We are a family-run swim business located in Boise, Idaho that has been serving families from all over the Treasure Valley for more than 15 years. We are passionate about educating children and adults of all ages about water safety, basic swimming skills, and stroke development in a safe, positive, encouraging, and FUN environment. We teach small classes in a warm, heated pool with excellent, motivated teachers who work very hard to ensure that children learn how to really SWIM!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Swimming Lessons in 2011

Cathy's School for Lil' Fish operates out of an outdoor pool so we only teach classes in the summer. However, we invite you to take a minute to look around the website, and if you like what you see, check back later this week as we will be posting our 2011 swim schedule and opening registration this coming weekend.

You can also email us at cathyslilfish@gmail.com and ask to be added to our email list so that you will be notified when we post the schedule and open registration.

Feel free to contact us with any questions about our program as well.

Also, if you have a preschool-aged child, you can find out about Miss Cindy's AMAZING preschool program for this fall and winter at boisepreschool.blogspot.com.

Cathy's School for Lil' Fish offers swimming lessons in Boise, Idaho as well as Meridian and Eagle.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Swimming Lessons are over but Preschool is just starting!

We are so sad that swimming lessons are over tomorrow for the summer :(

We will miss you all so much!

Don't forget that if you have a preschool-aged child, you can continue to come all year for preschool with Miss Cindy. If you, or someone you know is interested, have them check out http://boisepreschool.blogspot.com

ACHD is coming to pave!

Today you will see orange cones with "No Parking" signs on Ginger Creek. This means that ACHD is coming tomorrow to pave our street. You are still welcome to park as usual today, but tomorrow you may want to give yourself a few extra minutes to park and get here. Remember to park on the dirt driveway that comes directly off of Cloverdale, just north of Ginger Creek and circles around to Ginger Creek. Good luck!

Cathy teaches swimming lessons in Boise, ID.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Evening Classes Canceled for Wednesday

Well, it looks like the weather has taken a turn for the worse and thunderstorms are expected for the rest of the evening so there will be NO swimming lessons tonight. Make-up lessons will be held this coming Friday at your normal class time. See you tomorrow!

It's Cold & Drizzly, but the pool is WARM!

We are getting some little drizzles here and there, but no thunder or lightning. The air temperature is a bit on the cold side, but with the pool at 90, we aren't hearing any complaints from the swimmers (though I can't say the same for the spectators). So we are still on for lessons at this time. Check back periodically for updates as to whether or not class will be canceled!

Cathy's School for LIl' Fish is located in Boise, ID.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A New Swimming Session

Today is Monday, August 9th, and we are excited to start a new session of swimming lessons. We hope you are too! So far the scattered thunderstorms predicted for today have missed us. We have our fingers crossed that the good weather will hold. See you all tonight :)

Cathy' teaches swimming lessons to students from Boise, Meridian, and Eagle Idaho.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Swimming Lessons are Canceled!

Due to the crazy thunderstorms, we are definitely cancelling swimming lessons through 2:00 today. Makeup lessons will be held on Friday at the time you normally come for swimming lessons. If you are in the evening classes, check back later to see if they have been canceled as well. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Some Openings in the Next Swim Session

We have some openings in our next swim session if you are interested in starting July 26th. There are openings in the 9:30 advanced, 10:00 intermediate, 12:30 advanced, 1:00 beginner, and 5:30 intermediate. Click on "schedule" above and scroll to the bottom for a description of our levels.

Update: We only have openings left in the 10:00 and 5:30 intermediate classes. Sorry!

Cathy teaches swimming lessons in Boise, Idaho.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cloverdale is Closed....take alternate route

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up that Cloverdale Rd. between Chinden and McMillan is closed this week (July 12 - 16) for paving. You may want to consider using either Five Mile or Eagle Rd to get to McMillan or Ustick and then turning onto Cloverdale to get to swimming lessons!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Want to get into our next session?

We have some last minute openings for the July 12 - 22 swim session starting on Monday for INTERMEDIATE swimmers.

An intermediate swimmer is a child who CAN:
1. swim independently for 12 - 15 feet
2. catch their own breath

But who CANNOT:
1. swim the length of the pool (35 ft.)
2. swim comfortably in deep water
3. breath to the side
4. Float on their back independently for 30 seconds

We have 1 opening in the 9:00 intermediate and 2 openings in the 4:30 intermediate.

