Thursday, 28 January 2016

Straight to Sardine

Master 5 has been taking swiming lessons at a local YMCA run swimming centre for pretty much bang on 2 years now. As much as he loves the water, it has (often) been a slow process.

We started in the Tadpole group when he was three and we ended up lingering in that group for a whole 18 months. I'm a crap swimmer (and lack confidence, to boot) and I'm quite committed to him being the opposite - so dropping lessons, despite apparently being stuck in a rut, was not an option.

He had a lovely Tadpole teacher - in fact, possibly too lovely. He loved her and was prone to melt down if she wasn't there (small children don't really get the idea of holidays or sick days). For ages he wouldn't wear his goggles. For ages he wouldn't put his head under water. And so it went.

His Tadpole classmates graduated to Goldfish and he just calmly walked backwards and forwards across the pool. For a while I toyed with enrolling him in special lessons in the big pool as clearly his height was counting against him in the learn to swim stakes.

And then, in the middle of last year, a few things happened (not necessarily in this order). His Tadpole teacher decided to graduate him. You could tell it wasn't because of his awesome skills - more because "children move up around 4 and he's now 4 and a half and maybe a change of teacher would do him good". Secondly, Andy took a Monday off work and came to the pool with us. Apparently, swimming in the pool with daddy a lot more motivating than with mummy. And finally, a Sunday morning trip to the pool with a friend whose son was repeatedly putting his head underwater triggered something and the head underwater problem was solved. In an instant. Literally.

Since the middle of the year, his swimming has come on leaps and bounds and during the break I also enrolled him in a local vacswim program (at the beach, rather than in a pool).

We returned to swimming lessons on Monday and, at Monday's class, he was assessed, passed and promoted to Flying Fish. When we went to the front desk to change lessons his original Goldfish teacher was there and, rather than shift him to Octopus (the school age equivalent of Flying Fish) made the decision to push him straight up to Sardine.

Of course, he is not bothered about this AT ALL (indeed, he got a bit cheesed off with everyone congratulating him and going on about it) but I'm not only super proud of the work he's put in over the two years but I'm also sure that this is definitely the right move. So far, at least with respect to swimming lessons, his learning style seems to be one which responds best to greater challenges and expectations.

We will find out next week when we join the Sardine class!



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