Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Swim Lessons

A couple years ago when we were living with my parent's for a short time my younger brother, Brennan, gave Payson private swim lessons. He was a life guard and my parents had a pool in the backyard so it was easy. Jack was still a baby and we spent pretty much every day in their pool. Payson started to jump off the steps and side of the pool when I wasn't ready (I was usually holding the baby) so she either needed to learn to swim or she was going to drown. She was just getting too brave.

Brennan taught her the basics and we've continued with that every summer since. Both of my kids have just always been natural fish, but Jack has never had any swim lessons of any kind and Payson seemed to be forgetting things she'd learned a while ago. So we decided to sign up for swim lessons here at our local rec center all summer! It would help the kids stay safe in the water and give us something else to do to keep busy this summer!

The kids had their first 2 week session earlier this month. We paid for the regular group classes, but because sign ups for the particular time we chose were slim and because the teachers were training new swim teachers we really got private one on one lessons. I wasn't complaining!!

Parent/Child classes are required until age 4 so I get to be in the water with Jack until next summer. At his first class the first thing his teachers, Miss Mary and Mr. Brandon, asked him was if he liked putting his face in the water. He shook his head no and clung tighter to me. He doesn't freak out like some kids do when you put him under water or splash water in his face but it's not his favorite thing either. But within a few days his teachers had him sticking his head all the way under completely on his own blowing bubbles and ENJOYING it!!

On his last day his teacher gave him his "report card" and left him a note calling him a "Wild Child" because he would go crazy putting his head in the water. He would throw his head back and then slam it back into the water to blow bubbles which scared us all to death! We worried about him slamming his face onto the bottom or side of the pool many times! But he loved it! He passed almost everything in his level so we'll mostly be working on his floating the rest of this summer. He's good at floating and kicking on his own with a life jacket or floaty of some sort, but hopefully he'll float on his own by the end of this summer!

Here's Jack showing Mommy how strong he is with one of the other classes floaty things. (By the way, "floaty things" is the technical name.)

Payson was so excited for swim lessons! She learned to swim when she was about 3. Not well, but well enough that she could get herself to the side of the pool if she fell in or she could jump off the diving board and swim to me if I was right there. But every summer she has forgotten and we have to completely start over. So I figured she'd need plenty of time to figure out level one this summer.

On Payson's third day of lessons one of her teacher's found me with Jack and let me know that she was being moved up with the older kids. They said she was a natural and later I heard some of the life guards telling each other that she should be on the swim team someday. :) I beamed with pride. Payson was so excited to hear that because Uncle Brennan was, and Aunt Madie and Aunt Maren are on the swim team. Of course she wants to be just like them.

Of course when she saw her brother posing she had to join in. :)

So instead of working on floating and learning to blow bubbles and breathe in the water and such, Payson is learning strokes and kicks and things. And she loves it!! You should see her back crawl. I was seriously surprised to see her do so well. Not that I don't have confidence in my children, I just didn't know they would pick this up so quickly!

Here she is showing me (in the shallow end) how she floats on her back).

The kids warm up together before lessons. They stretch and practice some strokes and then separate into classes. Jack wouldn't do it at first. Then he would only do it if I stood with him. But by the second week he was telling me to go sit down and leave him alone. :)

Oh! And here's a little video of Jack blowing his bubbles. And crazy enough, this was mild because he was busy playing.

Anyway, we can't wait for nest month's session to start! I love watching my kids grow up and learn new things. And I love the smiles on their faces as they develop confidence in themselves and their ability to learn. It is so rewarding to be their mother!!

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