Every summer (usually the first 2 weeks right after school lets out) we sign the boys up for swim lessons. We live right on the river and even though the river isn't very deep where we are, we feel safer knowing them have some water skills.
I will have to admit this year we were NOT happy with the swim lessons that we signed them up for and we will NOT be making that mistake again next year. We just felt like the skills they were teaching the kids were not strong enough or focused enough, it was more like teenage kids supervising younger kids in a pool that really TEACHING them how to swim and how to survive in water.
However, either way, the boys had fun and they did gain some more confidence in the water and Jon passed his swim test without any problems. Davey didn't pass his for the second year in a row (this is how I KNOW they aren't doing a good job). The part of the test he fails each time is swimming across the pool without stopping, then back swimming to his start point (he was ABLE to do this 4 years ago with another instructor we had him with . . . I am going to see if I can get them back with her for 2014 even though it is a big drive). Water safety is very important and it is wonderful exercise.