Monday, June 30, 2008

First Day of Swimming Lessons

After my lecture about riding bikes in their own time, are you shocked that I am forcing this on them at such young ages?

Actually, I have to say that it is one of the few things that I think my mom did right when we were little. My older brother, sister, and I were all required to take swimming lessons every summer until we were very strong swimmers. All three of us took lessons until we could swim the mile and pass water safety certification. Growing up in West Michigan, you are always going to be around water and you just HAVE to learn to be comfortable. It's not about leisure, it's about safety.

So, this morning we headed out.

I love the Grandville Community Ed swim program. All of the instructors are teenagers and they pretty much MAKE the kids do whatever they tell them. Last year it bothered me at first, but it really does get the kids swimming and lets them know who is in charge right from the start.

Last year, Noah was a bit timid and scared to go into the deep water by himself. We had full fledged crying a few times. By the end of the first session he was starting to get it.

So I put him into another two weeks to make sure he kept up with it. By the end of the 2nd two weeks, he was jumping off the diving board and TRYING to do what the teacher asked of him without complaint.

If you can see in this picture from last year, the instructor is actually helping him get through the deep end.

But THIS morning, a whole different Noah emerged. The kid was awesome. In a group with two other boys his age, they were jumping off the diving board and swimming all the way to the shallow end where the teacher/teenager was waiting for them. Not only that, he was actually SMILING while doing it. Amazing what a difference a year can make.

Last year every class end was "Do we have to come back tomorrow?" and this year it's "CAN we come back tomorrow?"

Aaron had to wait on the bleachers last year. But this year, at three years old, he can take class at the same time. The teenagers/teachers are very good at assessing their level right away and putting them in the right spot.

He and I took a class last year as a mommy and me but he did so well that Miss Gayle pretty much took over and he did pretty well.

Here he is with his teacher last year.

This morning he was VERY nervous. He kept asking the instructors "What if I sink?" I was fully expecting screaming from him but he actually did fine. He was with another little boy his age and was excited to show the other boys how to blow bubbles. Tomorrow they will send him off the diving board so we'll see what happens. When I tried to get him to do it last weekend, he went out halfway and turn abound. The instructors don't LET them do that during class. They actually DROP them into the deep end if they hesitate.

Although it will be a very busy week (I'll share with you tomorrow), it will be a good diversion and hopefully tire them out so they sleep well at night.


Chris said...

Go jump off that Diving board with Gusto... we have been taking a break from the lessons and trying a few new things...right now tap and gymnastics... Diva-J has never really liked getting her face that has been a bit of a sticking point for us in the whole swimming lessons...

Courtney said...

It's funny that you mentioned the safety issue because when I read the "are you shocked part," I thought, "No this is about safety no if they can do it faster than other kids." I guess we think alike.

Tammy said...

I think swimming lessons are a great idea. I'm a horrible swimmer.

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

I'm glad it's going so well so far! I've got to get the girls signed up. said...

What a great mom you are!

Organizing such fun events all summer... WOW!

Good swimming is good safety--
my kiddo's love the water it helps them feel comfortable! (We tend to be natural floaters...)

Becky said...

I think it's great to teach the kiddos to swim when they're young.

I grew up in Washington State, near the Puget Sound and lots of lakes, and see the value of kids learning to swim young...if nothing else to know how to do the backstroke and doggie-paddle.