Hudson Valley Parent

HVP April 2018

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Page 32 of 43 n Hudson Valley Parent 33 Independence in the water Jennifer Brighton also signed her child up for swimming lessons at the local YWCA. Her son Lucas was four years old when he first experienced some independence in the water. "He had to hold on to the wall and kick, put his mouth in the water and blow bubbles, float on his back and use a kick-board to swim a short distance away from the wall," says the Orange County mom of three. "He became more comfortable as the classes went on and started jumping in the water as long as someone was there to catch him." Smith says, in reference to their program's young independent swimmers, "We teach back-floating and want our students to be comfortable going completely underwater. Their skills improve and confidence increases as they learn." Brighton says, "The confidence I saw in my son was the most incredible part. By the end, he was putting his head underwater for longer and longer amounts of time. He had no fear." Continued instruction As a school-aged child, I took swimming lessons at Valley Central High School in Montgomery. My own mother recalls this and says, "At that age they were less instructional and more useful for the social aspect. Your friends were taking the same lessons and it was like a summer camp." Smith agrees that swimming lessons are a great place for socialization. "Some parents call to inquire about private lessons but we strongly discourage that. All of our classes are small groups and we see kids do much better in classes like that," insists Smith. "Kids learn from one another and motivate each other to do better. We see them have a lot of fun." Jennifer Brighton adds that continued instruction is good for children and insists that she will enroll Lucas in more classes as he gets older. "It is important to have a child that is capable of being in the water independently. The water is dangerous if you don't know how to swim." Now, my mother is a para- professional at the high school for a student in 10th grade. "The students have to swim as part of their gym class for the year, but at this point they all know how to swim. The classes are for fitness purposes and exercise. They also are learning about CPR and have to "rescue" their peers using a tube or a pole," she explains. Swimmers can take different classes at British Swim School as their skills improve. Smith says, "Older students take classes to refine their strokes and develop skills in new strokes." Cassidy Brighton is the editor for Hudson Valley Parent. BORED KIDS? WE ALWAYS HAVE FUN STUFF TO DO READY FOR YOU AT HVPARENT.COM MAKE PLANS 24/7 PLANNING AN EVENT? ADD IT TO OUR CALENDAR FREE

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