Cathy's School for Lil' Fish offers swimming lessons for students from Boise, Eagle, and Meridian, Idaho.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A New Mommy and Me Swim Class!

We have had so much demand for our mommy and me swim classes this summer that they are already FULL! So to meet demand, we are opening a class July 12 - 22 at 3:30 in the afternoon. If you are interested, let us know!

Cathy's School for Lil' Fish is located in Boise, Idaho and serves families from Boise, Meridian, and Eagle.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Last Minute Openings!

Update!!!! We have filled the openings below, but still have one opening in a beginner class at 4:00 if anyone is interested. We will prorate the cost for the missed lesson.

We had some last-minute cancellations and errors that have created some openings for swimming lessons starting today! The classes will run June 28th - July 9th. We will be taking a 4-day weekend for 4th of July so classes will be held June 28, 29th, 30th and July 1st, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th. The following classes have openings:
11:00 beginner
11:30 intermediate
1:00 intermediate
2:00 beginner
5:30 advanced

Call Cathy at 914-0045 or Cindy at 713-8113 if you're interested.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The End of Another Session of Swimming Lessons :(

It's so hard for us to say goodbye to all of our great students from the past few weeks! Thank you for coming to swim with us and for your notes, cards, emails, and hugs. One of our swimmers emailed this picture, gave us permission to put it on the site and said, "I think it's a good example of the personal attention you give." Thank you so much!

Cathy teaches swimming lessons for students from Boise, Meridian, and Eagle Idaho.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What will this weather do....

The forecast is NOW saying that there is only a 30% chance of rain AFTER 6 pm. It will still be a tad chilly so prepare for overcast, windy weather this evening, but we might miss the rain (YEAH!!). Stay warm and dry!


Swimming Lessons Update

So the weather forecast is NOT predicting thunderstorms for today anymore (Thank Goodness!) However, this evening, there is a 40% chance of showers from 4 pm on. Parents of children in evening classes should bring an umbrella and extra towels just in case! As long as there is no thunder and lightning, lessons will continue. We will keep you updated in case the weather changes so keep checking the blog. Thanks everyone!


Brrrrr...it's cold, but we are swimming!

It's 8:45 right now....we've got the heat cranked up and we are swimming until the thunderstorms stop us. Check back periodically to see an update on the weather here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

4:30 and swimming lesson are still on!

The sun is still shining. It's beautiful here. Swimming lessons are a go!

It's 4:00 and the sun is shining!

Just keeping you updated that we still have sunshine here. Fingers crossed that it will hold and we'll make it through today's swimming lessons!

It's 3:30 and we are still looking good for swimming lessons

I have been getting reports of storms around the valley, but we are still clear here, so plan on coming for now. I will do my best to update this every half-hour as to whether or not the weather is good enough for swimming. If we have to cancel, we will be calling you :)

ACHD is done! Swimming Lessons are still on!

Yeah! It appears that the road work is done, so you are welcome to park in all of the regular spots. Also, the weather seems to be holding. We have had no rain here so we are still planning on swimming lessons for today. Check back periodically to see if we are still planning on lessons. See you in the pool!

Cathy is swim instructor offering swim classes in Boise Idaho.

ACHD is here!

Attention all swimmers in the current swim session. ACHD rolled up with their big trucks this morning and it appears that they will begin ripping out Ginger Creek today. You may want to give yourself a few extra minutes to get here, park on the dirt driveway that comes directly off of Cloverdale just North of Ginger Creek and walk across the street. Our neighbors are being super nice to lend us the lot, so please be courteous and careful and DO NOT block their driveway on the Ginger Creek side of their lot. Everyone should enter and exit from the Cloverdale side of the driveway. Good luck!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

First time swimming in the pool.....He loves it!

We often get asked, how young do you start swimming lessons? In accordance with Red Cross recommendations, we begin mommy and me classes as young as 6 months old.

The follow up question often is, "But do little babies like the water?" See for yourself...... This is my 7-month-old baby's first time in the pool. He will definitely be taking swimming lessons this summer. See you in the pool!

Cathy offers Mommy and Me classes for infant swimming for children from Boise, Meridian, and Eagle Idaho

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's Friday...and we're swimming!

