Saturday, June 05, 2010

Day 5: Saturday swimming

Saturday means swimming lessons round here.  I've enrolled the kids for this term and will probably re-enrol for next term too.  It cuts into my "free" time but it is important to us that our children gain water confidence and respect.  There are too many drowning accidents in New Zealand.  Some of those accidents could have been prevented by basic respect for water and some swimming skills.  (Of course, swimming skills are not always going to be helpful in bad situations but still ... YKWIM).

This one used to be terrified of the water.  His first swimming lesson when he was 3 1/2 was a disaster.  He clung to the teacher the whole time and screamed nonstop "I want my mummy" in her ear.  The poor girl!  Before his second lesson I took him to the local pool and swam around with him, played floating games and after that he was happy to get into the water with the teacher and actually learn some skills.  These days he seems to spend a lot of time under the water when he isn't being supervised to do some activity. His skills are slowly improving.  He still pokes his bum in the air when trying to stroke freestyle!

This little monkey has a blast!  She has a very experienced, gentle teacher called Matt who does a great job with the littlies, some of whom are very afraid. They play cool games like Jungle River and pretend to be crocodiles.  They have rides on a floating device (Tommy the Turtle) to practice kicking.  They fetch rings from under the water to practice putting their faces underneath.  She has had a small falling-over-under-the-water accident since and although it gave her a fright I am glad because she now has a bit more respect for the water environment than before.

It's worth missing out my sleep in for.


  1. We are also doing swimming lessons this winter. My daughter lacks confidence even though she can do it so we are swimming twice a week to build up her confidence. It is doing wonders for her. We've been telling her lately that swimming is as important as breathing. She used to cry non stop but now just gets on with the lesson. We still have far to go but it's a much better start. I strongly agree with you about the importance of swimming. Afterall we live on one big island surrounded by water...the only way out is to swim lol

  2. Wonderful photos!! :)

  3. That's cool - I agree, though I hated it at the time, I'm glad I had swimming lessons as a kid. I still don't swim well, or do freestyle, but I know enough to survive.

  4. swim lessons are non-negotiable in our house also. I think being a strong swimmer is so important. I'm always amazed when I hear of adults that can't swim.

    I use swim lesson time to get in the water a swim laps myself. Or sometimes I crochet!

    We also scheduled them in the evenings so the kids can take showers at the pool, change into PJs and be all ready for bed!