This all started because I have been trying to take the kids to the pool this summer. I had no idea how difficult it would be to take both of them to the pool by myself, when neither knows how to swim. Preston is sometimes happy in his raft, but he also likes to get out and move around in the shallow end by himself. Of course Bennett is all over the place, and needs to be watched at all times. Though she isn't a dare devil in the water, and typically doesn't do things beyond her skill level, she also doesn't understand what she can and can't do near the water. For example, she loves to jump from the side of the pool to us, but we aren't always ready. So we decided that this was for her safety.
Water Safe is a national program that teaches skills and techniques to people ages 10 days to any age adult. The children go every day for 10 days for one hour. There are seven other kids in her class, and they each get about 4 turns to do the same things over and over again. The instructor teaches them to kick and move their arms, float on their backs (to relax themselves and rest), jump from the side and then grab the side (for safety of course), and as they become more confident swimmers, then breathing skills. For more information on the program, here is their website: http://www.watersafe.com/
Bennett started the class on Monday and still cries every time the instructor grabs her from me, and sometimes when she uses the "sink or swim" technique. Though she isn't afraid of the water, she is timid around strangers, so I think the instructor scares her more than anything. In between each of her turns, she is happy and content watching the other kids. These videos are from today (day 3), and she has slightly improved since Monday. Initially she didn't move her legs or arms, and if she did, she moved both legs together like a mermaid. You can still see some of that in these videos, but she is slowly learning the correct way to move in the water.
We plan to post another video or two next Friday at the end of her 2 week course. We are hoping that she will love to swim, and actually know how to do it on her own... keep your fingers crossed for us!