Wednesday, July 23, 2008

End of Summer Swim Lessons

Our kids have taken formal swim lessons only once in their lives, and I say "formal" loosely since their little 16-year-old instructor spent more time fixing her hair and flirting with boys than teaching my kids how to "blow bubbles" and float. They took the class when they were very young, and since then, I've just not been able to coordinate my schedule to take part in one of the classes that my friend Michelle puts together, neither have I been able to justify the cost of classes at some of the local swim schools.

Up until now, my thought has been that we're in the water enough, and I know just enough, that they've both learned how to get from point A to point B underwater without dying along the way. Gracie's skill was limited, and she was quite timid in the water when it came to actually swimming. Bub was far more daring and skilled, but this year he decided he wanted to swim "on the top of the water" (in other words, do the Crawl). While I know how to do the Crawl myself, I didn't know how to communicate that knowledge to him, and we decided it was time for a class.

I was hoping to put them in a class before we went to Florida (you know, to start the summer off right), but I missed the registration deadline. Our busy summer went from bad to worse, and I assumed swim classes would either be over or full through the end of the season.

A couple of weeks ago, we signed the kids up for Fall soccer and registration was held at a local rec center. The class flyer I picked up indicated that swim lessons would continue through the end of August. Just what we needed! I called for registration, readying myself for rejection. I even decided I was willing to split their classes, bringing each of them at different times of the day, if need be. To my surprise, there was space for both of them in the very next class, and in the time slot that I wanted. The cost was a great value, as well -- $65 per child for two weeks worth of lessons.

Though I registered and paid, I thought it was too good to be true.

I was wrong.

This class has been amazing! The instructors, though young, are so skilled and patient, and the student/teacher ratio is unbelievable! On the first day, there were 5 kids and four instructors. On the second day, there were five students and six instructors. Today, the third day, there were four students and five instructors. Each child gets lots of individual attention, and my kids are already learning and practicing some new and amazing techniques.

So far, they've been bobbing, floating, diving for rings and sticks, and learning the Crawl and Backstroke. Bub is swimming longer and better than I ever anticipated this early on, and my timid little Gracie has grown quite brave. These swim lessons are by far the best deal of the summer.


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