Monday, December 15

Unswimming lessons...

My two oldest kids had a couple of swimming lessons when they were younger. Neither of them liked it much so I decided to take the natural learning approach with Mr T. Until this year he has worn a swimming-vest when we have been at the river, beach or pool but this summer I wanted to try to get him out of it.

The saftey-aids are great for peace of mind but I also think it kind of gives children a false sense of security around water.

So when I started my volunteering at the pool a month ago I 'forgot' to take his vest with me.
I also decided that I wasn't going to actively teach him to swim until he asked or initiated it.

Well the first week he pretty much played on the steps of the pool.

Second week he was standing in water up to his chin and splashing about but still not putting his face under the water.

Last week he was splashing about, when another little boy probably a year older than Mr T swam up to him. I was sitting in the kiosk watching him watch the other boy. He was looking really intently like he wanted to know how to do all these tricks and then all of a sudden he ducked right under the water.

Over the next two hours he went from not swimming to being able to hold his breath and swim about two meters under water!
It was such an awesome lesson for me to really see how children will learn by themselves when they are ready to learn. They will learn because they want to have that skill or piece of information. They don't need us to tell them what and when to learn something.

Since then you just can't keep him out of the water...
or a canoe for that matter...


Coconut Girl in a Hot Fashion World said...

i really like your pictures! they're so pretty and cute and artsy!
i'd like to say that i'm completely awed on how you got over your bulimia on your own. though you have replaced it with eating very nutritiously, at least you aren't hurting your body any more. reading about nutrition and healthy foods i think would help me actually... that's a really good idea. thanks so much for telling me about how you overcame it. if you don't mind me asking, how long did it take you?

Mon (holistic mama) said...

That's such a great experience!

I had a terrible time of swimming. We were forced to go to lessons (for our own good) and I was terrified. I had nightmares for the longest time that i never shared with my parents.

Wish there were more mums like you. lol

Ariad said...

Thanks Mon, I remember being scared of the water even after I could swim. I wish someone had asked me if I wanted to swim or not!

Miss Kolleen said...

an amazing approach-- i myself am terrified of water, an have a panic attack whenever my lil man is anywhere near it. but he loves it! i find he has more fun without any swimming "aids" too-- when we go to my best friend's pond, i only implement the life jacket in the rowboat in fear i will not be able to find him. he does great in that pond!

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for my friendly and wonderful swim instructor Christina. I think I wouldn't have taken to swimming so much. I'll be sure to send my kids to take up lessons with her. Where did you learn swimming anyhows?

Greenlee's Forest said...

This is so interesting ~ it's pretty much exactly how my kids are doing it too. Some of them are love the water more than others, but each of them is taking it at their own pace and without structure. I love seeing it! :)

karisma said...

Thats great! I have to admit we did the swimming lessons with our youngest three. As we live near the beach and the surf is rough at times they needed strong swimming skills. There was also the fact that the girls all once fell off the sandbank at the beach and got caught in a rip, they nearly drowned. My older two taught themselves but they are not strong swimmers.

I must admit like Mr T I learned through playing in the water as well.

jeanene said...

...and that goes with just about anything!!! I never taught my children how to swim. I just played in the pool and stream with them. Sasha learned to swim by 3. Sania at 2.5. If children love what they are doing they just learn naturally and it's all by immitation.

The beautiful rainbow blanket shown in your photo reminded me of the one my grandmother made when I was a baby,, I still have it. Did you make it? I would love to know how to make one. Beautiful blog..

Oh by the way my boys are now doing backbends and saumersaults in the pool (scary at first) They spend most of their days swimming.

Love your photos.

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