It's 10:45 right now and only slightly drizzling. We are turning up the heat and pressing forward. Hopefully next week's weather will be MUCH better. See you in a few hours!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

First Day Summer 2010

Wow, we were worried that the weather might get in the way of swimming, but it was a beautiful first day of swimming. The "lil' fish" were excited and anxious to dive in as you can see from the pictures. It's going to be another great summer!
Cathy's School for Lil' Fish offers swimming classes to students from Boise, Eagle and Meridian Idaho.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Water Safety Tips

Well, it is past time for another water safety tip. The goal was to post these weekly, but the business has been taking up too much of my time :)

First let's review:

Water Safety Tip #1: NEVER swim alone! Go here for more details.

Water Safety Tip #2: Reach or throw....DON'T GO! Go here for more details.

So our water safety tip for this week is: ALWAYS wear a life jacket!

In Idaho, we have a lot of beautiful, natural water and people are big into outdoor sports. Life jackets may be cumberson, unattractive and annoying, but they are absolutely ESSENTIAL! This rule applies not only to little children, but also to older children who are strong swimmers and adults. While our lakes, rivers and streams are beautiful, they are also quite cold, and even the strongest swimmer can quickly succumb to hypothermia. Just last summer, a boat carrying 8 adults and 4 children flipped over after hitting some rocks on Payette Lake at night. Two people died in that accident, one upon impact and the other from hypothermia. None of the 12 passengers was wearing life jackets. Click here to see the full story. My own brother, while floating the Boise River at the age of 19, got knocked off of his raft by a low-hanging branch and immediately sucked under some brush at the bank. He was a VERY strong swimmer, but he couldn't get out between the current and the brush. If it hadn't been for his brightly-colored life jacket, his friends might not have been able to locate him quickly enough to pull him out. Accidents happen, so be sure to always wear a life jacket in open water.

Cathy teaches swim lessons in Boise, Idaho.

Where is the sun?

Can you believe this weather? Here we are, only a few weeks away from starting swimming lessons and it feels like February or March! The good news is, according to the weatherman, we should start getting some sunshine and warmer weather the second half of the week. Yeah! That means we'll be opening the pool this weekend! Good thing we have a good heater because we're going to need it!

Cathy's School for Lil' Fish teaches small classes to kids from Meridian, Eagle, and Boise, Idaho.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why We Teach Group Swimming Lessons

During the past 12 summers that Cathy's School for Lil' Fish has been open, we have had several requests for private and semi-private swimming lessons. Occasionally we have arranged these swim classes on an individual basis, but the vast majority of our swimming lessons are taught in group settings. Believe it or not, there is a method to our madness that has more to do with what's best for our students, and not just our bottom line. We have witnessed the power of positive peer pressure during swimming lessons and want to utilize this great tool!

Peer pressure often has a negative conotation. However, children learn A LOT from each other, and it doesn't all have to be bad! When we are sheduling people in classes we put a lot of thought into the chemistry of those classes. As much as possible, we try to get a good mix of ages, ability, and enthusiasm. At times, we have accidentally sheduled a whole group of timid swimmers together, only to find that they feed off of eachother's fears and the progress of the whole class grinds to a halt. Conversely, we've had classes with 2 or 3 timid students and 2 or 3 VERY enthusiastic students and we find that the fearful children are reassured by the excitement and the FUN that they see the more enthusiastic swimmers portray. So while we haven't closed the door on private lessons forever, we find that most (not all) children progress more quickly and have more fun in group swimming lessons. We hope your child does too :)

Cathy teaches swimming lessons to kids from Boise, Meridian, and Eagle Idaho.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Water Safety Tip #2

At Cathy's School for Lil' Fish we feel that water safety is so important and is not widely taught in our area. We hope you will take the time to review our weekly posts on water safety and teach them to your children. Go here to see Rule #1.

Rule #2: Reach or throw..... Don't Go!

