Week 3 of Water Babies Chapter 1 and before the class has even started I am employing a few new tricks I’ve picked up to speed up the changing room situation. On the last nappy change before we leave the house I swap Phoebe’s regular nappy for her swim nappy and swap any complicated clothes (Pretty much all baby clothes are complicated! Whoever designed baby clothes with buttons on the back has a lot to answer for) for a straightforward, easy access sleepsuit. This means upon arrival at the pool all we have to do is whip off the sleepsuit and we’re good to go!
But wait, before you start digging out that super mum costume and posting it over to my address, we are arriving at swimming for the second time running with a somewhat sleepy baby. After we had a grumpy little Phoebe fish in the pool last week we realised that she was going in the water already tired and the 30 minute session, which zaps them out anyway, was pushing her over the edge. For anyone who has tried to make a nap happen at a specific time, outside the typical times a baby wants to nap, you’ll know how effortlessly easy and good fun it can be… ha! Super mum I am not, open to suggestions I most certainly am! That said, she did manage the session, whilst testing the acoustics of the pool with her angelic voice!
In session 3 the babies begin to swim on their back with support from mum or dad. This position will be particularly important as they progress to chapter 2 as it forms part of the safety training. While on their backs Louise our instructor shows a picture card to each baby and simultaneously sings a song. The card is only flashed briefly but is the beginning of association training, allowing the babies to learn new ways of receiving and understanding instructions. As a teacher myself, I inevitably look at the way different sessions are planned and structured. I spend so much time in my own job considering different learning styles, teaching techniques and ways of differentiating to cater for every student that it’s hard not to notice the good practice happening at so many of the classes I have attended since beginning this blog. One of the absolute strengths of Water Babies are the resources and the thorough planning that is evident in each session. The picture cards are used for a multitude of reasons, not only to support visual learners but also to support the instructors in controlling groups of young swimmers. It’s easy to dismiss such a brief moment as the card being flashed but after beginning to understand the theory behind it, I can appreciate that each session is working towards longer term objectives for these little Water Babies.