Learning to Swim



For us, living beside the sea, swimming was always something we promised we'd make sure Beckett learned from an early age. Of course, it's one thing to talk about these things and it's one thing to make it happen. So really the best thing to do, pardon the pun, is to take the plunge and just do it. We did the research and basically we decided that there were three options open to us: 1) Do it ourselves and just take him to the pool, 2) the second option was Water Babies, and finally 3) Swim Safe Academy at a local swimming pool. While I'd consider myself an excellent swimmer and Jules equally so, neither of us have any idea about teaching someone to swim. So it was going to be option 2 or 3.

Water Babies is certainly well known but, to be honest, no one I know actually had any great things to say about it. Plus the cost seemed to be quite high given that no one seemed to have anything positive to say about it. So we looked into option 3 and were delighted to immediately find that several different couples we know have used the service and had nothing but high praise. Swim Safe Academy was €75 for ten weeks (ten lessons) and the class size wasn't too big (ten to a dozen babies per week). So off we went on the journey to teach Beckett to swim.


Each week either Jules or I would get in the pool with Beckett, and the instructor (one of two different girls) would go through a series of exercises for us to work through with him. The setting was good in that the pool was clean and warm. However, I'll be honest, it became clear after the fourth or fifth lesson that we would be doing the same exercises for the whole ten weeks. Not that the exercises were bad or that Beckett wasn't learning, but I'm a smart guy and after week one I could have happily gone through the exercises with Beckett without the need to be at the classes.


The funny thing is that the whole thing might be beside the fact given that we discovered on week one that Beckett is an absolute fish. He loves the water. Kicking and paddling through it. Ducking under the water. Sailing on his back. An absolute fish!


So, did we make the right decision with Swim Safe Academy? Well I'd hate to give a definitive since we never tried Water Babies, but the whole experience did leave me with a strong feeling that anyone who is a confident and competent swimmer themselves could probably pick up what they need to know from a book to be able to teach a child the basics. Certainly to teach them enough to get them in the water with you and splish splash around.
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