It’s been a long time since I wrote my last swimming post. I’ve a few brewing, but just haven’t had the chance to put them down on paper.
N’s been swimming at normal pool lessons now for 5 weeks. I really wasn’t sure how he’d get on at making the transition from going swimming with me to being in the pool on his own especially given the ups and downs he’s had in the past. But it’s been brilliant. He’s been a real star and I think going swimming in the pool without me has given him a confidence boost.
These classes are very different. From never having worn a float aid, and being reliant on a woggle, parent or float (plus the occasional 1,2,3 or tunnel swims from teacher to parent and vice versa without an aid), he now has a float belt. Essentially it’s just a few foam float bars threaded on some cord and tied round the waist. Then as the swimming gets stronger, the float bars get removed until they can swim on their own. N’s tadpoles class just have the belts, while the younger children who have their class at the same time also have arm discs (well, apart from the one child who’s parent is obviously wedded to the old style arm bands which are so restrictive for movement!).
Once their belts are on, they sit on the side of the pool waiting to be told to climb in. They are so good. None get in before being told, they all wait and let themselves gently in. The two teachers who teach on the Saturday morning are so different. N’s is more gently spoken, less in your face, although he also likes the other teacher…mostly because she’s the one who everyone knows, and his cousin learns with her. Sometimes the teacher is in the pool with them, other weeks she stays on the side.
It’s funny watching the 2 classes happen concurrently. The younger class just want to do their own thing. Each week there’s a couple who never do what they’re told, and get squirted with water or told off. N’s class are much better, although N does have a tendency to be distracted and gaze around while he’s swimming…he starts drifting in the wrong direction then because he can’t multitask – looking round and kicking/arm doesn’t seem to work.
There’s also another ex-Water Baby from his old class, in the new class. They’re so funny. P likes to swim over to N and start chatting while they’re halfway across the pool, N’s a bit blasé about it, but happy enough to pootle. The others in the class he’s not fussed about at all. It’s all about the swimming, and they have to
Water Babies was a really good introduction for him. He’s been able to get straight into these lessons, and take part. What amazes me is that after all the grumbling and moaning, refusing to do certain activities in his Water Babies classes, now he’s in the pool on his own the teachers says ‘do a star float for the count of 10’ and he just does it. I don’t think there’s been anything that he’s refused to do. He swims on his back, star floats on his front and back, does one arm practice with the float and swaps arms to go back the other way. Everything! It really does seem like giving him a float belt that he doesn’t need to worry about, and putting him in the pool on his own has done wonders for him.
The one challenge now is to get him to put on a swimming hat. It’s a new rule that all the children have to wear a hat. N chose his colour, but we’re 2 weeks since the rule and so far, he’s refused. Last week the teacher said she’d put it on, but as soon as it was on, he whipped it off again. Oh dear. When I told him he’d not be able to swim, he retorted ‘that’s ok, I need to do work on the farm anyway’. Little beast!
How’ve yours taken to changing swimming lessons, or progressing to being in the pool on their own?