The girls had not had swimming lessons for a couple years, not since the spring of 2010 when they did their last lessons in Hamilton before we lost our ability to get the low-income rates because we were no longer Hamilton residents. So this summer it was time to break down, pay the normal rate and get them back at it. Matthew was also old enough to start the Swimmer 1 level so he started his first year of lessons. I find it a waste of money to put them in before they start the Swimmer 1 level as they usually get enough water exposure on their own and none of my kids have had a problem with not being able to keep up once they started the true swimming lessons. Matthew was scared of water for a little bit and just splashed along the edges, as did Rebecca when she was younger, but by time they are old enough to start the actual lessons they are plenty good at swimming and I didn’t waste my $45-$50 for the ABC level for them to learn to splash in water or to fight to get them in water because they’re scared of it.
The kids took lessons at the local outdoor pool and we were very impressed with the lessons they got. Much better then what we got in the city where the classes were so big that they spent more then half the time just hanging on the edge waiting for a turn. The ratio of teacher to kids here is pretty much 1 teacher for 2-3 kids in the first levels and it’s not until the older levels that they get up to 6 kids. In Hamilton most of the classes had closer to 10 kids.
Matthew did really well with his lessons and it was good that the other child in the class was an excellent little swimmer that gave him incentive to work hard and keep up. During the second week of lessons she started them on Swimmer 2 items since they were both ready to progress.
The girls also did well with their lessons and enjoyed their teacher and how she got in the water with them and worked with them … the last couple levels they had in Hamilton the teacher mostly just stood on the side and yelled at them what to do.
The biggest challenge for both the girls was learning to dive … Rebecca needed a bit more work on this but with some extra practice (staying for public swimming) she got the hang of this and both girls were able to progress to Level 5 next year.
Diving through the rings (there are actually two, the one she’s holding up and one laying on the water) really helped the girls to figure out where to dive and how to jump out a bit before they go down.
I wasn’t looking forward to the two weeks of going to lessons as I find it ties you down part of the summer, but I guess I gotta just accept that and learn to work with it now that we live in the country and the indoor pools are too far away to do weekly lessons. Thankfully I booked soon enough that all the kids could go at the same time and we mostly had good weather except the last few lessons it cooled down and rained (much needed rain) and then Matthew wasn’t so interested in going anymore.