Monday, 17 December 2012

Swimming Classes for Kids in Singapore

It’s time for a brief update on what the kids have been up to over the school holidays. Obviously, I’m still stuck in the office every day, so I’m not getting to take part in many of the activities unless they happen to fall on a weekend.


In terms of the holiday programs and camps, all the fun starts for Casey next year as he begins his Kinderland journey and attends kindergarten with his ‘ge ge’ (big brother) – it’s not much fun for Daddy’s wallet though… :( - this year, Jaime has attended both a ‘Chinese News Presenter’ course at Mediacorp and this week he’s making an ‘Angry Bird’ robot.


The one key thing that I wanted to touch on, is the progress that Jaime is making in his swimming classes. Now, here’s the wrap on sports classes in Singapore… and for parents just starting out on this journey, please note this down very well.


There are literally dozens (or perhaps even hundreds) of swimming schools in Singapore. Before signing our son up many months ago, we wanted to be sure that he would have an instructor that would help him get the most out of the once-a-week lessons, as well as someone who was kind and understanding, but a little firm at the same time.

We made the right decision to enroll him in the “Bubbles ‘N Splashes” swim school. He attends every Friday afternoon and over time, we have seen a remarked improvement in his ability and just as important, his confidence. Tomorrow, he will attempt his first ever formal (Level 1) swimming test.

 
Given that I am always at work when classes are going on, I’d not had the opportunity to witness first-hand the format or teaching style of his swimming instructor.

However, on Sunday, Jaime attended an ‘extra’ session, as he prepares for his first ‘test’. We took both the boys down to the Anchorvale swimming pool at the AV Community Club (where I sit on the management committee) for the morning, and our decision to go with “Bubbles ‘N Splashes’ was reaffirmed… not just by watching the way the teacher interacted with the kids and offered special attention where needed, it was also by watching teachers from other swimming schools who were sharing the same pool.


Now, I understand that working with young kids can be testing on any grown-up… but to hear the way that some of these other swimming teachers spoke to the children and constantly scolded them and yelled at them (for example, something as simple as sitting on the side of the pool while waiting, when they had not been instructed to sit). I was left speechless – this is no way to get kids to learn or to show respect. If teaching young kids makes a person frustrated and angry and leaves no option but to yell, scream and scold, I strongly suggest that it’s time for that person to search for another profession.

Not only is it this behaviour not conducive to a positive and healthy learning environment, it can be demoralizing for the kids… and the parents are paying hard-earned cash for this privilege.


My message is – before you sign up, do a little research online in local forums and get feedback from other parents… perhaps go and watch the teacher in action (covertly) and see if they behave in a way which you think will benefit your child. Once again – “Bubbles ‘N Splashes” is the school for us. Firm but fair, caring and understanding, and the results truly speak for themselves… BRAVO!!

 
Speaking of confidence – Casey has no problems when it comes to the water. In fact, he is so overly confident, that he will just jump directly into the deep end of the pool for me to catch him (even when I’m not looking or ready for it). I’m kind of guessing it’s the Queenslander in his genes, but he absolutely loves swimming and playing in the pool – he has been talking about ‘jumping in the water’ for the last few days… and not failing to mention it at least ten times every hour.

 
 

Finally, on another topic, the boys have not been immune to the ‘Psy’ phenomenon and the YouTube smash hit, “Gangnam Style”. Now it seems that as well as watching the video dozens of times and knowing the dance moves, the marketing engine behind it all have started producing merchandise… and what demographic do you think the campaign is focused on? Yep, you got it – young kids!!


I’ve been told so many times before by friends and colleagues, that running, jumping and dancing is a great way to make sure that their kids are worn out by the end of the day and they will want to sleep peacefully and earlier after a session of physical activity. I hereby pronounce that Casey and Jaime are obviously different from the norm / exception to the rule… in the video below, it’s already 11:30pm at night, they are “full of beans” and they show no sign of wearing down, even pleading for more at such a late hour… BUT, IT IS VERY CUTE THOUGH!! “Oppa Zheng Jia Style”…


[BROWSE MORE SWIMMING PICTURES HERE]

4 comments:

Xtine said...

U lookin like a DILF there! Heh. btw, i only recently found out many of my male friends are sexually abused by swimming coaches when they were boys, so fyi!

AussiePete said...

Hi Xtine - DILF!! ROFL... I've never heard that before :p

Matt said...

Nice, I am also planning to send my 7 year old son to swimming lessons. Thanks for this post.

tracker said...

In Sg we learn swimming differently. I prefer the ang moh style (doggy style) where I keep my head above the water all the time even when doing laps.

In SG I was taught to duck my head in and out.