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!

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!