Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with SafeSpalsh swim schools, i received 1 month of complimentary lessons for my children. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
I have been swimming since about the age of 5. I went to a summer camp for 5 years in a row, every day we did swimming down at the lake. I am so thankful for that experience because it set me up not only for safety but fun too! I want to provide the same positive swimming experience for my children and here is how I am trying to accomplish that...
The sooner you can enroll your children in lessons the better but if like me you didn't have access to them or they were too expensive you can follow these tips. Thankfully, I was able to partner up withSafeSplash Swim Schools and enrolled the children last month. However I am certain that because I had been doing the following things they were much more successful in their lessons and got the most out of the 30 minute group classes.
1: We Use Life Jackets
As babies I had taken Naliya and Aarlen to the pool and beach but it wasn't until Naliya was 3 that i got her a life jacket. I wasn't a traditional life jacket in the classic vest style, this style is called apuddle jumper. Aarlen got his sooner at 1 year old.It was the best thing I could have purchased for my baby. Although it provided the same safety and security of the classic life jacket it allowed more freedom to feel like an independent swimmer.
2: I'm Encouraging
Although they had floats both still had there moments where they felt afraid or wanted to cling to me. I tried to be as encouraging as possible so that their confidence in the water would grow. Having lots of patience helps too. By mostly using affirming phrases and praises along the way they became more and more comfortable in large bodies of water, especially Aarlen.
3. I Give Simple Lessons
Each time we visited the pool I would give the kids simple and short swim lessons. We started with a little water play. Then I taught them to blow bubbles in the water with their nose. I also would have them hold the wall of the pool and kick the surface of the water. I would hold them at the waist so they can practice doing strokes, kicks and floating like a sea star. Things like motorboating, floating and bobbing their face in the water made for fun but teaching at the same time. l did it all in between singing, playing and splashing so that it didn't feel like they were learning at each pool visit.
Last year at 5 Naliya took off her "floaty" for the first time and began attempting to swim without it a few second at a time. Aarlen started doing canon balls while wearing his "floaty".
4. I Enrolled Them in Swim Class
I know swim lessons can be expensive but there are really great options via Groupon and your local YMCA. If You are in the north Jersey area SafeSplash is a wonderful swim school here in New Jersey with competitive rates. The kids loved their lessons. We went once a week for a month, each group lesson was 30 minutes and because these were their first lessons they got to do it together.
SafeSplash has 5 locations in NJ and over 100 across the us, SafeSplash Swim Schools offers swim camps. special needs swimming, swim team conditioning, birthday parties and adult swim lessons.
The SafeSplash teaching philosophy is based on four core components:
At SafeSplash, we believe swimming is a life skill®. Therefore, we approach each one of our swim lessons with great skill, care, passion and individual attention. When learning at SafeSplash, every student gets the benefit of a curriculum that has been tested and proven over 4 million times in our schools throughout the country. Experience what it's like to take swim lessons at SafeSplash by watching our awesome video, SafeSplash Lessons from a Kid’s Perspective to get the full underwater experience!
We enjoyed our lesson and will probably do another month this summer. Naliya really benefited from that one month of lessons. During our vacation last week she was swimming significantly well, felt confident and comfortable. She was able to swim from the bench in the low side to the bench in the deep side.
She knew to swim alongside the wall to hold on if she was out of breath and during one lap she was out of breath came up for air and continued to swim underwater until she reached the bench. I was very proud of her and happy that she had the opportunity to have the lessons at SafeSplash.
The SafeSplash Curriculum
Our curriculum consists of 11 unique teaching levels, each designed to teach a set of skills that build upon the skills taught in the prior level. This progressive teaching approach allows a student to learn to swim at a pace that is comfortable and individualized. It optimizes the pace of skill attainment and skill retention while creating a learning environment that is fun. For more information on our teaching levels click here to use our class level wizard and determine the appropriate level that is the right starting point for your student.
The primary objective of each one of our class levels is as follows. All levels also include a focus on a specific set of safety skills that is appropriate for that level:
All instructors are trained and certified, you also have the option of working with the instructor you feel most comfortable with or that your child prefers. I think that is important because we all learn differently or learn to like one instructor more than the other, the key is comfort. If your child feels comfortable and safe in the water, they will have a more successful and enjoyable experience learning to swim.
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I'M ALICIA GIBBS
Faith + Family!
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