Learn to swim, or refine strokes in a small-group environment
Welcoming kids and adults of all ages and abilities, our program offers a clear progression track to monitor achievement, while every lesson emphasizes personal safety around water. Group lessons include up to 6 students per class.
Lessons are sold in packages of 6-13 lessons, depending on your desired location’s schedule.
|Parent-Tot/Preschool/Youth (30-Minute Lesson)
|Teen/Adult (45-Minute Lesson)
Find your swim level
If your child is not currently enrolled in swim lessons, or you’re not sure where your child belongs in the curriculum:
- Download the Swim Lesson Selector Guide
- Request an appointment—at Leeward, Mililani-West Oahu, Nu‘uanu, or Windward—for swim-level testing. A swim test is recommended for all new students ages 3-12, except for those entering Stage 1 (Pike or Jellyfish). Adults and infants do not need to be tested.
Group swim lesson curriculum
Based on extensive research, our swim curriculum is designed to better accommodate students of varying abilities and ages, foster a sense of achievement from the start, and allow students to move easily from one level to the next with clearly defined stages of progress along the way.
Accompanied by a parent/guardian, infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim readiness. Each 30-minute class encourages the bond of trust between parent and child and teaches parents how to guide and supervise their children around the water.
STAGE A: WATER DISCOVERY
Accompanied by their parent/guardian, infants/toddlers are introduced to the aquatic environment through exploration and enjoy themselves while learning about the water.
STAGE B: WATER EXPLORATION
Parents/guardians work with their infant/toddler to explore body positions, floating, blowing bubbles, and fundamental safety and aquatic skills.
Children learn water safety, basic swimming competency, and progress through levels as they develop skills.
- Preschool: Progressively designed to help children progress and build elementary swimming and safety skills. Each 30-minute class emphasizes developing the coordination, endurance, and self-confidence of the preschooler.
- Youth: The progressive swim program is designed to help children grow personally and develop strokes and safety skills. Each 30-minute class emphasizes endurance, personal safety, skill development, and lifesaving techniques.
In general, we encourage children in preschool levels and above to participate in swim lessons independent of their parent/guardian. We encourage parents/guardians to observe your child's progress from the designated viewing area. However, if your child has diverse abilities or special needs which may require a parent/aide's presence in the water, please contact your local Y to discuss.
Learn personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competency by learning 2 benchmark skills:
- Swim, float, swim—sequencing front glide, roll, back float, roll, front glide, and exit
- Jump, push, turn, grab
STAGE 1: WATER ACCLIMATION
Develop comfort with underwater exploration and learn to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water—laying the foundation for future progress in swimming.
STAGE 2: WATER MOVEMENT
Focus on body position and control, directional change, and forward movement in the water while also continuing to practice how to safely exit in the event of falling into a body of water.
STAGE 3: WATER STAMINA
Learn how to swim to safety from a longer distance than in previous stages in the event of falling into a body of water and introduction to rhythmic breathing and integrated arm and leg action.
Learn additional water safety skills, build stroke technique, and develop skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being, and foster a lifetime of physical activity.
STAGE 4: STROKE INTRODUCTION
Develop stroke technique in front crawl and back crawl and learn the breaststroke and butterfly kick. Water safety is reinforced through treading water and elementary backstroke.
STAGE 5: STROKE DEVELOPMENT
Work on stroke technique and learn all major competitive strokes. The emphasis on water safety continues through treading water and sidestroke.
STAGE 6: STROKE MECHANICS
Refine stroke technique on all major competitive strokes, learn about competitive swimming, and discover how to incorporate swimming into a healthy lifestyle.
Advance training to improve or perfect swim strokes, technique, endurance, and speed for sports, competitive swim and fitness.
STAGE 7: ENDURANCE, SPORTS, AND GAMES
Enhance overall swimming skills and build up even more endurance to add to a healthier lifestyle. Learn more about various aquatic sports such as water polo, snorkeling, diving, and synchronized swimming. While students can learn more about fun aquatic activities, instructors will also teach valuable lessons like diving safety and how to use clothing to float.
STAGE 8: AQUATIC CONDITIONING
Increase endurance in the competitive strokes as well as improving overall swimming skills. Develop skills related to competitive swimming like flip turns, starts, and finishes. Instructors will also teach valuable lessons like how to use a pace clock and how to read a workout.
Teen and adult swim lessons are for individuals who wish to learn to swim or those who want to improve their technique. Classes are 45 minutes and have a low student-to-instructor ratio, which allows for personal instruction in each class. Each level comprises 5 elements: personal safety, skill development, personal growth, water sports/games and rescue.
Group swim lesson locations
Registration and session dates
|Registration opens at 8:30 am
|Swim Lesson session
|December 11, 2023
|January 2 – March 31, 2024
|March 4, 2024
|April 1 – May 31, 2024
|May 6, 2024
|June 1 – July 31, 2024
|July 8, 2024
|August 1 – September 30, 2024
|September 9, 2024
|October 1 – December 31, 2024
Looking for more flexibility? Choose from individual or buddy private swim lessons, which can be customized to your goals and schedule.
As swim lessons often fill up within minutes, keep these tips in mind:
- Know what level of swim your child should be in. If your child is in the current swim session, make sure you receive a progress report. If needed, schedule a swim test prior to registration.
- It’s fastest to register online.
- Log in to your account ahead of time and have your class list ready (including alternatives if you can't get your first choice). Need help using our registration software? Review these guides:
- Submit financial aid requests as soon as possible.
- In the event the YMCA cancels group swim lessons prior to the start date of the program, a full refund (or credit upon request), will be issued. The YMCA reserves the right to cancel any class due to low enrollment.
- If the YMCA cancels a class, we will try to schedule a make-up. If a make-up class cannot be scheduled, the value of that class will be given in the form of a credit. This does not include classes canceled due to inclement weather.
- In the event you withdraw prior to the start date of the program or on the first day of the program and request a refund, a 30% service fee (up to a maximum of $50) will be applied to each registration that is being withdrawn. A refund or pro-rated refund (for withdrawals on the first day of program) will be issued upon receipt of written intent to withdraw. Upon request, credits or prorated credits can be issued instead of refunds with no assessment of service fees.
- Refunds or credits may not be given after the first day of the program. If the participant misses a class for any reason, credit/refund will NOT be given even if a doctor's note is presented.