Saturday, July 21, 2012

Swimming Lessons are Done!

Yup, they are.....for the summer at least.  I wrote a blog post about how things have been going for the SPD Blogger Network a couple of weeks ago and it was published there today.  I wrote a quick comment to amend the information that I originally wrote with how things happened, so people could see the complete picture.

Swimming lessons turned out to not go as I had imagined they would (but then again, in my world, what does?).  I had expected them to both really enjoy it and have them take off in their own ways.  By the time we got to the first lesson, my goal rapidly changed from "teaching them to swim" to "how to be safe in the water".  This made things a little more difficult for the teacher because she is VERY good at teaching kids how to the time they come to her, they already know how to be "safe".  But she promised to try her best and I promised to continue working on what she taught them.

We had a total of 4 weeks of lessons scheduled (so a planned 4 lessons for each child).  By the 3rd week, we realized that Ballerina was NOT going to learn from these lessons (directly) and we gave her time to Big Brother (who was struggling on the swim team because he's not a particularly strong swimmer).  But Music Man was showing us that, even though it may not seem like it during the lesson, he was taking in EVERY word.

For example, this past week, after he submerged himself to go under the rope, he began to bob in the water.  He would duck down and nearly sit on the bottom of the pool.  He'd look around, smiling (I checked because I wanted to see if he had his mouth closed [which, of course, he didn't]) and when he was done, he came back up.  He'd recover for a moment (no coughing or choking -- just catching his breath) and then go under again.  I decided to call the game "Spring" and throughout the rest of our time at the pool, I would announce to him "SPRING" and we would go under together.  I also started THROWING him (not far -- just a few inches) and he would allow himself to submerge and then came up when he was ready.

Music Man had his final lesson yesterday afternoon.  I told the instructor about our new game and she turned into a bubble game -- she had him blow bubbles with her when he went under the water.  And she noticed that he tended to blow bubbles from his nose rather than his mouth.  You see, when teaching kids to swim, they start with the bubbles from the mouth, but when you start to work on teaching them the strokes, you change how they exhale from the mouth to the nose.  And he's doing it already.  And he blew bubbles about 50% of the times she asked him to (which is a HUGE improvement).  They kicked around the pool, they blew bubbles at each other, they played with the "elephant" (a styrofoam noodle with a hole running through it blowing water through the hole), and worked on moving the arms as if to swim freestyle.

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She asked me to work on a few things with him between now at the end of the summer.  She suggested working on getting him to do scissor kick (because right now he's kicking more like he's riding a bicycle) and to get him to use the arms.  The rest is just continuing what we've started.....the bubbles, the willingness to submerge, and just allowing him to have fun!

There is an organization locally that I know has a swimming program for children with special needs.  During the summer, they offer swimming lessons, but I don't know if that will continue once the summer ends.  I hope they do, because they would be a perfect organization for him to continue to spend time in the pool.  Ballerina loves her dance, and that's her special activity.  Based on what we learned this summer, swimming is Music Man's special activity.  If I can find the resources (both internally and externally) to keep this going during the school year, I will.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Swimming lessons for kids swimming lessons are provided by local swimming pools, both those run by the local authority and by private leisure companies. Many schools also include swimming lessons into their Physical Education.