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...to think it's the swimming teacher's job to motivate my child?

(25 Posts)
ValentineWiggins Wed 17-Oct-12 17:50:52

Dd (almost 6) has been doing swimming lessons her whole life (effectively). She's not thriving in her current group, but whenever I talk to the teacher or the head teacher they say its because she's not trying. Surely it is their job to find a way to motivate her during the lessons - I can talk to her outside until I'm blue in the face but I can't help her in the pool.

Plus I'm not convinced she actually understands what she is being asked to do (arm pull kick glide for breaststroke for example), but when I asked the head teacher she just said that she's taught lots of children and they all have understood it...maybe - but AIBU to think it wouldn't kill the teacher to find another way to explain things given this way clearly isn't working?

I don't want to give up the lessons but I hate that she's not progressing (or really enjoying it).

Roseformeplease Wed 17-Oct-12 17:54:47

Can you also go swimming for fun? A big motivation for my children was being able to pass the test that allowed them in the deep end without an adult. What about somewhere with slides so she can see the importance of swimming - or the sea (in summer). Yes, the teacher should make lessons accessible and fun but motivation comes from the person themselves and she probably needs to have a good reason for improving. They all learn eventually, anyway.

halloweeneyqueeney Wed 17-Oct-12 17:55:31

I don't think a good teacher would say "well it worked for other children", your child isn't other children she's herself... so YANBU, a teacher should be able to approach it from a few angles if the first one isn't working

Bonsoir Wed 17-Oct-12 17:57:11

I think that fewer, private lessons plus lots of fun outings/holidays with pools works better than group lessons year after year for swimming.

Trifle Wed 17-Oct-12 17:57:28

Why are you continuing to flog a dead horse.

Substitute 'ballet' for 'swimming'. After 6 years of your daughter not getting it, would you carry on, no.

Either she can swim after 6 years or she cant. If she cant then find another way, such as a private 1:1 lesson. You will probably save a fortune as a couple of half hour lessons and she will probably understand it.

Give up. If you cant motivate her and her teacher cant, nor can she understand what is expected of her then look for an alternative route.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 17-Oct-12 18:01:03

My children learned when they did a crash course - lessons every morning for a week - then went on holiday for a fortnight where they swam every day. Now they have weekly lessons basically swim lengths instead of just diving for summers, and crash courses to improve technique.

lunar1 Wed 17-Oct-12 18:03:59

My ds could never understand swimming on his back. 2 1:1 lessons with the teacher in the pool was all he needed to get over that hurdle.

ValentineWiggins Wed 17-Oct-12 18:17:41

Sorry I didn't explain properly - she can swim well enough but now they are really pushing speed and technique...neither of which are actually getting better...

The lessons are 1:4 with the teacher in the pool.

I don't want to stop the lessons because I think once she gets past this issue she has potential to be quite good.

I'm just really frustrated that they keep saying she's not trying without making any attempt to change how they teach to get her more motivated, or to explain things in a way she can work with!

Grrrrr

NatashaBee Wed 17-Oct-12 18:18:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

x2boys Wed 17-Oct-12 18:42:17

my nearly six your old started swimming lessons a couple of months ago so far so good they are following a national; programme from what i can make out when thet start concentrating on technique and speed etc they are nearly at the end of the programme what do you want from the lessons my main aim is that my kids can swim confidently and competently if you want more what about a swimming club?

Lilylightfoot Wed 17-Oct-12 18:45:49

Some child never get breaststroke it takes a lot co-ordination and she still very young. so don't let her get put off swimming just becuse she not a naturel breaststroker.

meditrina Wed 17-Oct-12 18:46:14

Perhaps a swimming club might be a better option than lessons with a teacher with whom it just does not gel?

meditrina Wed 17-Oct-12 18:46:21

Perhaps a swimming club might be a better option than lessons with a teacher with whom it just does not gel?

lljkk Wed 17-Oct-12 19:03:56

Try a different teacher.

