G and E had their final swim lessons last Thursday, and they walked away after eight sessions more confident in the water.
G became pretty much a master at freestyle, after we had to talk his instructor out of trying to teach him butterfly until he was a confident swimmer in the most basic stroke. He can't quite get how to breathe at his side, but by the end, he was at least able to stick his head out of water (straight in front of him), grasp a quick breath and keep going without putting his feet down. Our main goal with him was just to get him to be confident in the water, so this summer, he'll be able to go down the big slides at the pool, come out in the deep end and be able to make it safely to the side of the pool. As some of you might remember, we had some serious issues at the pool last year with his day care (where he will NOT be returning this year). With his new, old day care (the one he went to for a few years as a young little boy), he'll be going to the pool as well. We want to make sure he's confident in the water. I think we're set. And for this paranoid mama, it goes a long way to know that he will be able to keep himself afloat this summer. (I have nightmares about my kids drowning.)
Here's G with his instructor, Paul, and his goodie bag at the last session. G remembered that goodie bag from the last time we did this a year ago. A few little gifts make an impression with him! :o)
We had some issues this year with the group sessions, only because G was the youngest and least experienced swimmer in his group this time around. The others in his group were probably two or three years older and masters at freestyle before the sessions even began. I think they would have been better off on a swim team, rather in swim lessons. It kind of left G on the sidelines, and we had to remind his instructor a couple of times that he wasn't ready to move on if he couldn't swim the most basic stroke. But things got better along the way, and we ended up happy with our little man's progress.
For E's group, they worked on kicking while holding onto the side of the wall, floating on their backs, treading water, going to the bottom of the pool and working on elementary backstroke basics (chicken, airplane, soldier). Hers was pretty straight-forward…no problems at all. She was a trooper. Generally a very shy child, she overcame her hesitancies for the most part and did everything she was asked…eventually. There were a couple of days she didn't want to go to the bottom of the pool, but she did on some days, and she was able to successfully float on her back alone, go underwater to get rings off the platform and do everything else. Way to go, big girl!
E and her instructor, Megan:
If you live around here, we'd highly recommend the swim lessons at Plainfield Aquatic Center. The older the kids, the more likely they'll be grouped with kids of different abilities, though, as we discovered, so with G next time, we'll probably pay a little extra and get him one-on-one instruction times. We'd probably get more for our money that way. But for E, and for G last year (when he was paired with just one other kid who was at the same level he was), the group lessons were well worth the money. Sessions are ongoing, year-round, and you don't have to be a Plainfield resident to take them. Have fun!