Learning to Swim


Beth and I have always agreed that we wanted our girls to be safe around the water as early as possible. You may have seen the video floating around online of infants learning to float and survive a fall into the pool. We’d seen it, but never gave it a second thought, until one of our neighbors raved about the progress her kids made in the ISR program. We decided to give it a shot and signed up to work with Kennette Pyles. It’s a rigorous program, 10 minutes a day, every day, for six weeks, or until the child is water safe. We enrolled Amelia (about 3.5 at the time) and Siena (about 21 months at the time). At the start, neither could swim. Amelia could get around well in her floaty vest, but take that off and she would sink like a stone. I was amazed a the results. About 3 1/2 weeks into the lessons, Amelia was learning the crawl stroke. Being a bit younger, Siena’s progress was a bit slower, but at the end of the 5 weeks, she passed her final exam and was able to swim around with her clothes on.

Now, at the end of the summer, Amelia is officially a little fish. In Florida last week, she swam 25 yards unassisted (enough to pass the YMCA swim test to swim by herself in their pools). Siena had a bit of a slump after ending her lessons and starting to swim in pools with much colder water. Now though, she seems to have regained her confidence and found the joy of swimming again. She can swim 5-6 feet unassisted and I think she has the right instincts to survive an unexpected fall into a pool. I don’t think I could ask for more.

Here’s some video of the progress they made during the lessons:

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