Promote Better Pool Safety With Swim Lessons

by Kaitlin Gardner from AnApplePerDay.com

lesson-of-swimmingI love raising my young boys, and watching them grow, but it’s kept me busy. High on my “to do” list has been water safety, to make sure they have fun but stay safe in the pool. One of the biggest safety measures for us has been swim lessons. Knowing how to swim is a skill they’ll use for a lifetime, so I want them to be well prepared.

The need for safety. The reality is that there are inherent risks around the water. Drowning has been reported as one of the highest causes of unintentional deaths among small children in the U.S. Another study has also shown that swim lessons can reduce the chances of a child drowning by as much as 88 percent. When I read those articles, it only strengthened my resolve to have my boys learn to swim, and be well prepared when it came to the pool. Here are some other articles with more great information:

Preparation starts early. It is suggested that a baby can be enrolled in Mommy and Me classes as early as 6 months of age. While these are not formal lessons, they will certainly give the child an orientation to the water, as well as being a lot of fun. I even used bath time to begin reinforcing the water as a fun place to be. I would trickle water over my child’s head, and we spent a lot of time laughing and smiling as they discovered the fun of splashing.

The beginning lessons. By around age 4, a child will be developed enough to have motor skills that will allow them to take lessons. My boys were so in love with the water that they were glad to take those lessons. They began to learn the movements that would combine into swim strokes, and to learn the basics of swim safety. They were really serious when the instructor explained why “no running at the pool” was important. I had to smile because I knew if I tried to tell them the same thing they wouldn’t listen that well. At the end of the pool season, parents can check out their kids to make sure they are “water smart,” meaning how well have they incorporated the safety principles they have learned, like being able to find the side of the pool if they fell into the water, and what to do if a friend was struggling in the water. My boys did great, and I was really pleased by how quickly they picked up a focus on safety.

Repetition helps. I plan to sign my boys up for intermediate and advanced lessons. I want them to really learn the strokes, and be well versed in the safety aspects of swimming. In school they don’t just show kids a concept once and move on, the classes work through a progression which allows kids to build proficiency. With something as important as swimming, I think the same principle should hold, so I will continue with lessons.

Use the time for bonding. I won’t have an unlimited number of opportunities to bond with my children, so I have taken advantage of lessons to spend time with the kids. I sit on the sidelines and watch their lessons, and then may have a couple of questions about what they learned after class, to reinforce what they’re being taught. But when I get to see the first time they jump off the diving board or a similar achievement, it is just wonderful to see how excited they get.

Watching my boys swimming confidently really pleases me – their swim lessons have prepared them well to enjoy all the fun they can have in the water.

KaitlinKaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.

 

Four Tips Before Diving In For The First Swim Lesson

by Nicole Fonovich, co-creator of the “Luca Lashes” app/ebook series

LL has his First Swimming Lesson_Book CoverTaking your child to a swimming pool to learn to swim is a fairly common experience for parents. Getting a child comfortable in the water can give a child confidence to handle a lot of new experiences. Here are a few tips to help make a toddler’s first pool experience a happy one for you and for them!

1. Getting ready!

Many toddlers are not potty-trained, or just learning how to go the toilet. To be on the safe side, until your toddler is completely toilet-trained, use a swimmer diaper underneath the swimsuit, so that you keep the pool as clean as possible. Also, it is important to have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device that fits properly. Toddlers should wear these any time they are near water until both they and you are comfortable with their ability to swim.

2. Is there tech support?

Luca Lashes and his First Swimming Lesson is a great eBook/app that can walk a child through their first time in the pool! Children can get the look and feel of the pool, take a shower before getting in the pool, and have a lesson with a swim instructor. Luca and his daddy have fun in the water, and your child can join in!

3. Follow the Rules.

Every public pool has a specific set of rules. These can include “No Running,” “No Splashing,” etc. Be sure to follow these rules yourself, and teach your child how important rules and safety are in the pool area. The pool rules are there for the safety of every one involved, and should be read and paid attention to by every parent!

