We don't do summer camp because I work from home and quite honestly my kids would dread it. They enjoy playing outside, going to the park, having lemonade stands and play dates. The only activity that has become a regular for them are swim lessons.
Before last summer my children were not afraid of the water, as we had a pool at our residence and spent much of our 2 summers hanging out there, but they also couldn't swim.
My oldest, 11 at the time, could do the basic front stroke, but struggled with taking breaths. He was eager to learn, but also has an anxiety disorder that gets in the way when trying something new.
My eldest daughter is petite, so at 9 years of age she was still struggling to touch the bottom of the pool at a depth of only 4 feet. This made her very scared to even want to try to learn because when she got tired she couldn't just stop and take a breath by putting her feet down.
The youngest, 6, had finally learned to be comfortable putting her face in the water, but that was the extent of her knowledge. All of this made taking my kids to the beach or an outdoor pool feel overwhelming. How was I supposed to keep an eye on three children? Needless to say we stuck to inviting friends over to our quaint, barely six foot deep pool.
Last summer one of the moms at our children's school started a Montessori swim program that did wonders for my children. When Nicole reached out and mentioned wanting to start a swimming program for the school community I couldn't have been more excited. It would be a chance for my children to not only learn to swim, but also help them bond with other classmates and learn how to be safe in and near the water. It also gave me the opportunity to have an adult conversation with other parents or make use of the pool as well. A win win for everyone!
The mission of the S3 Aquatics program gives my children the opportunity to learn how to swim at their own level while offering them opportunities to teach their peers (just like in the classroom) all while giving them time to hang out with their friends. They have never been pressured into doing something they are not ready or comfortable doing, something we have experienced in other swim programs.
At the start of each lesson the children were gathered and they discussed real life safety scenarios. Then they got to experience what they discussed in the water. Watching your six year old learn how to save a child bigger than her? Priceless!
On top of the regular swim classes, we had the opportunity to stay for an open play time. This gave my children extra time to hang out with their friends and maybe meet some new ones. There are also classes for the parents and caregivers to educate on water safety and my oldest was able to take a Junior life guarding class. Having my children learn to swim, learn to be safe and then learning water safety myself is like nothing else out there I have ever seen.
|I will never forget the day that Myles got the confidence to realize he could breathe while doing the backstroke. Before this he would do a few strokes, stop to breathe and then keep going.|
|Diving into 12 feet deep water off the diving board.|
|At 6 she learns to do a somersault in the water!|
|Happy (and safe) kids makes for a happy and relaxed mom at the pool!|
I am a big believer that home and school need to blend. If I am teaching my child to be kind at home, I want that to be backed up at school. Finding a swim program that encapsulates Montessori methodology was a huge win for me! I am so grateful that this program exists for my children. They, and I, are looking forward to another summer of fun and learning at the pool!