We signed Preston up for swimming lessons this summer. He did one week of private lessons with a home-based instructor, then we took a week off. Then, he took from the same instructor, a Level 2/3 swimming class with 4 other kids.
The first week of private lessons were great! He went from not swimming at all, to swimming to pick up rings off the pool floor, and jumping off the diving board and easily swimming to the ladder. His main areas of weakness were swimming with the kickboard (this teaches him to put his face in and kick his legs at the top of the water) and remembering to take a breathe. He would jump off the diving board and swim under water all the way to the stairs. He really needed to come up for air! Here is the video I took on the last day of swimming:
We were excited to see how he would do in a couple weeks when we went back for Level 2/3! He was so excited about it and seemed want to do more in the pool. Well, on the first day of the group class, he was doing fine until she wanted him to swim from one end of the pool to the other. He had a complete meltdown and wouldn’t jump off the diving board, wouldn’t swim, etc. It was horrible to watch! I had to hide from him, because he was screaming at the top of his lungs “Mommy, save me! Save me!” I don’t know if it was a combo of him being scared, other kids watching, his super strong will, or what was going on, but he fell apart. No telling what the other parents in the class think! Unfortunately, that was pretty much how EVERY class went for the rest of the week. However, the teachers stuck with him and he finally did it. He still cried about it and was not happy with any of us, but he did it.
The thing is, he can swim and he CAN go the whole length. It is 100% mental.
He ended the last class with an emphatic “I’m never swimming again!” so that was super fun. After I talked to him, he said he actually did want to swim again, but didn’t want to swim the length of the pool. His teacher told me that her son had a major mental block when it came to swimming the length of the pool. She worked with him every day for 4 weeks before he would finally do it. My nerves could not take much more of hearing him scream, and I am not going to lie, I was pretty happy for the second week of lessons to be over! I will say my comfort level with his swimming is much better, and now at least if he jumps in or falls in, I know that he can save himself. SO, it looks like if we sign up again next year it will be for private lessons. Those seemed to be a much better fit for him, and we are only doing ONE week! 🙂 Oh well, in parenting you live and learn.