Learn to Swim 6 and Up


This summer we will be using the American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim program. Each child will be assessed and placed into one of the six comprehensive levels. Our trained and caring instructors will guide each student to reach their goals encouraging them to push themselves to their fullest potential. A goals of this program is to teach swimmers how to be comfortable in the water, to swim skillfully and safely and to be safe in, on and around the water.  Included in each level of Learn-to-Swim program is training in basic water safety and helping others in an emergency. Each level improves on skills taught in the previous levels through additional guided practice.  

Level 1—Introduction to Water Skills

  • Enter and exit water safely
  •  Submerge mouth, nose and eyes
  • Exhale underwater through mouth and nose
  • Open eyes underwater, pick up submerged object
  • Change direction while walking or paddling
  • Roll over from front to back and back to front with support
  • Explore floating on front and back with support
  • Explore swimming on front and back using arm and leg actions with support
  • Use a life jacket


Level 2—Fundamental Aquatic Skills

  • Submerge entire head
  • Blow bubbles submerging head in a rhythmic pattern (bobbing)
  • Open eyes underwater, pick up a submerged object in shallow water
  • Float on front and back
  • Perform front and back glide
  • Change direction of travel paddling on front or back
  • Roll over from front to back, back to front
  • Tread water using arm and leg motions (chest-deep water)
  • Swim on front, back, and side using combined arm and leg actions
  • Move in the water while wearing a life jacket


Level 3—Stroke Development

  • Jump into deep water from the side
  • Dive from kneeling or standing position
  • Submerge and retrieve an object in chest deep water
  • Bob with the head fully submerged
  • Rotary breathing in horizontal position
  • Perform front and back glide using two different kicks
  • Float on front and back in deep water
  • Change from horizontal to vertical position on front and back
  • Tread water using hand and leg movements
  • Perform front and back crawl
  • Butterfly—kick and body motion
  • Perform the HELP and Huddle position


 Level 4—Stroke Improvement

  • Perform a dive from a sitting or standing position
  • Swim underwater
  • Perform feet-first surface dive
  • Perform open turns on front and back
  • Tread water using sculling arm motions and with different kicks
  • Perform the following: Front and back crawl~ Breaststroke ~ Butterfly ~Elementary backstroke
  • Swim on side using scissors-like kick
  • Perform compact jump into water from a height while wearing a life jacket


Level 5—Stroke Refinement       

  • Standing dive
  • Shallow dive, glide two body lengths and begin any front stroke
  • Tuck surface dive
  • Pike surface dive
  • Front flip turn
  • Backstroke flip turn
  • Front and back crawl
  • Butterfly
  • Breaststroke
  • Elementary backstroke
  • Sidestroke
  • Tread water with two different kicks
  • Learn survival swimming


Level 6—Swimming and Skill Proficiency ~Refines the strokes so students swim with ease, efficiency, power and smoothness over greater distances. Level 6 is designed with “menu” options that each focus on preparing students to participate in more advanced courses, including the Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard Training courses. These options include: Personal Water Safety, Fundamentals of Diving, Lifeguard Readiness, or Fitness Swimmer.

Note for parents: Please keep in mind that every child progresses at their own pace. Instructors are trained to recognize which students are ready for the next level and will do everything in their power to make each student a success. Repeating a level or program is not necessarily a bad thing. Most students have to repeat levels at least once before moving forward.