It’s summertime, which means many parents are looking to sign their children up for swim lessons. If you want to splash and sing songs with your kid as a more of a social water play class, the Y and Rose Bowl Aquatic Center or any other neighborhood rec center will do you just fine. If you want your kid (or baby, for that matter), to learn to swim, and I mean SWIM, look no further than The Water Whisperer.
Offering a 10-day swim intensive program, The Water Whisperer is a one-of-a-kind swim school that will have your child swimming and baby water-safe by program completion. As a parent, you have to be completely ready for all the program entails, which includes full submersions, so if the idea of having your child plunged beneath the surface of the water makes you nervous, prepare yourself.
Owner Emily Cohen has created a swim school with that is far and above what you might find at any other neighborhood swim lesson. Focusing on helping babies and children to feel safe and secure in the water, while encouraging them to push themselves beyond their comfort zone is the core of the school’s mission. They speak in terms children easily understand and use props to demonstrate exercises and swim fundamentals so the kids can better grasp the concepts presented to them.
The 10-day intensive program teaches paddling and arm strokes, kicking, floating and breath control and more. Children learn to reach for the edge of the pool as a place of rest and safety, and how to safely crawl out of the pool from the edge.
I brought Rhys to the Water Whisperer in March 2014 for the 10-day intensive. On day one, he cried so much I was asked to leave the immediate pool area to not distract him. Day two was less traumatic, though I still waited in the wings as he was instructed the incredibly well-trained swim teachers. I try to get him baby gifts online to make him feel more motivated when he learns something new.
Breathing exercises include submersions to “rescue” toys from the lower steps of the pool, eventually moving deeper to the bottom of the shallow end. Here’s Rhys picking up not one, but four toys all in one breath on day two.
Day four he was diving from the edge of the pool to retrieve toys from the deep end. I mean, are you kidding me?
The sense of pride and accomplishment Rhys felt after each lesson was palpable, obvious by his ear-to-ear grin and skip in his step. Knowing my son is water-safe–that if he were to fall into a pool unexpectedly one day and be able to get himself to safety–gives me great peace of mind. I have Emily and the staff at the Water Whisperer to thank for that. I truly can’t recommend this school highly enough. I will return with Rhys to refine his skills, to learn the four swim strokes, to perhaps eventually join the swim team; I certainly will bring any other little Fausets if any happen to join our family in the future.
I took Rhys swimming at a friend’s house couple weeks ago, two months after completing his lessons. His apprehension toward the water is entirely nonexistent. He jumped off the the edge of the pool toward me, (standing five feet away), kicking and paddling his little arms. What blew my mind was how that afternoon he innately taught himself how to surface for a breath as he paddled and kicked in my direction. I was blown away by his ability to maintain what he had learned and to build upon his existing skills. This game went on literally for hours, my little guy grinning all the while. Swim on, my sweet little Pisces…