The growing interest in ISR swim lessons for children is undeniable. Go to any mom group on Facebook and you’ll see the question “where can I find an ISR swim instructor near me?” Maybe you’ve seen videos that demonstrate the instruction – a baby is face down in a swimming pool and rolls themselves to their back to float. Bay Area ISR swim instructor Oona Rose teaches these life-saving skills to babies as young as six months old. I was able to chat with ISR with Oona and ask her some common questions about ISR swim lessons so that we can all learn more!
My name is Oona Rose and I am originally from Salina, Kansas. I moved to California twenty years ago. I have two children – a 16-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son. We currently live in Morgan Hill. In 2017, a longtime friend lost her 3 year old daughter to a tragic drowning at a pool party. Watching her struggle everyday with child loss was a helpless feeling. There is nothing you can do to comfort a grieving parent. She found ISR for her youngest son and I decided to become an instructor. I have always loved kids and swimming so I knew it was a perfect fit for me. Being an ISR instructor is one of the most rewarding jobs you can imagine.
ISR is a brand of survival swimming lessons for children ages 6 months to 6 years old. ISR stands for Infant Swimming Resource.
Children ages 6 months to 18 months learn how to roll back and float in the water from any position. This is where they find air to survive. Most children will be able to float for several minutes independently. Children ages 18 months to 6-7 years old will learn the swim float swim sequence. They will swim until a breath is needed then roll over and float/breath, then flip back over and continue to swim. Depending on their progress some children even continue on to learn strokes and diving.
ISR takes 4-6 weeks of lessons. 10 minutes everyday, Monday-Friday. Most children finish lessons in 6 weeks, but each child progresses differently.
There is no “typical” ISR swim lesson. Each lesson is individually customized to each student. Every child learns at a different pace and starts differently. Typically if a parent says the child does not like water in their face, I would most likely start working on a float. Every child is met where they are at developmentally.
ISR lessons are the safest in the industry. Instructors have a rigorous 8 week in-water training and out of water academics program we must complete. Our academics are basic in child development and sensorimotor learning. We teach children how they learn. ISR has a team of nurses that review all children’s health history during the registration process to determine if lessons are a fit for each child.
At a child’s first lesson, parents should expect a water safety conversation with their instructor. Parent education is just as important as their child’s lessons. We review best practices for children in and out of the water. The instructor also goes over what to expect during lessons. Typically the first lesson is just a few minutes with the child in the pool. We want to introduce the child to the water and instructor slowly on the first day.
I teach in Hollister, Morgan Hill, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga, & Sunnyvale. Locations vary each year.
Families love the quick progress their children make and the confidence they build. After the first week or so most children cannot wait to come to lessons. They are very excited and proud of themselves. It’s amazing to watch their skills progress each day.
ISR lessons range from $1200-$1500 depending on location. There are a ton of scholarship programs available for families in need. We do not want finances to be the only reason your child cannot learn these life-saving skills.
If you are curious about lessons, I always encourage parents to come check out a lesson in person. You can see for yourself and even talk to current parents. ISR lessons teach children to respect the water. We like to say “skills before thrills”. Children need to have the skills to navigate the water and know how dangerous it can be.
It’s no wonder parents are so interested in their little ones learning these life-saving skills as early as possible! Contact ISR with Oona to schedule your lessons!
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