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Wed 17-Oct-12 19:11:03

My DD went to swimming lessons for years and still couldn't swim. The lessons just went over and over the same things, week after week. I moved her to another swim school and she was swimming within 2 lessons.

I would move her to another swim school.

pointyfangs Wed 17-Oct-12 19:20:55

Breaststroke is really tricky in terms of timing the power and the glide, my DDs were very strong swimmers at 6 but their breaststroke was definitely more functional than elegant at that age.

However, they could dive and retrieve a brick from 6 feet of water, had technically effective and speedy crawl and backstroke and could tread water and scull. If your daughter has decent basics as early as 6 and is otherwise competent - that is, confident and secure in deep water and underwater, with basic stroke and able to swim 25-50 metres at each (however ungainly) then you should probably take her out and just have fun going swimming with her instead. She can always go back later when she's grown a bit and is ready for the more advanced stuff.

Floggingmolly Wed 17-Oct-12 19:29:07

Give it a rest for a while until she wants to go back. If she's been swimming her whole life but is just not getting any better maybe she's reached her limit?
The teacher can't force an interest that just isn't there.
Where are you seeing this potential to be quite good?

eBook Wed 17-Oct-12 19:30:12

The teacher sounds very inflexible. A good teacher will adapt and explain things in different ways so that each child understands.

UniS Wed 17-Oct-12 20:02:21

Take a break.
swim for fun.
She can start lessons again when she a bit older - like 7, and better able to take the instructions and turn them into actions.

I'm guessing that she is stagnating at about ASA stage 4? I pulled DS out of lessons after stage 3 (age just 6) as he wasn't old enough IMHO to benefit from stage 4 and the variety of stroke work they do , but he can functionally swim and he likes going swimming.

PS- what REALLY motivated DS to pass stage 3 was the promise of a body board once he passed.

ValentineWiggins Wed 17-Oct-12 20:09:49

MrsMangel That's exactly what is happening - the teacher says the same things in exactly the same words every week...my theory is that that is just not the way to explain the ideas to her (yes, will be taking her swimming and explaining it differently over half term).

Flogging Funnily she says that she loves this swimming...so I think we are going to try with another teacher and see what happens. I think it is probably just that she doesn't get on with this teacher and that a change of style will get her mojo back! I guess I'm not seeing the potential at the moment to be honest...but i did as in the past she has been doing really well in classes with children 1-2 years older than her. Also given that she is one of the 7 or so in her school class in the "advanced" swimming group for their school lessons (already being groomed for swim team I think) I don't think it's that unreasonable.

Pointy - she is very confident in deep water - loves diving boards and big slides! So I'm not bothered about her technique per se - I'm just concerned that she is constantly not keeping up with the class, and being told that she's being lazy and doing everything wrong. I'm sure a little bit of praise for working hard even if she isn't actually improving would be a bit more motivating than being constantly told off!

ebook thankyou - I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that!

I shall let you all know what happens with the different teacher!

SilverCharm Wed 17-Oct-12 20:12:39

You think she's got potential but she's not enjoying it. She's 6. She can swim. Leave it at that.

deste Wed 17-Oct-12 20:35:08

I used to teach swimming and know that some children look as if they are listening but really they are not processing what they are being told. They are usually thinking about something else.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Wed 17-Oct-12 20:42:00

deste, I was always like that as a child (to an extent as an adult too). OP, agree with the others, give your child a break for a while. She's only 6

bamboostalks Wed 17-Oct-12 20:45:15

She is only 5! Sounds like a tough regime. Why bother?

ValentineWiggins Wed 17-Oct-12 22:04:19

deste I completely agree that this is what she is doing...but I can't be in the pool to change this! How did you handle it? I would like to think if I had a child like that in a class I was teaching I would realise that was the problem and get them to repeat the instructions back to me to check they were listening...rather than just getting annoyed with them...

THanks for the advice everyone - I think you are right! I shall see if the different teacher helps - if not then time for a break!

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