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The Jungle Journal

Why Swimming should be part of your schedule for going back to school

When we think of going back to school, we think of all the things we need to get ready.

  1. Buy school supplies
  2. Buy new clothes
  3. Call for Doctor appointments
  4. Sign up for the PTA
  5. Sign up for fall sports
  6. Sign up for Swimming….Sign up for Swimming?

      Yes, that is correct. Your calendar should include SWIMMING. Why you ask? Swimming is a summer sport. Oh, no, not anymore! If you want your child to do well in school, Swimming is a must!

A 2012 study out of Griffith University in Australia found that kids who took year-round swimming lessons were approximately 20 months ahead in major milestones, compared with their peers within the same age group and socioeconomic status, who did not take swimming lessons.

Research published in April 2020 has found that Swimming does a bit more than other sports, that kids could participate in such as soccer, football, or even dance. Kids that keep continuing to swim during the school year, end up quite academically accelerated.

So Why is Swimming Different?

When you think about swimming freestyle or backstroke, one arm reaches out in front of the head, while the other arm reaches down by the side of the body. This is called bilateral cross patterning movement. (You don’t see this in other sports!) Here, the right and left side of the body are doing movements opposite of each other. These movements help the brain develop connections between the parts of the brain that enable communication, feedback, and movement,” This was studied by Lana Whitehead, a lead swimming researcher and written in her study Water Smart Babies: Scientific Benefits of Baby Swim Lessons. The strokes such as backstroke & freestyle in swimming, help stimulate the brain, thus achieving better results in the child in their schoolwork.

The Griffith Study was also able to break it down further. Children who swim are 11 months ahead in oral expression, 6 months ahead in mathematical reasoning, 2 months ahead in brief reading, 17 months ahead in story recall, and 20 months ahead in understanding directions for the average 4-year-old as well as better mathematical scores in elementary school.

SO, when planning your schedule for the fall this year, and you want to give your child a boost in their schooling, include SWIMMING, and your child will thank you now, but also later on for their academic success!


Griffith University –

Lana Whitehead –

Ian R. Cumming and Karl J. New –

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