MORE swim news! Aside from the fact that I forgot about lessons tonight until we got home -- a little late for the mad scramble, but pulled it off and got everyone to their lesson on time. Good thing -- Gabriel had a private lesson, Julian had his second first "red ribbon" class (that is, first on Mondays, new teacher), and Katrina had a teacher she's had since she started. Which by now makes her something of an old-timer.
And today that experience paid off -- she got promoted to the "rainbow ribbon" level today. It's not hard at this stage; I think all it means is that they don't cry in class three times in a row. Still, she was very happy about the ribbon.
More significantly, she put her face in the water again today, a huge step for her.
Julian again did great in his new class, smiling and listening and really working again. But I was dismayed to see the teacher doing an exercise in which the kids hold her arm and she pulls them through the water while they kick. What about swimming for Pete's sake?! Still, overall, after he's picked up a sink ring, or has dived in, he makes his way the few feet to the side of the pool on his own. It's not swimming, but it's not drowning either.
Gabriel, to my delight, actually did swim. He used to take a few strokes, then stop and tread water, put his feet down if he could, or generally make a good impression of drowning, make a dash for the side of the pool, resume a few strokes and repeat the whole cycle. Today no one else in his class showed up, so he had a private lesson and he had to work at it. He saw the whole length of his lane that he could, and didn't appear to need to stop. Great! Unfortunately, he's the one who's dropping his lesson come August.
But I have other ideas too. I ran into my "butterfly buddy*" when I went swimming yesterday, and she told me that during winter, she keeps her 5-year-old daughter tuned up by giving her a private lesson roughly once a month -- that's just enough to keep it on her radar and not have her starting afresh come summer. That's a great idea, for the boys anyway. Maybe next year summer won't creep up on us with rusty swimming.
* a woman I met in the pool when we encouraged each other to do a 50-meter length of butterfly, and I've run into her there twice since.