Meet the Sullivans: Swim, Swim, Swimming Class

June 11, 2014

Swim, Swim, Swimming Class

A few weeks ago Owen completed his second session of swim lessons. His first session was last Summer, so this was his first go 'round for this year. Our plan is to take at least one more session this Summer and to keep practicing at least once a week on our own. As a mom, the water terrifies me. And because I know that Owen is fearless near the water, mI am even more scared, and thus motivated to teach him to swim.

He has loved swimming since his very first swim during his first summer. He is a little fishy in the water and could swim all day if we let him!

During this session his teacher, Teacher Laurie, taught the children things like floating on their backs (only likes it when he decides to do it on his own, not when I make him), blowing bubbles in the water (totally mastered this a long, long time ago), pulling themselves out of the pool using their elbows / tummy / knees (hates this because he wants to stay in the pool), dunking under the water and swimming with arms out to the wall / mom / the bar (this is his favorite part) and lots more.

She also taught the children the Slippery Fish song, which we are now singing multiple times a day! 

The last few classes in our session were rough for Owen. He got to a point I think were he just thought he could do it on his own and just wanted to practice instead of being in his class. He would scream, kick and cry "Let me go!" during most of the class, which was hard.

We may have the only child in the world who likes to be dunked under the water.

Right now we have a Monday morning routine with Keith where we all go to the gym together. We check Owen into the childcare while we do our workouts, and then when we're all done we go swimming together. When asked which he prefers, Owen always chooses the indoor pool (our gym has an indoor pool, an outdoor pool and a kiddie pool), but he has a lot more fun playing in the kiddie pool outside with the other children.

Lately he has been dunking himself under the water (even in shallow water, like the bath at home or in the kiddie pool) and kicking his legs like a frog to get some momentum. This works fine in the shallow water because when he doesn't really go anywhere he can just stand up. He's getting better and better at this, so pretty soon I think he'll really be able to move this way. He really likes to use his Stearns Kids Puddle Jumper Basic Life Jacket, because it gives him some more independence in the pool, but we prefer not to use it since it gives him a false sense of security. It's great when we're in a big pool with a lot of kids and it gives my arms a break since I can stand with him and let him float in the big pool instead of trying to keep a grip on him while he squirms around saying, "Let me GO, Mommy! Let me SWIM!". He's also borrowed a pair of goggles and really loved using them, so we might have to add a pair to our collection of water stuff.

Owen is not quite ready for the next level of swimming lessons yet. He will be taking his third session of the Water Babies class starting next month and will hopefully be moving on to the Water Wigglers class after that. He has a few swimming skills to master before moving on up to the next level.

Skills mastered:
Ability to follow directions,
Developing social skills, working in a group / taking turns
Develop balance on kickboards
Assisted water entry with head down swim to parent

Skills not met: 
Comfortable and assisted back floats
Assisted swims
Unassisted water entry
Unassisted head down swim to instructor
Unassisted head down swim to platform
Unassisted head down swim to wall
Ability to work without parent in the water

I think the main issue here is getting Owen to do what he is supposed to do instead of what he wants to do. This is likely a personality thing that I'll have to work with him on for most of his life since he can be so very stubborn!

Overall we've be so so so proud of Owen in the water! I love watching him swim because I know he feels really great about himself when he make progress. He is really SO happy in the water and it is great exercise for him!!


Tawnya Faust said...

Oh so fun! I love your morning routine! I really need to put Scarlett in swimming lessons this fall :) I think she would love it!

Sara {Rhapsody and Chaos} said...

So awesome -- love the pics, too. I really need to get Kiernan in a swimming class before we hit the beach this summer!

Happily Ever Parker said...

So good to teach them young. My nephew is almost 8 and still pretty scared of the water!

hello erin said...

he looks SO BIG!!! and lex looooooves being dunked too (well until some mysterious thing happened at swim lessons that scared her enough that she never ever wants to go back again). i hope he continues to love the water this much!! SO FUN!!!!

Ashley Brickner said...

He is too precious, love his smile!!

Courtney [Sweet Turtle Soup] said...

I wish Aria would blow some water bubbles. She sucks in as soon as water gets near her face, which kind of the wrong approach kid! She needs some professional swim help, mama clearly isn't cutting it.

Elizabeth [Chasin' Mason] said...

You can see through the pictures just how much he loves being at the pool! We just signed Mason up for his first round of swim lessons and I'm really excited about it. Hopefully he loves it as much as Owen!

Jenny said...

He's doing so great with his swim skills!!! I think following directions and waiting his turn are huge skills in or out of the water and it's so awesome he's doing well! I can't wait to get Callie back into swim lessons once we move to our new house!

Chrissy@SimpleJoysBlog said...

Those are the most adorable photos! He is too cute for words. I love that you documented all that he has learned!