Julie's Swim School

Swimming lessons offered in Hudsonville, Zeeland, Allendale and Caledonia Michigan.


Swim Tips

First of all, parents ask, how soon should my child learn and what can they learn?

Infants before the age of 12 months can be taken in the water. Make is a fun experience, and keep the water nice and warm, 85 – 90 degrees. These little ones lose body heat up to four times faster than adults. A 20 minute water session is a good limit. Do not take infants under water, unless you are properly trained and an experienced instructor. There are special submersion methods used so that the baby does not ingest chlorinated water.

What about toddlers (13 – 24 months)?

For actual swimming, infants and toddlers can learn to do so, but it takes basically daily lessons for 9 months to develop the reliability of their swimming. It is very rare in today’s hectic schedules to have moms be able to commit to daily lessons for 9 months to meet that goal. I suggest if you have your own pool to enjoy the water on your own with these little ones—do jump from the side, sing songs and have fun with them yourself. I do offer a Parent Tot class in which you join your child in the water for a wonderful positive aquatic experience. We introduce your young ones to the wonder of water through songs, games, and basic skill building play.

Are Floaties okay to use?

These devices actually hinder a child’s progress for proper swimming. Though parents use these with good intentions, the problem lies in that floaties are designed to keep the child vertical in the water, and a bent leg kick is then developed to navigate around the pool. When floaties are taken off, the child instinctively tries to kick the same way, and this kick forces her down under water and even greater fear sets in. Children who’ve not used floaties tend to learn about two to three times faster than the kids that used floaties.

Another tip: Keep the water temperature warm.

The focus should be on learning well, and shivering and blue lips make for less effective retention.

During lesson time make sure things are kept fun and playful.

Children’s attention spans are short, and water toys and skills work wonders for the lesson. In much of good teaching, it’s 75% enthusiasm and 25% educated skill. Finding a good personality match between child and teacher can catapult learning forward.

ALL children in lessons learn to swim eventually......just as all children learn to walk, some a little sooner, some a little later, but all do. Enjoy the process, enjoy the child’s achievements. A new arena of play is opening up for them and the whole family to enjoy. Bring water learning forth in trust and the rewards will last a lifetime.


What do we need for lessons?

  • Your child in their suit with a towel. Swim diaper is a must if not 100% potty trained.


  • No goggles for beginners. I teach to swim with eyes open. If they can successfully show me they can swim comfortably with eyes open, I will allow goggles during a portion of lessons for levels Turtle and Stroke only.

Do we bring a lifejacket?

  • No! These lessons are taught without any swim devices learning to swim independently.

Does parent need to be in water?

  • Only class a parent needs to be in water is a Parent Tot class.

Can I watch?

  • Yes, but if you see your child start to cry, please walk away and watch from a area your child can't see you

Can I leave?

  • No! You can walk away but must stay on the property.

Can I bring siblings?

  • Yes! Please watch them at all times!

Can we take pictures/video?

  • Yes! It's sometimes helpful to show kids what they did and show off their accomplishments! Please tag JSS :)

Is there a bathroom to change?

  • YES! Parent must attend restroom with your child. 

What happens if it rains?

  • I teach in light rain. If it's a downpour lessons will be cancelled and a makeup will generally take place on Thursday. The day after your lessons were to have been completed.

What happens if it storms during your class time?

  • Lessons are cancelled and a makeup class will take place.

How do we know if lessons are cancelled?

  • I will post on Julie's Swim School facebook page if I know in advance. If your unsure of the weather please still come. It might be bad weather at your location and better at this location. I will try my best to send out a text message to everyone as well.

Are the pools heated?

  • Yes! All pools are heated between 86-90.

Is there a diving board?

  • Most pools have diving boards but all have deep ends.