All Aboard! "It's Very Swedish..." a train on a cultural journey through Sweden, exploring the differences big and small between American and Swedish culture.
***As I recall from my childhood, if you wanted to learn to swim in Sweden, it was going to be in a lake. Pools are rare. Lakes are everywhere.
The Swede taught me to swim in Yxsjön. I'm behind DataBoy (censored for American audiences), and Swissie is next to me. We're getting used to the cold water...slowly...
Swedish kids learn breaststroke, but not with the face in the water on every stroke like you see in competitions here. The legs also do something different, it's not the kick of "the crawl" but more of a scissor-frog motion. If I have time, I'll look for a video.
The point is that it's fairly easy to learn, and kids are swimming pretty quickly. There are lessons of course, and I'd have my private lesson from my dad, while over by the dock, the other kids had to do all kinds of repetitive boring drills.
The Swede, ever the teacher (he didn't work for Volvo until we moved here) did give me a final exam. I remember I was to swim as far as I could next to the dock where the water was deep enough that I could not stand, but not so deep as to be scary. When I got tired, I was to grab the dock and be graded.
I remember being paid about the equivalent of $.25 for each meter I swam. I was about one or two meter from the end of the dock, which was 25 meters long, when I grabbed the edge. He pulled me out, held my hand, I can see myself in my white and green horizontally striped suit and remember being a little breathless and excited to learn I'd earned about $5. That was a LOT of money! I could swim!
When it came time to teach my own kids how to swim, I did what The Swede did and taught them myself. We were visiting friends in Texas, the same friends who came up with the phrase for this "It's Very Swedish..." series, the summer they were probably 4 and 7 or close to that.
They had one of those above ground HUGE swimming pools with plenty of room to actually swim, so I just taught hers too. Wanna know a good trick? Have them put crocs (the shoes, for those of you who aren't familiar with this invention, born right here in my small Colorado town!) on their hands. It helps them float a little more, and gives them confidence.
I think if I'd have had crocs to learn with, The Swede would have been out a lot more money ;-)
Do you know how to swim? How did you learn? Did you teach your kids? Feel free to share my croc idea. I didn't have it copyrighted...
~Tina, who now knows more than the breaststroke, but canNOT do the butterfly...at ALL
©2014 All Rights Reserved (the post, not the croc-on-hands-learn-to-swim-idea)
Photo credit: Momarazzi