J has been going swimming since babyhood. He’s had regular lessons all that time with the same swim school. He’s also swam with us as a family especially when we are on holiday. During the school holidays, we try to go once a week too, especially during the longer breaks. So my son loves swimming. He’s never going to be an Olympic swimmer, but he should turn out to be very competent. I plan to send him to lessons for a good few years yet.
He’s been swimming independently (no floatation devices) for over a year. He’s got various badges including his 20 metre distance badge. He’s learning his strokes and is already quite good at breaststroke. His front crawl needs a bit of work still, but it does the job of getting him around the pool.
So J went swimming with the school. They all wore armbands the first week while they saw how good they were. Fine. They then let them take the armbands off and J lost his. Fine. Then they did a bit of a test and J got knocked off his stride by another child swimming across him. Fine, that happens in the pool. What doesn’t have to happen though is that a child who was fine without armbands, suddenly gets put back in them. Imagine what that does to self-esteem.
Now J is reluctant to go swimming and had to be persuaded to go to his regular out of school class. That went well because they know him and he enjoys it. I had a word with his teacher about the swimming with the school and the armband thing. I left it with her and he wore armbands again. Sighs! Clearly, she didn’t listen to a word I said. Not a very happy bunny as you can imagine.