How many lessons should I take for best results?2018-05-02T22:50:05+00:00

I recommend doing a minimum of 8 days- 3 weeks for optimal results. In each lesson, a student develops muscle memory that intensifies with each lesson and each lesson builds on the next. Because the 8 days- 3 weeks are consecutive, the results amplify with each class as the student becomes stronger and by the end, the student will be unrecognizable. The combination of the consecutive days, building muscle memory and the 1 on 1 lessons create powerful and accelerated results!

Why is our program unique/ why should I choose Farnsworth Swim School?2019-03-19T18:46:23+00:00

Our program is unique because we have been around since 1980 creating successful results for all of our students. Our primary focus is on water safety, with stroke development, improvement, and deep-water exploration, including treading water and dives. We offer 1-on-1 classes that are accelerated and customized to the individual, based on 9 American Red Cross levels from absolute beginner to advanced. Students learn 10 times as fast in private lessons as they would in a group lesson. Parents are always amazed to see how fast their children progress and adults are also amazed at the accelerated rate of their learning & progress.

How does the program work?2019-03-19T18:47:30+00:00

We are a summer seasonal program only, operating from June-Mid August. You pick a session (4, 5, or 8-day) and a time that works for you. When you sign up, you are committing to coming at the same time for the 4, 5, or 8 consecutive days (Usually Mon-Thurs & some Fridays). Our model is immersive and feels more like a summer camp than a weekly activity. All lessons are 1-on-1 and it is recommended for at least 8 days to 3 weeks for best results.

What can I learn in each level?2018-05-02T22:54:09+00:00

Tadpole (Absolute Beginner): Focus is on becoming comfortable in the water. Skills include blowing bubbles, reaching for the wall, kicking and moving arms, and floating on stomach and back.

Goldfish (Beginner): Focus is on water safety and freestyle and backstroke techniques. Skills include freestyle arms and kicks, backstroke arms and kicks, rolling from front to back and back to front, and sitting and knee dives.

Level 1 (Advanced Beginner): Focus is on mastery of freestyle and basic water safety. Skills include longer lengths of freestyle, freestyle side breathing, standing dives, and treading water.

Level 2 (Intermediate): Focus is on freestyle and backstroke mastery, as well as the development of safety strokes. Skills include longer lengths of backstroke, longer front and back glides, greater stamina while treading water, and an introduction to elementary backstroke and sidestroke.

Level 3 (Stroke Development): Focus is on furthering freestyle and backstroke technique and mastering elementary backstroke. Skills include straight kicks for freestyle and backstroke, high elbows and body rotation for freestyle, hand placement and body rotation in backstroke, mastery of breaststroke kick and an introduction to breaststroke arms.

Level 4 (Stroke Improvement): Focus is on stroke technique and strength in freestyle and backstroke, as well as mastering breaststroke. Skills include coordinating breaststroke arms and legs, treading water with eggbeater and an introduction to butterfly arms and kick.

Level 5 (Stroke refinement): Focus is on stroke technique, efficiency, and stamina for all strokes, as well as mastering butterfly. Skills include flip turns, 50+ yards of freestyle and backstroke, 25+ yards of butterfly, breaststroke, elementary backstroke, and sidestroke, treading water for 2+ minutes, and rescue breathing.

Level 6 (Advanced/Pre-Lifeguarding): Focus is on stamina and efficiency in all strokes as well as advanced water safety and first aid skills. Skills include 100+ yards of freestyle, 50+ yards of backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, elementary backstroke, and sidestroke, 5+ minutes of treading water, and 10 minute survival swim.

Level 7 (More in depth Pre-Lifeguarding lead up skills): Similar to level 6, but more in depth training on mastering all 6 strokes, stride jump, rescue swims and strokes for lifeguarding and also building stamina. They have to tread water while holding a 10 pound brick for 5 min.

Can I learn all of the levels in one summer?2019-03-19T18:50:11+00:00

You can expect to improve dramatically in one summer or after 8 days and be very proud of yourself! We are a swim school that is set up like swimming “grades.” There is only so much that each student can learn in one summer depending on their age, previous experience, and fine and gross motor skills. For example, a 4 year old is not going to learn all 6 strokes in one summer and acquire pre-lifeguarding skills. They will, however, develop water safety, freestyle stroke development, back floating and kicking, breathing, and deep water exploration. They could jump from tadpole to goldfish in one summer if they took more than 8 days and improved rapidly. Advanced beginners may go from goldfish to level 1 in one summer, or intermediate swimmers may go from level 2, 3, or 4, depending on how many lessons they took. We focus on improvement, swimming smarter not harder, and on mastery, rather than jumping through the levels quickly.

