Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Swim Lessons

Ever since we moved into our house two years ago, with the neighborhood pool just beyond our backyard, we've intended to get Kate some swimming lessons, but it just never happened. I do get nervous when my kids are in and around the water, especially because they are so brave.

From her first experiences in pools, Kate generally shunned her baby float, preferring just to lunge forward into the water unencumbered. She's had floats and vests she's liked more in recent years, gradually getting more independent, but doesn't know how to hold her breath or anything. And now that Claire is joining her sister in throwing caution to the wind, my anxiety when we're at the pool (especially if it's just one parent with both girls) has increased.

So, we finally bit the bullet and rejoined the Y (Matt has been a member for a while, but I haven't since before Kate was born) and found that there are baby classes as well as preschool and older kid classes! We signed up for a four-week session and have classes for both girls each Saturday morning!

Claire's is first and is a parent/child class, so I'm in the water with her and all the other parents and babies/toddlers (ages 6-36 months), moving her around as we sing songs and rhymes. Claire seems to enjoy it, especially the "tick-tock" of bobbing back and forth to get them used to having their ears wet, and learning how to climb out of a pool on their own ("elbow-elbow-tummy-knee"), then jumping back in ONLY when Mommy counts 1-2-3-JUMP! (Important for kids to learn not to jump in when their grown-up is not ready!)

Kate has been SO excited about her swim lessons, she was doing her own "swim lessons" in the baby pool earlier this summer, practicing going underwater with her goggles on and all. We worried she would get nervous when she was actually there with the other kids, teachers, noise, and all that, but she LOVED it, right from the start.

After the first lesson and for the whole week following, we heard this litany:
"I've got church day, then one school day, two school days, three school days, four school days, five school days, THEN MY NEXT SWIMMING LESSON!"

"Or, you could just say, 'Next Saturday,'" I told her.
"Is that the same thing?"

Kate's class is ages 3-5, with three teachers, and they split them up by age, so with only one other four-year-old, Kate basically has a semi-private lesson. The teacher just raved about how well Kate was doing, saying it was obvious she is in the water regularly and that she does either gymnastics or ballet (good sense of her own body). She couldn't wait to practice kicking and blowing bubbles at the neighborhood pool during the week.

We had the second lesson this past Saturday, and Granna got to come to watch (and take these pictures for me!) I worked out during most of Kate's lesson, but came back in just in time to see her dive down to the bottom (with the teacher's help) and pick up a ring off the bottom of the pool!

Kate can't wait until Saturday rolls around again—she'll be so sad when swim lessons are over!


Mom-to-Be Hewitt said...

So cute and glad they're both taking lessons they enjoy. I want to do a water class when Jellybean Hewitt is 6 months old and have been discussing it with a few women I know from my prenatal water aerobics class. I'm very impressed that Kate retrieved a toy from the bottom of the pool! It sounds like she's taking to swimming like a duck to water!

aabegs cabalde said...

With my positive teaching methods, I can say I can teach my kids at home too. Thanks for your tips.


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