Thursday, June 11, 2015

Swimming Lessons 2015

We had a good time watching Bridget and George on their last day of swimming lessons for the summer. The swim school we attend holds 2-week sessions where the kids take lessons four days per week for a total of eight lessons. This was Bridget's third year and George's first.
The first two days were spent getting the children used to the water. Luckily, we had just gotten back from Myrtle Beach the day before so the kids were used to being in a pool and playing in the water.
By Wednesday of the first week, the children are expected to put their face in the water. If they have not yet done this, the instructor will put their faces in for them. This day is known as "dunk day". Some parents might not like this method, but it works. I'm more of a "tough love" type of mom anyway. I don't like seeing my kids cry (which Bridget certainly did on her very first year of swim lessons), but the long-term goal of learning to swim and being comfortable with your face getting wet is far more important.
From Wednesday on, George got upset when I'd drop him off (parents are not allowed to stay by the pool, as it can be distracting for the children). On one of the days, he must have sobbed the entire hour. It hurt my feelings but I knew he was in good hands.
On Tuesday of the second week, they learned about life jacket safety. They learned to jump in the pool with a life jacket on (to imitate fall off a boat), get used to how a life jacket feels when you're in the water, how to float on your back, etc. After using the life jackets, they learned how to rescue a fellow swimmer who may have fallen into the pool or off a boat by using a towel, throwing it into the water, and pulling the person to safety and yelling for a lifeguard to help. 

George with his life jacket.
Bridget 'rescuing' her swim instructor
George did really good for his first year of learning to swim. He kicks really well and did his very best on the arm strokes. He had some really nice instructors this year. Both Summer and Peggy were able to cheer him up after I dropped him off and once he was in the water swimming around, I could see he trusted them and had a lot of fun.

Bridget was lucky to have one of her same teachers from last year. She's not too fond of having boy teachers, but she was happy and comfortable with Thomas again. Her other teacher, Lauren, was also really good with Bridget. I'm glad that Bridget looked forward to going to swimming lessons each day.

At the end of each class, the kids get to go down the slide. The bigger kids get to start at the top but the smaller kids get put about halfway, then gently guided down to their instructors arms. George loved this part and was always smiling when he came to get his towel.

The kids certainly enjoyed these past two weeks of swimming lessons. Now I hope we can keep working on those skills for the rest of the summer. As hot as it has been lately (today, it's in the 90s!), I'm tempted to go out and buy an adult sized pool for all of us to enjoy.

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