Do I need 20 min, 30 min or 40 min?2019-03-19T18:40:40+00:00

20 min is recommended for 4.5 years and under, which is a long time for these youngsters since all classes are 1 on 1.

30 min is recommended for 5 years and up because this gives them more time to deepen their understanding of swimming and for this age range, their stamina is greater.

40 min is recommended for athletes/ swim team and adults.

Why are we a summer program only & not a year round program?2019-03-19T18:43:41+00:00

We are a summer seasonal program because we teach in an immersive way, where the lessons take place on consecutive days (Mon-Thurs for 2-4 weeks). This is a faster way to learn to swim since it builds muscle memory. Having appropriate muscle memory accelerates your swimming success.  Year round programs tend to be 1-2 times a week and are good for maintenance once you have a powerful foundation to swim, but an immersive program is needed first.

What can I expect after 8 days or 3 weeks?2018-05-02T22:57:11+00:00

We recommend that swimmers attend at least 8 days- 3 weeks of lessons because of the amazing amount of learning that they are able to accomplish in this time. For beginners and young children (under 5), at the end of 3 weeks, you can expect greater confidence and comfort within the water. These children often come away from lessons with many skills, including basic freestyle and backstroke techniques. Depending on the age of the child, this could mean that they mastered a back float, or that they are able to swim 15 yards of backstroke.

Older children (5 and up) often end the summer with improved strokes and new skills.

What do I do if I only have 5 days all summer? Is it still beneficial to sign up if I can’t do 8 days?2018-05-02T22:57:50+00:00

Yes, you will still create powerful foundation for swimming by learning a plethora of new skills and expanding on what you know. It always depends on what level you start with and for absolute beginners doing only 5 days is a great start and I still recommend doing 8 days for best results. Advanced beginners and intermediate swimmers will get more out of 5 days than absolute beginners and our focus is on impeccable water safety, deepening your skills and improving your strokes dramatically, so the longer the better, but if all you have is 5 days, then of course, you will still improve. For ideal circumstances, I always recommend 8 days- 3 weeks.

What are the benefits of doing 1 on 1 lessons vs. group lessons?2018-05-02T22:58:28+00:00

One of the reasons that the Farnsworth Swim School is so successful is because we offer private (1 on 1) lessons only. Because the lessons are private, students excel 10 times faster than they would in group lessons. Our lessons are focused on individualized instruction that is customized to each student’s needs. Each day the student improves dramatically since the lessons are tailored to their needs! If you are tired of group lessons and want to invest in the success of your child, we’re the right school for you!

Is the pool heated?2018-05-02T22:59:21+00:00

Yes, the pool is gas and solar heated with a temperature maintained at 86-90 degrees, which makes it comfortable for all ages.

Where is the pool located?2018-05-02T23:00:04+00:00

The pool is located in Almaden in a beautiful private backyard. There is plenty of seating for parents, as well as a private cabana with a bathroom that may be utilized by swimmers and parents. We don’t offer showers at this time since this is a private home and we want to conserve water. There is a sink in the bathroom and a hose outside.

What should I bring to my lesson?2018-05-02T23:01:02+00:00

Bring a swimsuit and a towel. Goggles are optional. They are not recommended for first time swimmers because they create a dependency and act as a crutch. A safe swimmer can adapt to swimming with or without goggles.

Why are we not 1-2 times a week vs everyday?2018-05-02T23:02:14+00:00

We are an immersive program that consists of consecutive days because this is the fastest way to learn since it builds muscle memory and power. Consequently, their swimming results are enhanced and accelerated by this immersive experience.

Who are the instructors and what is their training?2018-05-02T23:04:24+00:00

All instructors are highly trained in Water Safety Instruction, CPR, Farnsworth Swim School trained from American Red Cross & have extensive swim team experience.  Some are also trained lifeguards and trained in first-aid.

What is the cancellation policy if there is one?2020-04-14T20:03:25+00:00

Depending on when you cancel, we are able to refund a percentage of your payment. 5% of every payment is nonrefundable and goes to our online system, Activeworks, and the remaining percentage can be applied toward a future lesson package within a 1 year timeframe. 

