SWIM LESSONS!

by Rebecca on July 6, 2011

 I am interrupting my 6 month streak of no posting on this blog to tell everyone how thrilled I am with the new swim lessons we have started with Annie and Luke.  My older three kids have taken swim lessons before.  They’ve had a few different teachers.  They’ve done group lessons and private lessons.  And I’ve been very happy with all of them.  But I have never been quite as excited as I am now.   
 I heard a little bit about swim lessons for babies and young kids years ago, but I never knew that much about it or ever took the time to look into it.  Man, I really wish I had!  It could have possibly spared me one of the most traumatic experiences of my life when I was moments away from loosing one of my kids to drowning.
 We spend a lot of time around water, and when summer started again, I just decided that I needed to find out more about these lessons so that Luke especially could learn some skills to help him if ever an accident were to occur. 
 I did a little research that led us to Robyn.  In the words of Annie, “I LOVE Robyn!”  She has been amazing with Luke and Annie both, and I have been amazed at how much they have progressed.  After twelve 15 minute lessons, Annie has gone from doggie-paddling around the pool to being able to swim 5 different strokes the length of the pool, float on her back, dive to the bottom of the pool a few feet deep, and dive off of the diving board.  Luke can float on his back by himself (although he still doesn’t like to do it, he can!), will willingly put his entire face in the water to swim or grab toys, can kick his legs and move his arms enough to swim a short distance, find the side of the pool and climb out by himself.  He is still not to the point where I don’t worry about him in the water, but the progress he has made is amazing, and I know that as we continue practicing and taking more lessons, he will be an independent swimmer before I know it!   
 
 These classes are not the cheapest ones out there, in fact, this is the most money I have ever paid for swimming lessons, but I have not regretted a penny of what I’ve spent.  If I knew about these lessons sooner, I would have had all of my kids taking them from the time they were 6 months old! 
 
SwimKids is the name of the company that helped me to find Robyn.  They have classes in the Salt Lake area, and Robyn teaches in Orem.  If you don’t live in Utah, here is a list of other teachers around the country.  If you want any more information, just let me know.  I would be so happy to have someone else benefit from what we’ve found!    
 
You’ll notice on the videos with Luke, he cries quite a bit.  I was a little nervous to have him do these lessons before we began, because I didn’t want to force him to do something that scared him, and I didn’t want to traumatize him so that he became afraid of the water.  In general, I’m not a huge fan of forcing babies to do things that are frightening for them.  I don’t feel that way at all about these lessons for a few reasons.  First of all, I don’t think he is scared.  The very first lesson he cried the entire 15 minutes, and I think he was scared and nervous then about what was going on.  But I don’t think he is really that scared anymore.  He knows exactly what to expect, and he knows it will be a lot of hard work for him to do it.  He cries in anticipation of the work he knows he’s about to do.  I think he probably feels the most nervous about floating, because it is the hardest thing for him to do, but if you watch him on the video, you will see that he completely trusts Robyn and will listen to her and respond to what she says.  Most of the time he is crying “Ring, ring!” because he wants to do the easiest/most fun part of swim lessons for him, which is to drop the diving rings onto the stairs and pick them up.  Even if I did think he was scared of the lessons, I would still do them, because I think that having a realistic idea of what ‘being in the water’ means is important for young kids.  And since I believe that he is learning skills that may save his life, the value of that is worth a lot to me.  I’ve also been very happy with how calmly and kindly Robyn has handled his crying.  Fortunately, these lessons have given him a much greater confidence in the water.  He now will immerse himself in the water willingly when he is swimming for fun.  He will play games involving the skills he practiced with Robyn, and he loves the water even more than he did before.  Annie, on the other hand, has adored her lessons with Robyn since day one.  I originally signed her up for 8 lessons, and Luke for 12, and she was so heart-broken when her last lesson was done (and I was so happy with how much she was learning), that I signed her up for more.   

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On a side note, I am SUPER happy tonight, because Utah just had one of those rare (for here) PERFECT thunderstorms that I absolutely love!!!  One of my favorite things about Maryland is that all summer long we have fabulous thunderstorms almost every summer evening.  In Utah, rain is rare, and a good thunderstorm is even more rare, but tonight, the rain came pouring down in sheets as a light, cool breeze blew, yet the air was still warm.  The thunder was so loud it seemed to shake the ground, and when the lightning came, it lit the sky as bright as noon with a perfect zig-zag shooting across the sky, and the outline of the mountains highlighted in the background.  It smelled clean and cool and like summer.  I was putting Luke to bed when it started, but I had to get up and bring him with me to experience it.  We just sat on our front porch for over 20 minutes taking it all in.  If my boys didn’t have to be up by 6 am for Scout camp and Annie wasn’t sick, I would have woken them up too.  Andrew said I was a bit nutty, but I just can’t help myself when a great thunderstorm is going on!  Does anyone else love thunderstorms like me?
Well…now I remember why I’m not that great at blogging…it takes me so long to complete one post!…but I do have a lot of pictures I’ve taken, and we have had a lot of adventures, so maybe I’ll have some more posts coming soon…?!

{ 7 comments }

ERK, MRK, & GRK July 6, 2011 at 8:50 am

We love your posts Becca! Oh I so wish we were there to experience the thunderstorm, sounded amazing. Thanks for the post on swim lessons too, I've been thinking a lot about getting Gordon into some. We miss you all!

The Romney Family July 6, 2011 at 9:29 am

You posted!!! What a pleasant surprise. And it was especially nice because I have been looking into doing swim lessons for the girls, so it was great to hear about what you guys are doing. I'm bummed this company doesn't have any in Maryland, but maybe it would be worth a few drives to Pittsburgh…! It definitely sounds like exactly what I've been looking for. Anyway, glad you guys are having a fun summer! We miss you and are all excited to see you next week. Hope your day of traveling isn't too painful. :(

And yes, I definitely love thunderstorms, too! Totally know what you mean about missing that in Utah.

Sarah Jane July 6, 2011 at 9:52 am

YES! oh my goodness…last night's storm was awesome! Everything about it…the colorful sky and rain. So perfect! You were so smart to post about it! And the swim lessons sound great! I've heard of those before, but they've always been so far away! Thanks so much bec…I can't wait to look more into it. This summer, we aren't going to be around water much (frowny face) so I'll have to see if it's worth it. love ya!!

Katie Aldrich July 6, 2011 at 1:02 pm

You need to move to Atlanta Becca! We have them almost every day in the summer. I love them too, and am so sad that the house we're renting doesn't have a front porch for storm watching- that's definitely going on my "must have" list for our next home.

I've been thinking about swim lessons for my kids (they've never done them before and they make me a little nervous in the water, especially now that there are four of them!), and you've convinced me.

Esther Noelle July 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Yay for a post from you! :) It's been so amazing to see Luke & Annie's progress! So glad you did those classes! And yes that thunderstorm was a real treat!

Can't wait for our SYTYCD date tomorrow night! We're on, right?

Liz July 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm

You posted!!!!! Can't wait to see you! I'm interested to hear more about the lessons – wish I could find something like that here….

Vanessa Finlayson July 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Becca, I was holding my breath and nearly in tears watching those BABIES in the video for the link you posted. YIKES! Must be the over protective new mother in me. But my goodness, how awesome they know how to handle the water that well!
So cool you have Luke and Annie doing those lessons. I'll for sure have to look into some for Ruby for next year!
…So fun to see a post from you guys :) Can't wait to see you all in MD!!

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