Friday, June 13, 2008

Swimming in Twerpdom

One of the items that I have neglected to mention in all of the excitement of the twerp whisperer and twerp boot camp has been the fact that this week has also been the first week of swim lessons for the kiddos at the YMCA. Throughout this month, twice a week, the kiddos have swim lessons.

For Sydney this is mostly about working on moving from the dog paddle to other, more sophisticated strokes. So far, this week she has learned about the frog kick, floating for long periods of time on her back, and has also worked on the back stroke. Although it may sound like a lot from the description, I am generally not impressed with her class. They seem to spend far more time playing games than actually grinding out the basics. Out of two 45 minute classes, they have spent 2/3s of their time either tossing a ball or playing Simon Says while standing on the bottom of the pool.

For Graham and Ainsley who are both in a different class from Sydney it has been quite a different experience. They are both in a beginning swimmers' class. Although Graham has been able to swim fairly well since the end of last summer, Lynley decided to put him in this class to help him build his confidence. Prior to these classes he still preferred his floaty suit and wasn't making much effort to swim on his own. It was unfortunate because he is actually a pretty good swimmer. From a technique and form point of view, I might even say that he was better than Sydney. Regardless, this class is a bit below his skill level but has done wonders for his perception of his abilities. I should also point out that he is rather a show off, something I have never seen before in him. He loves to show the teacher how he can swim to the bottom of the pool and how he has mastered much of what she has taught so far. In fact, he even had to sit up on the edge of the pool during yesterday's class because he would not stop diving to the bottom. In this case, I think it was less showing off and more boredom while he waited for the teacher to work with the rest of the class.

Ainsley is a bit of a different story. She is what I would call an emergent swimmer. She hasn't quite mastered swimming on her own without the aid of a floatation device but is right on the cusp of swimming on her own. She is so close. For her this class truly is about building confidence and learning the basics of keeping her self afloat. She is doing wonderfully in class. She is listening and, for a change, doing exactly as told. She is trying hard and I believe she will be swimming on her own in the next week or so. The trick with her is getting her to practice the techniques at home. Our usual answer whenever we try to get her to practice either falls into the category of "No!" or "I don't feel good." - which happens to be her favorite excuse. Honestly, if I could just get her to practice for more than a minute whenever she gets into the pool we would be much further ahead.

Well, I had best be off. It is a busy, busy Friday.

Purpose abounds.

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