Our Girl passed Red Cross Level 1 at her swim lessons today. She takes her lessons in the backyard pool of a neighborhood woman, Swim Coach, who's been doing it for 30 years. Needless to say, Swim Coach has it down to an art form. Her instruction is very age-appropriate and she brings good humor to her process. Much like soccer camp, her lessons are a must-do in our community for kids of the relevant age.
Not all of the kids in Our Girl's class were doing Level 1 - there were some pre-schoolers, too. Swim Coach does a lot of little things to help the younger kids get comfortable: songs and other rituals, including body paint before they wash off to get in the pool:
As I mentioned in my skating post, Our Girl tends to do well in a situation when she is the oldest kid and that was certainly the case this week. She has, quite recently, become a pretty strong swimmer. All credit goes to Grandma for that. We were in DC for a week recently and Grandma took her to Wilson Aquatic Center everyday. I was taking a class and thus couldn't go along except for one day so reports of her progress came second-hand. Grandma -- a one-time swim instructor herself, as it turns out -- was very impressed with Our Girl's determined efforts to improve.
Our Girl's a real pro with the kick board at this point:
She even did it on her back unaided today:
Each of the past two days, there was practice in the deep end with life vests:
Afterward, a well-earned rest:
I'm hoping we'll have some more opportunities to practice before the summer's out. Once again, Our Girl was sad when it was all over. Quite an improvement from the last time we tried this! She'll be eager for Level 2 next year.