Every year it seems I get the same question from parents regarding the cost of ISR Self-Rescue® instruction lessons versus traditional lessons. The best explanation I can give was written by fellow Michigan ISR Master Instructor Michael Petrella 4 years ago, he writes:
"I did the math on traditional swim lessons vs. ISR lessons. The rate I received from the local YMCA was $80 for a four-day session, 45 minutes per day. The Instructor to student ratio for the little ones, 3-year-old with little to no skills, is 4 students to 1 Instructor. (This is being generous. The ratio is more likely 6 to 1.) That works out to $80 for 45 minutes per student. I charge $75 a week and you get 50 minutes of one-on-one, specialized instruction from an aquatics behavioral specialist that has his own children and understands them, not a 19-year-old college swimmer home on summer break. I’m talking about an ISR Instructor schooled in behavior psychology and the aspects of sensorimotor learning, and shaping behavior, physiological conditions as they relate to the water, emotional learning, who has spent over 80 hours studying video and analyzing the effects of positive reinforcement and how it is applied at the precise moment in time to be effective. Oh, I almost forgot, with ISR you do have to pay a $105.00 application fee so our DOCTORS & NURSES on staff can ensure your child will receive a safe lesson. Yes, we have real-life doctors and nurses that review registrations. Here is the most important thing to consider. At the end of what would be 6 sessions (6 weeks), your child will have REAL skills to swim and more importantly rollback to float to save their life in an emergency situation. I’m talking fully clothed with jeans and a sweatshirt and shoes and a diaper on. Did I mention that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under 4? The sooner the safer! Don’t even get me started on the dangers of ‘Pop Tot’ & ‘Mommy & Me’ classes that teach babies that water is fun without teaching them what to do if they go and get into all that fun!"
If cost is not the issue then think about the quality of instruction you are receiving. My question when you shopped for a car seat, did you buy the cheapest one or did you look at the ratings and get the best car seat with the best safety record?
Many programs teach children that water is a fun place to play without teaching them any meaningful skills. Remember, water will not be a fun place for your child if he or she is unskilled and finds himself alone in the water. This approach may make a child more vulnerable to drowning as a child is taught to be fearless without any understanding of the skills needed for effective swimming.
The ISR Self-Rescue® program teaches skills necessary for a child to reach the steps, edge of the pool or shore. This process begins with teaching breath control and the skills to turn around in the water to secure the edge. Children learn correct swimming posture, movement through the water, the rollback-to-float sequence, as well as rotating to a face-down position to continue to swim. This 'swim-float-swim' sequence can be repeated until safety is reached.
From Infant Swimming Resource, "During lessons, each ISR Student, regardless of age, learns to roll over and float. For infants, rolling over to float and maintaining that float is the focus for ISR lessons until around the time they begin to walk. This skill then integrates with the swim-float-swim sequence once a child is walking."
ISR Self-Rescue® instruction encourages water competence first, thereby promoting a safe foundation for lifelong enjoyment of the water. ISR is the most important level of protection you can give your child to prevent drowning. If fences, supervision, and alarms fail, your child's skill is an additional measure of protection!
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