I don't know about you, but Spring always has me thinking SUMMER. Which leads me to putting the boys back into swim lessons - because we spend so much of our summer between the beach and pools. The Bug Guy is now 7 and the twins are nearly 6. They have had swim lessons since the age of 3 and I hate to say that they still can not really swim. Not the way I want them to.
I started the Big Guy one summer at an outdoor pool, but that didn't go so well between the cold air and his cerebral palsy. His muscles got too tight and it was heartbreaking to watch. From there we switched over to the YMCA for the heated pool. While I love the Y, the lessons went from 6 kids in a class to 12 kids in a class and there never seemed to be any specialized instruction for the kids who needed a little something more. And while it seemed fun for the kids at first to be using the bubbles, they didn't ever seem to move away from using those bubbles. It became like a crutch for them. I felt like I knew they could do it without the bubble, but they didn't know it and they didn't have the confidence to try without it.
We were given the opportunity a few weeks ago to enroll all three boys at Envious Swimming -Rhode Island's premier swim school. They have over 700 swimmers between their Learn To Swim program and their Swim Team, and they operate out of two locations: Bryant University in Smithfield and McDermott Pool in Warwick. We chose McDermott Pool since it was closer to us.
Envious starts their program for swimmers at 6 months of age but also caters to adults. Their classes run in a 1 instructor to 4 swimmer ratio and all classes are 30 min in length. That was just amazing to me. Having three kids start at the same level, it was just the three of them. Their own private lesson! They have never received such attention in a swim class before.
While they occasionally use a noodle, there are NO BUBBLES attached to them! And I could not be happier. No child sits on the side for more than a few seconds either. Everyone is constantly being rotated in and out of the pool. (Something I could not say about previous lessons where the boys would sometimes spend minutes on the side waiting.)
This is the Big Guy. Floating almost on his own. I can not express to y'all how huge this is for him. He has gotten stronger through physical therapy in the pool (once a month) but he couldn't do this then either. Just amazing.
The boys always liked getting in the water, but they have such a great time at Envious I am smiling the entire time watching them smile.
Something else the boys love? Swim lessons end with getting to pick out a small prize for working so hard in the pool. A little extra motivation at the end for the kids. They also have stamps and stickers on hand as well.
I cannot get enough of the swim cap and goggle look.
At the completion of their 3 lessons, the Big Guy was actually moved ahead a class from his brothers. I can not even begin to explain what a big deal that is... or how much confidence he gained from that.
In addition to their website, you can follow Envious on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Envious is a proud partner of Make a Splash, the official water safety initiative of USA Swimming.
**Disclosure: We were provided with 3 free swim lessons for the boys, in addition to a pair of goggles and swim caps, in exchange for our post and social media promotions. Opinions are all our own! (And we loved them so much we stayed on and now pay for lessons!)**
Here they are at their lesson last week. Four to a class maximum is awesome! Even more awesome? The Big Guy happens to currently be in his own class. He is on the left of this photo with his instructor. And the twins? It's just the two of them as you can see at the center.
I can not say enough about these swim lessons. Let me know if you check out Envious. I think you will love them too! They boys have all made such strides in just one month's time that I think we will be staying at Envious for good.