So, back to my regularly scheduled programming. Parenting in a gentle-discipline style, and loving the unschooling philosophy, means trusting that a child will learn the necessary knowledge and skills at their own pace and in their own time. It also means not using punishment and shaming or other methods of control to get children to “do what you want them to” unless it’s for their safety or the safety others.
So, swimming. She’s in the 3-5 year old class, and there are six kids. This is part of the problem, because each kid only gets to go out in the water with the teacher 3 times. Basically, three minutes of actual swimming in a 30 minute time period. In between turns, they are expected to sit there, on their bottoms, on a bench in the water, not touching one another, or splash one another. Basically, sit there like statues (or old people). If they get too many warnings, they have to get out of the water and sit at the edge until they are told to get back in, and they miss the turn they’ve been waiting so long for.
Maybe if there were two or three kids in the class there wouldn’t be such long waits in between turns, but even so. It’s ridiculous to expect this age group to just sit there like that. And how much swimming can they possibly be “learning” in this manner??? It’s not like I want her to be a swim team member at age 4: I just want her to have some fun and be able to swim enough not to drown if she falls out of a boat. Also, I wish I didn’t have to get into the water with her. Like, how about a class where it’s one-to-one or one-to-two so instructors can actually swim with the kids??
This is the only swim class option in our whole area (unlike the city where I work, which has a Goldfish school). But I think we will just go back to open swim once a week. At least she’ll have some fun.