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Learn-to-Swim Lessons

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The City of San Clemente's Learn-to-Swim Program makes learning to swim affordable and convenient, following the American Red Cross (ARC) swim lesson standards and curriculum. Offered year round, Learn-to-Swim classes are taught by our certified, knowledgeable and caring instructors who help swimmers at every level feel comfortable in the water and progress to the next level. View current course offerings and register today!  

Learn more with our short video about swim lessons:


Introduces basic skills and water safety topics to parents and children. Parents learn how to work with their children in the water, including how to support their children in the water and encourage their child to participate and try new skills. Children receive an introduction to basic skills that lay a foundation for learning to swim. Children under 3 must wear plastic pants with elastic around the legs at all times. (ARC Parent and Child Aquatics Level 1-2)


Introduces basic independent aquatic locomotion skills. Children improve their coordination and control of combine simultaneous arm and leg actions and altering arm and leg actions. New water safety topics are introduced, and previously acquired skills are reinforced. Children who are not successfully potty trained must wear plastic pants with elastic around the legs at all times. (ARC: Preschool Aquatics Level 1-3)


Introduces basic independent aquatic locomotion skills. Many of the skills taught are similar to Starfish. Participants learn to glide and fl oat without support and recover to a vertical position. Participants further develop simultaneous and alternating arm and leg actions on their front and back sides, laying the foundation for future strokes. New safety topics introduced and previously learned skills reinforced. (ARC: Learn to Swim Level 2 - Fundamental Aquatic Skills)


Prerequisite: Push off and swim using combine arm and leg actions on front side for 5 body lengths, roll to back, float for 15 seconds, roll to front, then continue swimming for at least 5 body lengths. Course: Participants learn and practice survival floating and learn to swim front crawl and elementary backstroke at rudimentary proficiency levels. Scissors and dolphin kick are introduced. Participants learn to enter the water head first from a seated position at poolside. New and previously addressed water safety topics are reinforced. Participants who successfully complete Otter have achieved basic water competency in a pool environment. (ARC: Learn to Swim Level 3 - Stroke Development)


Prerequisite: Push off in a streamlined position then swim front crawl for 15 yards, change position and direction as necessary, swim elementary backstroke for 15 yards, then exit pool. Course: Increase endurance swimming the strokes learned in Otter. Participants add arm actions to the previously learned scissors kick and breaststroke kick to perform the rudimentary sidestroke and to learn the breaststroke. Participants begin to learn the back crawl and butterfly, as well as the basics of performing a simple open turn at a wall. (ARC: Learn to Swim Level 4 - Stroke Improvement)


Prerequisite: Swim front crawl for 25 yards, change directions and swim elementary backstroke for 25 yards. Swim breaststroke for 15 yards, change directions and positions as necessary and swim back crawl for 15 yards. Course: Participants refine their performance of all six strokes (front crawl, back crawl, butterfly, breaststroke, elementary backstroke, and sidestroke) and increase the distances that they swim. Participants also learn to perform flip turns on the front and back. (ARC: Learn to Swim Level 5 – Stroke Refinement)