Kolton has been in a couple of swim classes in the past, but it was always the Mommy and Me classes. They were mainly to get him used to the water and teach him to splash and maybe go under for a couple of seconds. (Read about Shayne’s experience in baby swim class HERE).
Now that he is three years old, he is able to advance to the next level and eventually start swimming on his own! Our local indoor swim school, AVAC, is only a 10 minute walk away. The pool is heated and the instructors are great! This would be Kolton’s first time in the water with someone other than mom or dad. We were warned that his first couple of classes would be a little difficult for him, but would get easier over time. I feel that swimming is very important for safety reasons, since we have a pool in our backyard. It is gated of course, but you can never be too careful.
Since the pool at AVAC Swimschool is heated, it is perfect for February lessons, and my goal is to have Kolton swimming comfortably and with confidence by the early summer months. I have decided to document his journey week by week.
This first class was a little difficult for Kolton just as expected. I was so proud of him for getting in the water with a complete stranger and lasting the entire class. I stayed close by him to help him to feel comfortable and give him encouragement. Even though the pool is very shallow, and he was able to stand at the bottom, he was more comfortable staying close to the steps. I was glad to see that his instructor, Leo, did not pressure him to do anything he wasn’t yet comfortable doing. Even though there were three other little ones in the pool also, Kolton was still given some special attention. Leo helped him to blow bubbles under water, and had him float on his back for a few seconds. They sang songs and splashed around a bit. Kolton mostly watched the other kids go under water and found some pool toys to play with.
After class, he rinsed off in the shower with the other kids and we got dressed and ready to walk home. I promised him a quick stop at the store to pick out a small candy for being so brave on his first day. Even though he was not entirely comfortable in the water this week, I know he enjoyed spending some time with me alone while Grandma watched Shayne.
This week, Kolton knew what to expect. He was excited but also a little skeptical. He kept telling me that he did not want to go under water. I told him that was fine. He didn’t have to go under if he didn’t want to. This helped to ease his mind a bit.
The instructor was very patient with him, and did not push anything he wasn’t comfortable with. Kolton spent a lot of his time on the step again this week playing “Water the Plants” with a bucket that the instructor gave him.
He has been teaching Kolton to blow bubbles under water with his mouth, which is making him more and more comfortable. Even though he goes underwater at home often, for some reason he is not yet comfortable doing it at swim class. The instructor said this is totally normal behavior, and he did much better this week. He even let the instructor help him to float on his back while kicking his legs and was happier jumping in the water with the other kids during their songs. I have already noticed a difference this week compared to last and look forward to watching my little swimmer’s progress.