Okay, we’ve tried. On several occasions. In different pools, different circumstances.
But we have not been successful in teaching the kids how to swim.
Now how can we be swimmers and our kids don’t swim?! That’s totally unheard of.
The furthest we got (so far) was teaching Ethan how to blow bubbles and Hannah how to move with arm floats.
Sigh. Epic fail.
Then some friends were saying that kids would learn much better and faster with a swim coach. Refusing to believe this but also curious to give it a shot, I contacted this well-recommended swim coach and arranged for some lessons for Ethan and Hannah. After all, they were on holiday now so swimming lessons seemed like the perfect thing to do.
We decided on combined lessons at first despite their age gap, and also because I figured it would be more conducive for me, taking the kids by myself to the pool with a baby in tow.
So first lesson started off okay. The kids were kicking happily and then the coach moved to teaching them how to blow bubbles underwater. Hannah had some water enter her nose and she shut out completely. Didn’t want to continue and said she didn’t want to learn how to swim anymore.
Ethan, on the other hand, continued with the lesson and at the end of the 45 minutes, he could already float. In his own words, Ethan said, “Mommy, floating in the water is like MAGIC!”
As for Hannah, after we came home and had a short chat with her, she said she would prefer individual lessons, so from the 2nd lesson onwards, the kids were on individual lessons.
And what a transformation that was.
After the second lesson, with some 1:1 coaching, our little Hannah was able to float and kick and move! She even says, “I’ve changed my mind now, Mommy. I LOVE swimming lessons!”
Well, that’s certainly half the battle won!
They have completed 4 lessons thus far, with 6 more to go each. So far, they can both move while kicking in the water, and Ethan can do the wall push too. Both Ethan and Hannah are also more confident in the water and they can open their eyes underwater now. They are also perfecting their “float on the back” technique : something I like to call “facing your fear”.
Ethan can kick and move quite far in the water now…very proud of both of them!
Before they began their coaching sessions, the coach did not promise me that the kids would learn how to swim like a fish at the end of the 10 sessions, but he did say that the kids would be taught water confidence and would be able to float. Based on their progress thus far, I could not be happier..!
After he started to float and move in the water, Ethan asked, “Mommy, why didn’t YOU teach me how to float and blow bubbles??”
“But I did! I tried but no one would listen!” I said. Duh.
And just in case your were wondering, yes, I take all three kids out on my own for the swim lessons. Emma loves playing with sand, when she’s not busy drinking milk or munching on dried cranberries.
Well, if I am adventurous this coming week, I might change Emma into her bathing suit and let her paddle in the water a little. We’ll see.