Aside from our kiddie pool in the backyard and the few visits to our friends' pool each summer, we don't do much swimming in our family. I don't like public pools, and MUCH prefer splash pads to pools. Because of this, putting Brianna in swim lessons has not been a priority for us. However, now that she's four years old, Chris and I both felt that learning to swim was an important life lesson that she needed to learn.
In the town where my sister and her family live, the school has a pool and offers swim lessons each summer. They are very reasonably priced, and my sister had already decided to enroll Chloe Jo in swim lessons this summer. We thought it would be fun for the girls if we enrolled them in the same class, so that's what we did!
When we were in Colorado for vacation in June, Brianna actually fell in the hotel pool. It was the shallow end - and Chris and I were both standing right there - but it was still kind of scary. It shook Brianna up for sure! This was prior to having swim lessons, and it just reinforced our conviction that swim lessons ARE important!
The lessons were Monday through Friday for the first two full weeks in July at 9:00am. We had to drive about 20 minutes to get there, so we left the house each day by about 8:35am. You wouldn't think this would be a big deal, but it was during this time that I was newly pregnant (weeks 8 and 9 and we had just found out that I was carrying twins). I was super sick almost every day - especially in the mornings - so getting all of us up and ready and out the door by 8:35am was tough. However, I powered through it, and we made it on time every day! It was pretty much all I could handle each day, but we made it!
Our sweet girls were so excited for their lessons!
The first day, I was kind of surprised because Brianna was a bit nervous. She did fine (unlike a few of the others that cried the whole time), but I could tell she was anxious. Chloe Jo also did great! Brenson, however, was a total pain! He cried on and off the whole time during the first lesson. I was so annoyed with him, but he didn't like being there (it was too loud for him) and he didn't like watching sister learn to swim. We plan to put him in lessons next year, so that should be interesting!
Learning to float:
Chloe Jo did so well! Sometimes, she has trouble adjusting to new things, but she rocked the swim lessons!
Learning to put our head and mouth under water:
Learning to propel with our feet:
In typical Brianna fashion, after about the first day or so she was totally comfortable and her spunky little self. One time, when the instructor was helping her in the pool for her turn to practice the skill, Brianna jumped in so crazy that she caught her foot in the top of the instructor's suit! She was also the first child to fall in the pool when she was supposed to be sitting on the edge, although I was pretty pleased that this didn't take place until the fourth day of class :-). Overall though, her behavior was good, and I was pleased with how she listened and followed instructions.
Each day, we were pretty much the first to arrive for lessons. There were 7 kids in the class, but several of them missed a few days or were late each day. Brianna and Chloe Jo would shower off, then sit and wait for their instructor and the rest of their class. They look like they're sharing secrets in this photo :-).
The classes were 50 minutes long, but the instructor spent the first 10 minutes going over pool safety with the kiddos.
They would warm up each day by hanging on to the side of the pool and kicking their feet.
On the last day of lessons, the instructor had this child dummy there to teach the kiddos a bit about rescue and CPR. This table was set up right where we walked in, and at first glance it freaked us out!
At the end of the last class, they had free play time as a reward for finishing the class. Brianna and Chloe Jo loved it!
After finishing all 10 classes, each pupil received a little certificate with the instructor's comments on it. Brianna will be in the same level of classes next year, but the instructor was very positive about her progress. It makes it hard when we don't have a place to practice her new skills, but I know that she'll be a good swimmer eventually! Of course, after getting her certificate, Brianna promptly dropped it on the wet ground, the ink smeared, and the paper was soaked! Ha!
Chloe Jo took better care of her certificate!
I am so thankful that we have the resources available to teach Brianna to swim! I think it's such an important life skill, and we will be enrolling both Brianna and Brenson in lessons again next year!