Sunday, 28 November 2010

DIY Swimming Lessons

We have just came home from an amazing week away in sunny Lakes Entrance.  Relaxing in and around the heated indoor pool at the resort was one of the highlights of the holiday.  Jordan proved to be a vertiable water baby.  Whether it was splashing around in our arms or floating alone relaxed in his inflatable swim ring, he was very happy in the pool.  Which has got me thinking about the best way to continue his love affair with water now that we are home.

When I first attended a mother's group last year, many of the Mum's talked about enrolling their babies in swim classes.  At the time I didn't want to take on another weekly commitment so signing up to a term of professional lessons was not for me.  But now that Jordy is a bit older I think some sort of water familiarisation program would be a fun activity we could share together on the warm days ahead and great a first step in building water awareness and safety.

In a recent Nurture magazine article, Aquatics and Recreation Victoria chief executive Ian Swan says giving children a good introduction to water safety is a vital area of parenting.  Ian's organisation runs the VICSWIM program.  "You can do water familiarisation with babies but formal programs begin with VICSWIM at age 4," Ian says.  "By that age children have more spatial awareness and are more physically able and better able to follow simple instructions so you can communicate with them effectively."

What I have decided to do is have a go at teaching Jordan water familiarisation myself and look into getting professional swim classes as he gets a little bit older.  Since I have no idea where to start teaching a baby how to swim I turned to the Internet and found a fantastic online resource called uSwim Australia

uSwim is a free community service which shows you how to teach children of all ages to swim. "The program works by watching instructional videos at home, printing our free lesson plans and then heading to the pool to teach," says uSwim Founder Ben Douglas. "uSwim is provided by Aquatic Achievers, a swim school organisation that has been operating for over 40 years and currently conducts over 300,000 lessons per year."

Armed with the same techniques used by the professionals - if not the patience, I feel ready to attempt some DIY baby swim lessons. Wish us luck!

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