I wanted Max to learn how to swim this summer, and Tyler and I had no idea how to teach him to do it. I also thought he would do better with someone else teaching him instead of his own parents. One day while we were swimming at the pool in our neighborhood, we met Ms. Nancy. She is a swim instructor that teaches at the pool in our neighborhood and has been an instructor for over 30 years! We watched her give private lessons to two different kids and I loved how gentle, yet firm she was with the children. Max took 10 lessons with her and I can't believe all he learned in that short amount of time. Each private lesson lasted 30 minutes. The first 4 were torturous for him and he cried and refused to obey her the whole 30 minutes. I just had to sit there and watch while other parents came up to me and assured me that it would get better. Ms. Nancy also said that this behavior is completely normal, and actually was very healthy, but that almost always, on the 5th lesson kids stop being afraid and make good progress. I completely trusted her, and it was so true for Max! On the 5th lesson, he willingly walked in the water to meet her, started holding his breath and going under water and swimming to the steps, learning to back float and also how to do his "rescue swim" across the pool. It was literally like a switch had been flipped. He was so proud of himself and I was amazed at all he learned in 30 short minutes! So, for all his hard work he was rewarded with what else than a cupcake with lots of icing!
During the next 5 lessons he learned very valuable swim techniques including how to swim under water, float on his back and how to swim to the edge of the pool and climb up the wall and out of the water. He also learned how to do a "rescue swim" by floating on his back and kicking to the side of the pool, and he learned what to do if he falls off a step in the pool and how to swim under water back to the step. I loved watching each of these lessons and watching all the progress he made each time. Tyler joined us for a lesson as well and was so proud of his little guy.
This is how they would start every lesson, and I think they both loved it equally well. He loved to snuggle on Ms. Nancy's shoulder, relax his body, and kick his way across the pool. This helped him relax when starting every lesson, taught him how to kick, and also helped establish trust with her.
Just starting to learn how to back float.
Look at that boy float!
Practicing going under water and swimming to the steps.
Doing his "rescue swim" across the pool
Mastering his back float
Time to snuggle after practicing lots of swimming under water.
Ms. Nancy requested a photo at his last lesson. I think Max was sad that he would no longer be seeing her, so he refused to smile. Little stinker!
After his last lesson, Max said thank you for all Ms. Nancy taught him.
Afterward, she presented him with an engraved medal for "graduating" from swim lessons. It has his name engraved on it and it says, "Great swimming, Max Muesch. Love, Ms. Nancy."
I thought that was so sweet to do that for her "graduates!" He loved his medal and he wears it proudly around the house.
A proud boy!
I was a little nervous that he wouldn't want to practice his new skills with Tyler and me, but I took him to the pool today and he had a blast showing me what he could do! I couldn't believe it but I was so incredibly proud of him. I had to make him take breaks because he kept wanting to go swim under water repeatedly. We took a float and toys to the pool with us, but we never even used them because I now have a little fish that would rather swim than play. Who would have thought! What a blessing Ms. Nancy has been for us!