Have you ever thought about what you would do if someone who couldn't swim fell into the water or got out too deep and got in trouble? Knowing what to do ahead of time can help prevent panic and precious wasted moments figuring out what to do. When people are afraid they produce adrenaline in their bodies, which makes them extra strong. People who feel they are drowning often panic and become VERY strong, which is why we teach children to NOT try and resuce a drowning victim (even if it is a smaller child) by themselves. If they do, the drowning victim will most likely pull them under in an attempt to get their own head above water. Then we have two people in trouble instead of one. Instead of going in after someone in trouble:
1. Notify an adult or trained lifeguard.
2. REACH: If there isn't an adult nearby, then consider whether you can reach the person from the side with either your hand, or something longer such as a swim noodle or pole.
3. THROW: look for something that floats (a toy, kickboard, life ring) and toss it in front of the person and yell to them to get their attention.
When reaching out to rescue a victim it is essential to ensure that you can safely tow them in. Remember, because of their fear and adrenaline they will most likely be stronger than you are EVEN if you are bigger than them. So don't just stand with your toes on the edge of the pool and reach out to them. They WILL pull you in! Instead, lay down on your stomach or sit down on your bottom before reaching out to them. It will make you much more secure and make it harder for them to pull you in.
Teaching these common sense rules may seem silly, but it actually works! One summer when my 6-year-old was only 20 months, we were outside working in my mom's yard. I was about 50 feet from the pool when I heard a splash and looked up to see that my baby had opened the gate around the pool, toddled into the enclosure, and had fallen in. My youngest sister, who was 7 at the time, was only about 10 feet from him so she beat me there. She promptly flopped to her stomach, reached out her hand, and pulled him to the side where she held him until I arrived a few seconds later. Thank goodness everyone was fine! He hadn't even swallowed any water. Had she reached in for him while standing at the side, there's a very good chance that she would have fallen in too, and I would have had to try and figure out how to help them both.
So remember (and chant it with your kids)....reach or throw, but DON'T GO!
Cathy teaches swimming lessons in Boise, Idaho.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Experiences From Our Swimmers

We have continued to receive so many kind testimonials. Thank you so much to all of our clients who take the time to share their past experiences at swimming lessons with all of us. We can't wait to see you this summer!

"My son was so afraid to put his face in the water and nervous to try anything new. Cathy and Cindy were so good with him. He ended up his second season swimming across the pool all on his own. I was so grateful to find someone so kind and patient and not pushy to teach him to be comfortable with the water. I also like how they teach swimmers' safety so the kids know what to do if they ever end up in an unfortunate situation. We look forward to going to swimming lessons and my son loves to swim now."
Renee Davis

"The past two years of swimming lessons with Cathy's School for Lil' fish have not only improved my kids swimming abilities but their overall confidence. My kids are very shy and timid at first, and they made swimming a very fun, relaxed atmosphere for them while learning at the same time. I have also taken the Mommy and Me class which was amazing. It was great one on one time with my 20 month old and I learned valuable information about swimming safety. We have had 3 different instructors and all were excellent with the kids...my kids are very excited to take lessons again this summer!"
Mandy Peterson

Cathy teaches swimming lessons to kids in Boise, Idaho.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Teaching Water Saftey During Swimming Lessons

At Cathy's School for Lil' Fish, we are concerned with teaching water safety in conjunction with swimming strokes and skills. While I do not wish to scare anyone with stastistics, the CDC reports that "although drowning rates have slowly declined, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years." link

Because there are less swimming pools in Idaho than in warmer places like California and Florida, many people are not as knowedgeable about water safety so they are not as likely to teach their children about it. However, children in Idaho still have a lot of access to open water; not only at pools, but also at rivers, lakes, irrigations ditches, and ponds.

It is with that in mind that we will be posting a water safety tip each week. We hope that parents will take the time to discuss these rules with their kids.


When we teach this to our kids in swimming lessons, most of them understand that they, as children, should not swim without adult supervision. However, when we ask them if it's OK for adults to swim alone, they almost unanimously say, "YES!' (even the older kids). We remind them that it's important to ALWAYS swim with a buddy even when you're grown up. It's safer in case an accident happens and it's a lot more fun. So set the example for your kids and remind them whenever you're near water that it's never safe for anyone at any age to swim by themselves.

Cathy is a swimming instructor in Boise, Idaho.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Clients Share Their Experiences

Thank you to all of our past clients who took the time to write to us and tell us about their experiences!

"My daughter has ADHD and we have had a hard time finding a swim instructor that was willing and able to work with her behavior. The ladies at Cathy's Lil Fish were wonderful. They kept her focused and motivated and she has been learning some great swimming skills with them. They are pacient and kind, and helped her burn off her extra energy. She has leaned so much in such a short amount of time. We can't wait for summer to start swimming again."
Caralee Beers

"I love the way that Cathy's school teaching swimming. They stay on a level that kids can understand and are excited to do, yet push them enough to get them swimming even when they're very hesitant. My kids also love the underwater pictures they get to take home! I drive all the way from Utah just to have swimming lessons with them. I've tried them in Utah and my kids don't get nearly the good experience they do at this school."
Karena Gardner

"Our kids love coming to Cathy's School for Lil Fish. A year-round question at our house is, "When do swimmng lessons start?" At Cathy's, it is always a positive experience, and we just keep coming back for more. Thanks for making learning to swim so much fun!"
Karine Maynard

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How You Can Prepare for Swimming Lessons

As the weather warms up, we all starting thinking about it.....swimming. Most of us are excited and can't wait to get started. Whether your child is enthusiastic or apprehensive, there are some things you can start working on NOW to help them advance more quickly in lessons this summer. If you have access to a pool....GREAT! Start taking them. If not, you can do most of the these things at home in the bathtub.

