Sunday, May 20, 2012

Alex’s Swimming Lessons

We signed up Alex for his first swimming lessons at the health center this spring.  He loves to play in the water, and we wanted him to begin learning about water safety and basic swimming skills. 

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He took the level 1 class which met every Tuesday and Thursday evening for five weeks.  His teacher, Miss Nancy, and helper, Kailani, did an excellent job with a class of six kids ages 3 – 5.  The pictures above show Alex “swimming” across the pool with Kailani.

I had hoped to take more pictures, but we were informed that (for legal purposes) cameras are not allowed in the health center.  I am VERY jealous of the grandfather that took about 50 pictures before learning of that rule, but I’m glad I was able to get these two photos!

Jensyn and Max came along with me to each lesson.  Max is a little bit jealous that he’s not old enough for lessons yet.  You must be three years old, and even then, having watched another three year old “fail” level one classes, I don’t think it would be worth the price for Max to take lessons just yet.

Sometimes Daddy was able to come and watch; Grandma and Papa also made it to two lessons. 

With only a few exceptions, the children always wore a plastic floaty during the thirty minute lessons.  When swimming, they held a blue foam float.  They took turns swimming across the pool with their instructor or helper to learn basic swim skills.

For water safety, the children learned about types of life jackets, different ways of being pulled to safety by a lifeguard, safe ways for a child to help if someone is struggling in the water, why they should stay away from pool drains and filters, and how to WALK by a pool.

For skills, they learned to be dunked under water without fear, learned to blow bubbles in the water and to put their ears in the water, jumped off the side of the pool to their instructor, learned how to do the front crawl, and learned to swim on their back using “monkey-airplane-soldier” movements.  (No, they cannot do these independently, but they are building on these skills in future lessons.)

Alex was very fearful of swimming on his back, even though an instructor/helper holds you at all times.  By the last lesson, he was getting over that fear, but he still had a hard time doing the movements with both his hands and feet at the same time.

Alex’s favorite part – BY FAR – was the last 5 minutes of each lesson.  The kids were “set loose” (with their floaties) to collect floating foam fish.  He smiled, cheered, and “woo-hoo’d” through those last 5 minutes every time!

He received his completion certificate at the end of his last lesson.  He’ll be taking Level 2 lessons in June.  We have 2 weeks off from lessons, but Alex is very excited to get back there!

We don’t anticipate him being a strong or independent swimmer any time soon, but we’re glad that he knows basic skills and has learned more about water safety! 


Anonymous said...

Alex looks quite pleased with himself! Yay for completing the first level! I'm so behind on this! We are going to sign Sammy up for some this summer!!

Miss Courtney said...

The lessons sound very similar to what Bobo does at the Y. How do they teach dunking without fear, though? That is the one part Bobo still doesn't like.