Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Summer of the Swim Lesson

I declared this year to be the summer of the Swim Lesson.  Finn, due to his sensory issues, has always, always, disliked getting his face, hair, ears, etc., wet.  Washing hair during bath time has always been......difficult.  However, I am of the opinion, that swimming is an essential skill to learn.  And swimming, as you know, requires getting your face wet.  Very, very wet.

Last year, we did some parent and toddler/preschooler swim lessons.  While they were good, we did not do them long enough for Finn to become comfortable in the water.  This summer, I signed the kids up for six weeks of lessons, with classes Monday-Thursday.  I wasn't sure how long it would take, but by jingo, that child of mine would learn to be comfortable with a wet face.

It took a week and a half.  I was actually surprised by the quickness.  I think the process was aided significantly by his little sister showing a lack of fear/anxiety/reluctance to get her face wet.  During Enna's class, Finn would throw rings into the pool for Enna and I to submerge and get.  He had a great time and so did Enna.  However, I told Finn that the next day, he would need to practice diving for rings while I held him.  Before class the next day, Finn and I practiced grabbing the rings from the bottom of the pool.  For the first couple of times, he clung tightly.  But after a few times, he was fine.  More surprising, he started initiating going under the water himself.  He started putting his head fully underwater for the bobs, and while he was practicing his skills with the teacher, he would put his face underwater too.  That was it!  From that point on, he grew more and more confident and as such, he rapidly progressed in swimming.  By the end of the six weeks, he was swimming by himself with his face fully in the water.  I have been amazed at his progress.  As an added bonus, rinsing hair at bath time has also become less of an ordeal.

Enna, too, has shown a lot of improvement.  She is just like a little duck paddling along, with me giving her only a little support.  She, too, overcame some apprehension about jumping into the pool unassisted.  Now, I have to watch out or she will jump in while my back is turned.  

The last day of each two-week session is slide day.  The kids who are still learning their strokes or are too young, wear life-jackets and the teachers/lifeguards man the deep-end, and the kids can spend the class jumping of the diving board or going down the water slide.  The kids loved it.  Luckily, Mr. F. worked second shift on the last week of swimming lessons so he was able to see the kids in their lessons and go down the slide with them.

Now though, I am glad the six weeks are over.  It was quite busy to get everyone dressed and slathered with sunscreen each morning and then bathed afterwards.  I like the slower pace of the mornings now.  I don't have to stress about homeschool finishing by a certain time.  We will probably continue swim lessons for Finn in the fall.  We need something for P.E.,  and I want to make sure we engrain those skills more solidly before next summer.  I don't relish explaining to Enna why she won't be able to get in the pool as well.

More pictures here.

1 comment:

RFamily said...

So glad the lessons were such a success. Slide day was a highlight for us as well :)


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