Back in private swim lessons this first week in July, after having been in private swim lessons with the same teacher in the first two weeks of June, and this week he's putting more and more together. He willingly dove off the side of the pool this week - yes, head first. His swim teacher says that besides Matthew's cousin, Matthew is the only other kid who is enthusiastic about diving. Not bad for a 4-1/2 year old, right? I didn't learn to dive like he can now until I was 8 or 9 years old.
He is learning fast and getting better at coming up for a breath after jumping or diving in. He brings himself up to the surface and kicks his way to the side of the pool with just a little hand assist and no floatie. He can even get diving rings close to the bottom of the 3-1/2 foot shallow end of the pool. (Matthew is 37 inches tall.)
He is definitely more successful at learning to swim in just 3 weeks this summer than when he was in swim lessons at the YMCA almost all year last year. I think this rapid progression is because of a combination of factors:
- private swim lessons have much been better for him at keeping him focused and engaged during the whole lesson instead of having to wait his turn and being easily distracted during group lessons at the Y. If I could go back in time, I would get him in private lessons instead of putting him in group swim lessons last year.
- his current swim teacher has a no-floatie-method style of teaching. It's very effective with him. She also keeps expectations high with him.
- he's a year older and has better gross motor coordination and strength this year.
- he LOVES swimming and is fearless in and around the pool.