Swim Lessons

Swim Lessons are an investment in the only sport that has the ability to save your child’s life!

Swim Lesson Schedule

Swim Lesson Schedule

Swim Lesson Levels

In order to provide the best experience possible, we ask that you please review the following levels and select the best possible level for your child. The staff will adjust participants up or down one level only as necessary.


Parent Tot

Ages 6 to 42 months
Parents and tots are introduced to the water through fun and playful activities. Games and songs are an integral part of this class. Parent:Child ratio is 1:1. 30 minute class.



Ages 42 month-5 years
Designed for the preschool swimmer, this level encourages young swimmers to be comfortable in and around the water. Games and songs are used in teaching supported floating, kicking, front arm movements, and various water safety skills. Instructor:child ratio is 1:4.


Level 1 – Introduction to Aquatic Skills

Ages 6 years & up or completed preschool level
Level one teaches new swimmers going under water, opening eyes under water, supported and unsupported floating and kicking, exhaling under water, beginning arm movements and more. Reaching and extension assists are among the Red Cross safety skills taught. Instructor:child ratio is 1:5.


Level 2 – Fundamental Aquatic Skills

Ages 6 years & up or completed level 1
In this level swimmers will learn supported and unsupported floating and kicking, rhythmic breathing, front crawl movements and beginning back crawl movements. Reaching and extension assists are among the Red Cross safety skills taught. Instructor:child ratio is 1:5.


Level 3 – Stroke Development

Ages 6 years & up or completed Level 2
Level 3 emphasizes improving front crawl stroke, coordinating back crawl and learning the elementary back stroke. Butterfly kick and survival skills are taught here. Instructor:child ratio is 1:5.


Level 4 – Stroke Improvement

Ages 6 years & up or completed Level 3
Breaststroke and butterfly are introduced. Front and Back Crawl as well as elementary back stroke are perfected. Develops confidence in skills learned and improves other aquatic skills. Instructor:child ratio is 1:6.


Level 5 – Stroke Refinement

Ages 6 years & up or completed Level 4
A technical review of front crawl, back crawl, elementary backstroke, breast stroke and sidestroke is conducted. Butterfly stroke flip turns and surface dives are introduced. Instructor:child ratio is 1:6.


Level 6 – Skill proficiency

Ages 6 years & up or completed Level 5
Refines the strokes so students swim them with ease, efficiency, and power for greater distances. Level 6 options include personal safety, fitness, and lifeguard readiness. Instructor:child ratio is 1:6.


Private Swim Lessons

Swimming is an important life skill that all children and adults should have the opportunity to learn. Private swim lessons are the perfect opportunity to get one on one attention. Whether afraid of the water or advanced for his/her age, the instructor will adjust the swim lesson to suit the participant’s needs.Semi private swim lessons are available for youth of similar age and ability.

Swim Lesson Information/FAQs


Welcome to Tomahawk Aquatic Center’s Swim Lesson Program!

Arrival : Our instructor’s will meet all of our swim lesson participants on the deck, just outside the locker rooms. They will also have signs stating what level they are teaching and their names will be posted for parents.

It is important to be on the pool deck and ready to go on time, if not a few minutes early for your class. Children can get anxious if hurried. Please allow plenty of time before class to get dressed, use the restroom, etc. For safety reasons, stay with your children until your instructors receives them from you.

Swimming attire: Children should be dressed in bathing suits and swim trunks. We ask that you make sure that your child’s swimwear fits snuggly so it will not hinder any movement. Children should not attend swim lessons with any type of built-in flotation.

Swimming Accessories

Swim Caps: If your child is prone to chill, a swim cap may help. We welcome and encourage this! For swimmers with long hair, we ask that it be tied back away from the face so it does not interfere with learning to breathe. *No metal clips please – they can fall out in the water and cause rust-stains on our pool bottom.

Goggles: For the beginner swimmer, goggles can present a false sense of safety. If your swimmer feels that they need goggles, they may bring them; however, for safety reasons a portion of lessons will be spent encouraging participants to be comfortable without goggles.


First Day Evaluations: The placement of your child on the first day is based on the information you gave when registering. If your child has participated in our program before, their placement may be determined by a previous evaluation. It is normal if your child is reassigned during the first week of swim lessons so that he/she will be placed in a class with children of similar ability. If you are unsure of your child’s placement, please see the lessons coordinator first, before approaching your child’s instructor.

Cancellation/Sick Policy: Children who have been ill should be kept at home. This is in the best interest of their health as well as the health of other class participants and the instructor. Unfortunately, non-attendance for any reason does not entitle you to a refund or a make-up class. Alternate make-up classes cannot be offered. Swim lessons are never canceled. In the event of Inclement weather, swim lessons will be moved indoors to Arrowhead Community Center and water safety lessons will be taught.

Bathroom Use: We encourage all participants to arrive early enough to use the restroom before class begins. For all participants who are not potty trained, we require the use of plastic swim pants worn over a swim diaper. For children who are not comfortable using the restroom on their own, we ask that you remain on the pool deck in the event that your child needs to use the restroom. As a reminder, children over the ages of 5 cannot use the opposite sex locker room. For sanitary reasons, please do not change diapers on the pool deck – diaper changing stations are available in the locker rooms.



How long will it take my child to learn how to swim? Tomahawk Aquatic Center teaches American Red Cross Curriculum Swim Lessons. We use a developmental series of steps in a natural progression working towards mastering the following skills: water adjustment, buoyancy, body position, arm and leg development, forward movement and ending with stroke technique. In general, each child’s readiness is influenced by physical development, previous experiences and behavioral maturity. The rate at which a child progresses is based on their individual development in addition to time spent working on skills outside of class. *As a reminder, if you are planning on spending time in our pool outside of your scheduled lesson, you must be a pool pass holder or pay the daily admission rate.

