leg elastic should be snug against the child’s thigh. Cloth swim diapers are easily found at Target or on Amazon. 

For the sake of energy your child should have something substantial to eat prior to the lesson. For young children this meal should not include animal products (milk, cheese, meat) as it is harder to digest and sits in the stomach longer. Please do not feed your child 90 minutes before the lesson. This ensures that what has been eaten has been digested (for the most part) before swimming. 

A child who has had diarrhea must wait 24 hours before resuming lessons. 

Please bring 2 towels for your child: one to lie on after swimming and one for drying.


Please check with your child to see if they need to use the restroom before their lesson. Children will not be allowed to go to the potty during their lesson.  


  • When Lessons Begin 

Lessons are conducted one-on-one with parents observing from the pool deck. Occasionally parents may be asked to sit out of sight. Parents and guests are asked not to hover around the pool deck as it acts as a distraction to the lesson.  


During the course of the lessons it is imperative that parents maintain a positive attitude. Please refrain from statements like, “it will be over soon” or “hang in there” as this has a negative tone and does not encourage progress. Rather, things like, “You are working so hard”, “I am so proud of you” and “We are going to tell dad how great you are doing” will help your child be encouraged and motivated to master their skills. 

  • As the Weeks Progress 

Lessons last an average of 2-6 weeks. Some children take longer (especially kids who are used to swimming with floaties) and some children complete the program in less time. When your child has mastered their swim-float-swim skills there will be two tests: a summer clothes test and a winter clothes test. During these tests your child will be put in the water from various positions fully clothed to ensure that they are able to use their skills effectively. 

There is an additional skill that a child is asked to demonstrate during his winter clothes test. This skill requires a child to successfully switch from a back float to a front float and swim when they experience water on their face. This skill is taught after the summer clothes test and tested during the winter clothes test.

When your child has mastered his skills and passed both tests than we will taper the lessons to twice a week for one week and once a week for two weeks. This allows your family an opportunity to practice at home while still being able to observe your child in the water and bring any issues to the attention of the instructor while still in the program.  

  • Things Worth Noting 

Throughout the program children will be swimming with their face in the water. 

Often both water and air will be swallowed throughout the lesson and it is not unusual for it to come back up. Don’t be concerned about this happening.

Kids who cry throughout the lesson are usually not afraid as much as they are displeased with what is being asked of them. Prior to lessons swimming is often equated with fun. Now, swimming means work. 

Please no sunscreen or lotions on your child prior to the lesson. After the lesson you are welcome to apply sunscreen. 

Please take used diapers with you and refrain from placing them in the garbage. 

  • Older Swimmers

Lessons for children over the age of 4yrs are handled a bit differently. These lessons are conducted in a 2 week session (M-Th). Children are taught initially how to swim effectively in the water and to flip over on their back when they need to breathe. When this skill has been mastered we move on the learning basic stroke technique.

  • A Final Note 

It cannot be overstated that NO ONE (especially a child) is EVER drown proof.  ALWAYS watch your child in and around the water.

and around water for their safety! Adult supervision is essential for safe swimming.

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