Monday, July 23, 2012

Swim classes

We have attempted swim classes almost every year since Clara and Elena were born.  They had a lot of fun when it was a preschool class and we went in with them.  But once we started in on the classes where they were supposed to be in on their own without a teacher things were a little trickier.  We didn't make it through a full two-week session again.  They would get nervous, or cold, or shy with the teacher, and we didn't want to pressure them too much.  The waiting paid off - this year they LOVED swim classes!
Part of this was a great teacher - Celina really did well with Elena and Clara and they adored her.
Part of it was their increased concentration at this age - they are both better at listening and sticking with a task.
Part of it must have also been their desire to please - they love doing things well and making people (their teacher, us) proud.  And we really were - they started getting this stroke (called "shark arms" in class!) well by the end of the class, although two funny things happened.  To teach the stroke the teacher said to lift your arm, reach out, then tickle your armpit.  Elena was convinced for a few days that she should reach ACROSS her body to tickle the armpit of the arm not reaching up (this was probably funnier to see than hear about).  The other funny thing was that many of the kids in the class (and our own, occasionally!) would do "shark arms" but do it while running across the pool - so their arms were up in the air!  They understood they were supposed to use this motion going forward, but not so much that they were always supposed to do it IN the water!

Angel Clara - with the diving rings.
On the teacher's team to play "What time is it, Mr. Fox?"
A rousing game of "Minnow, minnow, minnow - SHARK!"  You can tell Clara and Elena are both sharks in this one.
One last "magic carpet" ride with Celina on their graduation day.  Though neither girls really swims at this point, they are much more comfortable in the water, have many of the basics, and can at least propel themselves across and under water for short distances.  And they stayed in for the full two weeks- success!

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