Our kids are starting formal swim lessons this weekend! I haven’t figured out who is more excited about this – me or my kids.
My background and the love of water.
I’ll explain my excitement about starting swim lessons first. Learning to swim is really important to me probably because of my background and for safety reasons.
I was born in Cleveland Heights and at the age of 3 my family moved to Northern California. In California, almost all of the kids start swim lessons around the age of one. The reasons are simple because pools are open year round and they are everywhere. There really is almost a pool in every yard or just down the street at the neighborhood community center. Growing up, my mom always talks about how I was a late learner for swimming starting at the age of 3 year. I just figured that my kids would start learning to swim around the age of 1.
I spent most of my childhood in the water. We swam so often that my hair was actually lime green from the chlorine. Every Halloween my mom threatened to make me an alien because I already had green hair.
The water became and continues to be a key component to my life. I was a competitive swimmer up until my sophomore year of High School. In Middle School, I got introduced to Diving. Diving helped me get into colleges. I dove for American University which is a division 1 school. I had to stop diving during my junior year because of a career ending illness. While I might not be able to dive anymore, there is still nothing more relaxing than getting lost in your thoughts while swimming laps.
The day I watched another child almost drown.
As a mom, having my kids water safe is an necessity. I still remember the day I watched another child almost drown. A young boy jump into the pool without his floating wings. I think I was about 8 or 9 years old and he had to be around 4 or 5 years old. The boy went to the bottom of the pool and didn’t come up. His parents missed the fact that he jumped in because they were looking for a place to put their swim stuff. The lifeguards that day were true heroes. They rescued the boy from the bottom of the pool. The lifeguards did CPR. They were able to get him to cough up the water and start breathing before 911 arrived. Years later that image still haunts me. I want to know that if something happens, my kids are able to get to the surface of the water and at least float until help arrives.
My kids appear to have inherited my passion for being in the water.
My kids are ages 1, 2, and 3. Yes. We did have 3 kids within 3 years. Yes. We are crazy. My older kids are looking forward to swim lessons because they just love to be in the water. When we are at a pool, they never want to stop swimming. They even use bath time to “practice swimming.” My 1 year old isn’t old enough to understand the concept of swim lessons. However, it is fun watching her older sisters explain about going to swim lessons. The only thing, I know for a fact is all three are trending to be “water babies”. I hope that passion continues as they grow older.
Why knowing how to swim is important.
I look at swimming this way. No matter your ability, it is a sport you will always be able to do. Being a smart swimmer also allows for safety and security in a pool, lake, or ocean.
Our unsuccessful swim lesson attempts.
You might be wondering if swim lessons are so important why haven’t they started sooner. The truth is I have tried over the past few summers to have the kids learn the basics of swimming. There were multiple reasons that this failed. However, the big issue has been that the lesson set up was informal. We use our community pool and a family friend. The lessons are set based on my husband’s off days and her availability. During the summer of 2018, we had zero lessons because schedules just didn’t work out.
Why we decided to try formal swim lessons in the winter.
One thing we did learn one key thing through our failed attempts at swim lessons. Our summers are busy. So, we decided to start swim lessons in the winter when our schedules are less hectic. The goal is to have the kids water safe for this outdoor pool season. We decided to go with Goldfish Swim School in Fairview Park. Goldfish Swim School is a program that I have always heard positive things about. They teach kids to swim by having fun and playing in the water. I can’t wait to try their program with my kids! (Note to parents: They keep their pool 90 degrees all year round!!)
Our swim class setup with Goldfish.
Follow us on Instragram to hear how our weekly lessons go with all three kids. The 1 year old will be in a parent/child class. The 2 and 3 year old will be in a child only class. We were given the option to have the 2 year old in a parent/child class. We are hoping she is independent enough to be on her own but are willing to switch classes if she isn’t ready. This post is brought to you by Goldfish Swim School.