1. Practice blowing bubbles. It seems so simple, but it makes a HUGE difference if children learn to blow out rather than suck in when their face hits the water. With younger children, practice blowing with your face out of the water at first. Once you see them blowing, show them how to start blowing above the water and then lower your lips to the water while continuing to blow. Remember to make it fun! Have them pretend to be a sea creature or hold a boat and make it zoom while blowing bubbles.

2. Get them used to having water in their ears. At bathtime we talk about getting our ears clean. They can lay on their stomachs and dip in one ear at a time, but encourage them to lay on their backs if you can. Have them balance something on their tummies or hold something over their heads that they can look at. Have them count how many toy airplanes you have in your hands.

3. Get them used to having water on their faces. Have them splash the water on their faces themselves. Have them pour a small container of water over their heads so the water runs down their face. Turn on the sprinklers in the backyard when it gets warm enough. Remember, you have to keep it fun and positive.

4. Get them prone. In order to swim, they have to be used to being in a horizontal position. Have them lay on their tummies in the bath or on a stair of the pool and pretend to be alligators. See if they can put their face in while they're prone. If not, have them start by trying to get their chins and shoulders wet when they're horizontal.

Did I emphasize this enough?......MAKE IT FUN! Make them think it's their idea. Make it a game. Whatever you do, try not to criticize or get frustrated. Take it at their speed. You still have months before lessons start and you want your kids to be excited. Do you have other things you like to work on with your kids?

Friday, March 5, 2010

How It All Began....

Cathy’s School for ‘Lil Fish opened its pool in the summer of 1997, but our involvement with teaching swimming has a history that stretches back to 1960. Cathy is my daughter (I’m Cindy) and she encouraged our family to “start up” a new swim school when we moved to Boise. Long before that, over 4,000 little swimmers had been lovingly introduced to the water by Miss Gwen. Miss Gwen, my mother and Cathy’s grandmother, began her devotion to teaching the youngest children to swim and love the water because in 1960 I toddled into the deep end of the Philadelphia naval base pool and promptly sank to the bottom. Miss Gwen, my mom, dove in and rescued me and decided that day that every child within her reach would learn how to swim as early as possible. She was discouraged when she began searching for a place that taught infants and toddlers......because there weren’t any. At that time the Red Cross suggested starting children in swim classes when they turned 6.

So, Miss Gwen started developing her own curriculum for the youngest children. My sisters were introduced to the water “when their umbilical chords fell off” as my Mom told me, and they were proficient swimmers long before they could enter official swim classes with the Red Cross. My mom began teaching others in 1969 and soon had many successful younger swimmers. That’s where I learned to teach, as I assisted her in our backyard pool. In the late 70’s when she was living in Virginia, my mom taught water safety to almost 1,000 fourth grade students in Fairfax County. She approached the Red Cross again about a curriculum for infants and toddlers. They still didn’t have a curriculum for “lil fish”, so she wrote it for them. And they adopted it.

Miss Gwen continued teaching when she and my Dad “retired” to Florida in 1987. You couldn’t go to the store in Merritt Island, FL without at least one child recognizing and waving to Miss Gwen. She taught thousands more children to swim from 1987 to 2003. The last class she taught was in the fall of 2003, only weeks before she succumbed to bone cancer. She said that being in the pool with the children made her pain disappear. My Dad had to help her out of the pool after the students left, because she couldn’t climb the stairs, but she would be smiling. Her love of children, swimming and teaching combined to create wonderful results. And now you know........the rest of the story!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Welcome to our blog! We are already getting calls about swimming despite the cold weather, and we are just as excited as you are! In the next couple of weeks we will be sending out our annual newsletter and posting this years calendar and lesson schedules on the blog. We can't wait for warm weather, to see all of you, and to start swimming lessons.