Private swim lessons for little kids on weekend

We have been doing private swim lessons at the YMCA on Saturdays but it is getting increasingly difficult to sign up for lessons due to limited availability and high demands. I spent all day refreshing the Y website every 15 min. to try to sign up for a private lesson. I took a quick break and came back to my computer to sign up and all the slots were gone in the 30 min. I was gone! What are full-time working parents supposed to do? Most of the YMCA swim lessons are on weekday afternoon!

Our kid is shy and hasn't done very well in group lessons and we're committed to making sure that the kid learns to swim. Unfortunately, I'm not a strong swimmer and don't know how to teach my kid. The kid is 5 years old. Does anyone know of any other place where we can get private swim lessons for the kid? 

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

I'm in the same boat as you! I'm going to check out Aquatech in Alameda. It looks promising, and I'd love to see what others say.

Tim Oliver Swimming offers private lessons but even better, his instructors tend to work with groups of only 3-4 kids. This is where my son learned, after tough experiences at Aquatech and the Y, both of which were too noisy, intimidating, crowded, etc. It's a great school, IMO, and they're actually outdoors in the summer, in a very warm location - which just changes everything.

  • 12000 Campus Dr Oakland, CA 94619b/t Redwood Rd & Sereno Cir Oakland Hills
  •  Phone number(510) 759-2782 
  • Business

It's a bit of a drive, but Canyon Swim School in El Sobrante is excellent and offers weekend lessons.  They also offer evening lessons during the week for working parents.  They are pretty pricey, but totally worth it.  Check them out!

Our daughter took lessons for years at the Y, and it was definitely frustrating trying to sign up for classes there. Eventually she moved to the Berkeley city swim team at King pool on Hopkins; that's where she really, truly learned to swim. They also have private lessons there, and I appreciated the programming there. 

It may be too far for you but we have have great experiences with our son learning to swim at Patti's Swim School in Castro Valley. The semi-private lessons, not so much since the learning time is only 15 minutes. But private lessons are 20 minutes and often the instructors will stay with the kid for the full 30 min. Our 3 year old has gone from no swimming at all last year to being able to swim across the pool this year. 

Harriet Plummer Aquatic School in Lafayette, if it’s not too far to go. 

AquaTech in Alameda.  Private or small groups.

Sherman Swim School, in Lafayette! So very worth the drive thru the tunnel. The weather is always warm, the water is always warm, the instructors are wonderful. Your child will make huge strides in a short amount of time. They seem to specialize in shy, reticent little swimmers!

Emeryville pool has private weekend lessons. Patient teachers. Nice pool. 

You've already gotten some good answers about other options for swim classes. If you want to continue with the Berkeley Y, I suggest that you abandon any attempt to use their website and instead either call and/or go in person to make arrangements for lessons. I have complained *repeatedly* (in person, at the front desk) about the lack of timely information on the website, but to no avail, and the only solution I've ever found was to call and call and call again, and email multiple times. Good luck!

Woody's private swimming lessons at the Bellevue Club right by Lake Merritt is also very good.