4. Be Safe.

Parents need to teach their toddlers that never go into the water without an adult, and parents also need to practice “touch supervision.” This means that an adult should be within arm’s reach of a toddler at all times near a pool or any body of water. For particularly early swimmers who are being carried by their parents in water, parents need to stay at a comfortable depth where a firm footing can always be maintained.

Remember to always ask your children both how they feel about the swimming pool both before and after their time in the water. This is a great time to have a “teachable” moment with your little ones! Laugh with your children; enjoy these moments, as some of the happiest times in a person’s life involve being in a pool!

 

Nicole & Damir Fonovich are co-creators of Luca Lashes,” an eBook and app series that turns “fear of firsts” into fun. The series is aimed at kids ages 0–4 and is available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese. The first app, Luca Lashes: The Brown Eyed Boy with the Magic Eyelashes, is free on iTunes, and the other apps can be downloaded for $1.99 at all major marketplaces and at www.LucaLashes.com.Nicole and Damir both have backgrounds in teaching, writing and publishing. Together, they have 17 years of experience in the education field, in both teaching and administration. They live in the Phoenix area.

Our Children’s Spiritual Education

by Robin Fuson

girl prayingWe love our children and we want them to benefit from a good education. Some of us homeschool or put them into private school. Many of us have our children in public school and are involved in what they are learning. We attend parent teacher conferences and volunteer in their class rooms or on field trips. We spend hours helping them with homework, reports, and science projects. Once in a while our homes become a disaster zone when the science project blows up. You may feel, as I do, that it is alright as long as they got the concept of that project and they help clean it up. These things show our children’s academics are important to us.

What about their spiritual education? Have you thought long and hard about shaping their beliefs? Wouldn’t it be great if they grew up and believed as we do? We need to be involved in this area as well. We take them to church and Sunday school. Some of us have them in church clubs where they are taught more about the Bible and learn verses. These are wonderful tools to help us in this area but there is more to it than that.

We are responsible for nurturing them in spiritual areas. Deuteronomy 6: 4-7, Psalm 78:1-7 112:1-2, and Joel 1:3 tell us to teach our children all about God and His word. This is so the next generation will know the Lord. This next generation is our children who will in turn teach our grandchildren and so on. There is nothing more important than teaching our children to have a relationship with the Lord.

It is not just knowing about God but trying to understand who God is and forging a relationship with Him. How do we go about sharing God in a way that they want to have a relationship to Him? We start by relaying the stories in the Bible when they are small. Recount the lives of great people of the Faith like Noah, Abraham, Joseph, David, Esther, and Rahab.  Make the stories exciting and real. Then, as they get older have them read about the disciples and apostles like Paul and Silas. When they see you reading your Bible they will understand it is important to you and a way of life.

There are resources you can put into your children’s hands to help them grow closer to the Lord. Make sure the length and subject matter is appropriate for their age and understanding. There are great books and blogs that your children can read for themselves. DVDs and CDs are good tools to introduce and incorporate into their devotional times.

Devotions are times a person spends with the Lord. They don’t have to be long and boring. They just need to have a point. A regular set time is the best, but any time spent is beneficial. Reading, studying, and learning God’s word is beneficial. God speaks to us through His word. We cannot have a relationship with Him if we are not talking to Him and He to us. He speaks to us through His word and the Holy Spirit. We then talk to Him in prayer through the Holy Spirit. The more we listen and talk to Him, the closer we get and the relationship grows.

The Spiritual Education of our children is vital for their well-being. There is no time like the present to start shaping or strengthening their spiritual lives. I have a resource you can use at:  www.kidbiblelessons.com. On this blog I have spiritual lessons written in a story format. Most of the stories use animals to teach a Biblical character lesson. At the end of each lesson is a verse they can memorize corresponding with the lesson.

Rosita Valdez: And the Giant Sea Turtle is the first book in a fictional series that your child would love. It entertains while teaching Biblical characteristics through the life of a young girl. You can find it on Amazon, Barns and Noble, and Westbow Press.