Last summer, I approached the swimming pool season with optimism. The pool can be tedious for the mothers of young children, as it frequently involves pacing around the shallow water, hovering over the littles. But, a year ago, I was feeling confident this was my break-out summer – the summer during which I would finally have a swimmer on my hands. My daughter Avery was five, and the summer before she had almost been swimming independently. I was sure that all she needed was a small push and she would be there.
I could not have been more wrong. Avery returned to the pool inexplicably terrified of the water. She would play happily in the shallow water, but any attempt to make her swim or put her head under water was a miserable failure. I purchased several swim lessons with the capable lifeguards at our pool, and I ended up pulling her out midway as she refused to do anything they asked of her. At this juncture, in case you are telling yourself I probably have a difficult child, I must tell you this was out of character for Avery. She is my obedient one, but she had a hard limit about swimming.
We ended up scrapping any attempts to teach Avery to swim last summer. But after a wasted summer, I was determined not to repeat the pattern this summer. This past January, I enrolled both my children in Let’s All Swim, a safety-based swim program which offers private swim lessons at the Light House in Oklahoma City and Key Health Institute in Edmond. We began at the beginning of February, and by March, both my children (6 and 3) were swimming. The instructors use a gentle but firm approach. They do not stop the lesson if a child is crying or resisting but keep going until the lesson is complete. Although I was worried about Avery’s reaction, she never cried or was upset. My younger daughter cried at the very beginning of her first lesson but never again. Everything is taught in increments, designed to help the kids feel comfortable. They immediately have the kids immerse their heads and practice keeping water out of their noses, progress to back-floating, and then add swimming. Safety is the foundation of everything they teach. During the first few lessons, both my girls learned to back float until their heads bumped the edge of the pool, and then to grip the pool edge and crawl to the steps. They also learn to flip to their backs anytime they are submerged under the water, lose control, need to breathe, or are tired. What they have mostly learned is confidence in the water. Let’s All Swim teaches them how to not be afraid of the water and how to cope in any situation.
Let’s All Swim has a few ground rules. Because their course is designed to be intensive, with the goal of getting your kid swimming quickly, they require you to purchase a minimum of twenty lessons to be competed in five weeks. We had two lessons a week. The repetition reinforces what they learn and allows them to build during each lesson. Each lesson is only fifteen minutes long. When I first heard that, I was skeptical about whether fifteen minutes would be enough. However, it is the perfect amount of time. Because the lessons are short, the teachers are able to command the kids’ full attention for the entire lesson. Even for my six-year-old, fifteen minutes is perfect. In addition, the short time slots allow for convenient scheduling – my kids meet with the same teacher in consecutive time slots, and we are in and out in less than an hour.
I heartily recommend Let’s All Swim to you regardless of your child’s comfort level in the water. They will get your children swimming confidently and safely. My own children are both swimming across the pool, jumping off the side, and generally feeling confident in their abilities. Avery, my child who was terrified of the water, just started an intermediate class focusing on stroke development and is learning the backstroke, the butterfly, and the breaststroke. Thank you, Let’s All Swim!
Let’s All Swim has private and group lessons, including Mommy and Me classes. Private lessons are available for any age over eighteen months. If you are interested in learning more, check out Let’s All Swim on their webpage or on Facebook.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Let’s All Swim written by Jamie. However, all opinions are 100% her own and we stand by Let’s All Swim in all that we endorse.