Saturday, September 29, 2007 ;
1:51 PM
Am now going to slowly post updates on what happened between July and Sept (Summer months), since we were travelling around and I didn't get the chance to really blog then.

ds1's swim lessons at the aquatics center from late July to late Aug:

They've an outdoor area where there are water jet fountains, and an indoor area (above right) where there are kids' play equipment and so on.

Since the child who is taking lessons gets free admission (ds1), and those under 4 get in free (ds2), and if parents who accompany don't swim, then it's also free, the 4 of us always go together, and we try to go about 30min early, so both kids get to play first, before ds1's lesson starts.

When class time starts, the lifeguards will blow whistles and the indoor kids' pool is vacated. So those who still want to swim can go outdoors or to the adult lap swimming pool. Usually dh will stay with ds1 and sit at the side during his lesson, dozing off, or reading his Bible. I will bring ds2 outside to play somemore.

I think I like this system better cos whenever I go JE complex or CCK complex with the kids, I don't actually get to swim at all, but I still have to pay. No wonder there were so many babies ard, cos the babies swim free and parents can go in free too, as long as you're just accompanying baby and not swimming.

The showers here are nicer too, more family-friendly. And the ratio of lifeguards to swimmers is so high here. Outdoors there were 3 at the small pool, and indoors there were so many, I lost count. Whenever one takes a break, he/she must wait till someone takes over in the chair then he/she can go off. Very strict.

ds1 had 8 lessons in all. So we went 8 times, and this particular time, dh was with ds2 outside, so I got to take pictures. Above left: you can see ds2 in the middle. he's wearin a blue wetsuit. although it is summer, there's a strong breeze always and it can be very cold if any part of your body is above water. So i always let them wear full suits instead of briefs type of swimwear.

ds1's main swim tr is the lady, while a guy took them once as a relief. she is so good with the kids. I'm so glad ds1 got over his fear of getting his face wet or putting his face into the water.

I didn't see any other tr use bath toys, so I figured it was her own idea. Cos there were other classes of the same age group taking place around the same time, and there were relief trs, and they did not use her method. But ds1 loved her stories and her "tricks".

To get them to submerge themselves, she asks them to pick a toy and name the toy. That'd be the buddy they're responsible for. Then there'd be some stories and for the boys, she calls them superheroes who will save their buddies. When it is the kid's turn to swim, she'll fill the toy with water and toss it a distance away where it kind of sinks. She then asks them to dive in to save the buddy.

Then another method was, when they were floating on their backs, she placed their "buddy" on their tummies and ask them to make sure to keep their bodies level and not let their buddies fall into the water.

When she wanted them to swim and kick forward, she'll ask them to toss their buddy as far as possible, then she holds them as they swim towards the buddy and they'll "rescue" their buddy and swim back "home".

The toys were useful when each kid was waiting for his/her turn too. With the other teachers, the kids usually get restless while waiting for their turn to swim. Whereas this group were playing with their toys, squirting water and so on.

When the 8 lessons ended, each kid was given a certificate and promoted to the next level if they passed all the criteria. And they gave ice lollies to each kid too. ds1 was so thrilled.

Below: the cert. It's the American Red Cross system.

ds1 was "promoted" but he was due to start preschool and it was getting much colder, so we thought we'd only start the next level next summer. The good thing about Spore is you can swim all year round.

Over here, you can, indoors, but it is more troublesome, cos after showering them, I gotta layer on all their winter stuff before stepping out. Which I don't want. So next summer it is.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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