If I would like to talk with someone, who should I approach and when? We invite you to participate in your child’s swim lesson experience. Please introduce yourself to your child’s instructor; however, we ask that you limit your questions/concerns before, during and after class as it may pose a distraction to the class in addition to creating a safety issue. We have a swim lesson coordinator that is almost always available to speak with you. Since we only see your child for a short time, we need your assistance helping us understand personality traits that may be inhibiting your child’s performance. If a staff member is not available, please leave your name and phone number with someone in the lifeguard office with any concerns you may have and a supervisor will contact you.

Is my child in the right level? On the first day of every swim lesson session, we evaluate each child to ensure proper class placement. In an effort to establish more consistent levels, your child may be evaluated at a higher or lower level than they previously participated in. We ask you to support this effort to ensure all of our participants have the greatest chance for success. If you feel that your child is not performing to their ability or that your child’s level is inaccurate, please consult with the swim lesson coordinator.

Why do I see my child playing or sitting on the side when they should be learning how to swim? We pride ourselves in teaching the basic building blocks of swimming through additional components including: personal safety, rescue and water sports and games. We see play as an important part of learning for children. Through games your child will gain considerable knowledge and skill development by staying engaged.

Why does my child use floatation when they can swim on their own? We use instructional floatation devices (IFDs) as teaching tools to help children focus on mastering arm and leg movement. Using IFDs gives our swimmers the freedom to concentrate on their stroke development without having to maintain their own floatation.

Why does my child work on the same thing every day? Repetition is the key to learning for most young children. Repeating games and skills give children something to look forward to. Swim Lesson participants also feel a greater sense of success by mastering a skill they have been replicating.

What do I do if my child is crying or won’t get in the water? Rest assured that it is not unusual to see tears and hear crying. Most often children experience fear due to separation anxiety or the overwhelming feeling caused by the pool environment. We ask that you trust our staff in helping your child overcome their fear. We encourage apprehensive children to continue attending swim lessons in that they may actually regress if they do not actively participate in class. The more often your child is active in the water, the less chance they will have of developing an irreversible fear of swimming. Please understand that if your child continues having difficulty adjusting to swim lessons, we may ask that you step out of sight so they can build a relationship with their instructor. We also understand that some young children just are not ready, and that’s okay. If through everyone’s best effort your child continues to refuse to participate, please speak with the swim lesson coordinator.

What do I do if my child is misbehaving? Most all disciplinary problems are addressed and taken care of by either our swim instructors or our Head Instructor. We use positive reinforcement to encourage appropriate class behavior such as self-identification of the problem, warnings and time-outs. If our instructor does not have success with this approach we may approach you in an effort to find a better method that is more effective for your child. We ask that you teach, talk about and review appropriate class behavior and pool rules with your child. We encourage our parents to lead by example and to help children understand “respect” for the water, classmates and instructors.

What can I do to ensure my child will learn to swim and pass their level? We do not establish passing or failing a level as our primary definition of success. Failing does not apply to swim lessons as children are always making improvements. We consider learning to swim as a never ending process and as a chance to help encourage motor, language, social skills and emotional development. The rate at which a child progresses through our program is largely based on the amount of time spent working on skills outside of class. It is extremely normal for a child to remain in a class for multiple sessions. Do not get discouraged and give up on lessons if your child is not promoted at the end of each session. We want to make sure that we give our swimmers the greatest chance of continuing through our program successfully. If you have questions regarding your child’s level, please speak with the swim lesson coordinator. The best and most appropriate role a swim lesson parent can pursue is practicing and playing in the water with your child as often as you can. Attending class on a regular basis is necessary to your child’s progress. Exercise patience and understand the importance of not expecting your child to succeed before they are ready. Respect your child’s abilities and qualities, and do not compare them to siblings or other children. Understand that all practice does not have to be in the pool. A great way to enhance your child’s swim lesson experience is by practicing skills at home – most of which can be done in the absence of water. Please feel free to speak with our Head Instructor on skills to work on outside of class.

Any other questions? Contact the Facilities Manager Angela Brown at ABrown@channahonpark.org or 815-467-7275.


Swim Lessons are taught at Tomahawk Aquatic Center

The Channahon Park District teaches swim lessons based on the American Red Cross Learn to Swim Curriculum.

Weekday Swim Lessons meet for 40 minutes Monday through Thursday for 2 weeks. Sunday* lessons meeting for 40 minutes for 8 consecutive Sundays*.
*Please note the 2020 Summer Guide had a misprint for our weekend swim lessons. Weekend swim lessons are on Sundays NOT Saturdays.

Swim Lessons are NEVER canceled. Water Safety lessons will be taught indoors at Arrowhead Community Center in the event of inclement weather.

A mandatory parent meeting will be held on the first day of each new session by our lesson coordinator to address common parent questions.


Registration Information:

Day camp participants are asked to register for 10:15am lessons.

nd. Class sizes are limited, please register early. Most children take each level at least 2 times to master the skills necessary to pass each level. Please do not register for more than 2 sessions at a time.

Parent Tot
30 minute lessons
Fee/Res Discount: $51/$39 Min/Max: 5/15
Levels Pre K-Level 6
40 minute lessons
Fee/Res Discount: $68/$52 Min/Max: 3/12
40 minute lessons


Semi Private

Fee/Res Discount: $180/$128

$55 for additional person of similar ability

Preseason Private
40 minute lessons
Fee/Res Discount: $90/$64  



Refunds must be submitted by the Thursday prior to the first class of the session your child was to attend. Medical situations require a doctor’s note and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Skip to content