When possible, we will always work with you to transfer your registration to another time/session in the summer. This allows us to transfer your payment to the new registration.

Cancellation Policy

Refund Amount 

(To You)

Credit Amount

(Future Lessons)



3+ weeks before lessons 75% 20% 5%
Less than 3 weeks before lessons 50% 45% 5%

Last minute emergencies

(ex. illness, injury, family death, etc)

85% 10% 5%
Are there makeup lessons & if not, why?2019-03-19T18:40:01+00:00

We do not offer makeup lessons unless it is an emergency. We don’t have the capacity in our pool doing makeups because the same people come at the same time everyday. If there was an emergency (illness, death in the family, not a family party or soccer game), then the makeup would not be scheduled at the same time and happen during our off hours either at 9-9:30am, between 1-3pm or when there is a gap in our schedule and it is not guaranteed with the same instructor. If a student is very ill and has to miss more than 2- 3 days, then I would opt to transfer them to another session.

What swimming levels does the Farnsworth Swim School include?2018-05-15T18:23:53+00:00

We are an integrative program that combines our own accelerated curriculum with the Red Cross water safety program that has 9 levels from very beginner to pre-lifeguarding level.

What can I expect if I went through the whole program from 1 yr old to 15/16 yrs?2018-05-02T23:07:35+00:00
  • Impeccable Water Safety
  • Mastery in all 6 strokes: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, elementary backstroke and sidestroke
  • Becoming a powerful swim team member
  • Ready for the swimming portion of triathlons like Alcatraz
  • Ready for master’s swimming for adults
  • Pre-Lifeguarding skills including CPR lead up skills
  • Prep for a job seeking teen who desire a career in becoming a swim instructor or lifeguarding.
What can I expect as an adult learning for the first time?2018-05-02T23:08:13+00:00

Adults typically learn fast because they are eager to learn! Of course, it always depends on how in shape you are and whether you are already active. If you are already active, then after 8 days, you can expect to have gained stroke development skills in both freestyle and backstroke, including proper breathing for freestyle, proper kicking and arm stroke, back floating, deep water exploration that includes treading water, jumps, dives and reaching for rings. I have seen some adults water safe after 8 days. Of course, I recommend continuing to practice for best results.

Are swimming goggles recommended?2018-05-29T22:18:52+00:00

Goggles are NOT recommended especially for beginners.  

At the Farnsworth Swim School, we never recommend using goggles to start off because this creates a dependency on them & a crutch. It might make things easier in the short-term because they feel safer when they open their eyes, but it makes it harder in the long-term. Our goal is water safety and empowering our swimmers to be the best swimmers possible.

Being dependent on goggles when 1st learning is not setting the swimmer up for success! By learning without goggles, this trains the swimmer to be comfortable putting their face in the water and with opening their eyes. 

Moving through the discomfort of putting their face in the water is a hurdle that they need to move through to be a good swimmer. Once they have mastered opening their eyes and are comfortable with their face in the water, they can use gogglesI would only recommend goggles for intermediate- advanced swimmers. The purpose of goggles is for lap swimming.

What is the swim diaper policy?2020-06-12T18:09:01+00:00

All students who are not fully potty-trained and all students under the age of three are required to wear a reusable (non-disposable) swim diaper. Disposable swim diapers (such as Lil’ Swimmers) can and should be worn under the non-disposable swim diaper. Reusable diapers have a tighter fit, which helps to avoid accidents in our pool. A swimsuit or a pair of shorts should be worn over the diaper. Even a small accident in the pool can close the pool down for as long as 24 hours. If your student is under the age of three or not potty-trained they will be required to wear one (1) disposable swim diaper under the non-disposable swim diaper. If in doubt, PLEASE do not take the chance.

What happens if I’m late?2019-05-29T20:51:24+00:00

Unfortunately, if you arrive late, your lesson will still end at your designated time because lessons are scheduled back-to-back. We recommend that you arrive early to make sure that you are ready when your time begins.

Avoid a vomiting accident by not eating right before swimming2020-06-12T18:19:33+00:00

For the safety of everyone in the pool and in order to avoid a vomiting accident, please have the swimmer(s) avoid eating a meal at least 45 minutes to an hour before the swim lessons. If vomiting occurs, we have to shut the pool down for 2 hours, so it impacts everyone. This has happened to us and is a BIG DEAL, so thanks for your cooperation with this.

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