I can’t explain to you how much we love the water. It is such an all encompassing part of our lives. We live near it, see it every day, stare out of the window just to see it reaching out on to the horizon and spend a vast majority of time visiting it. It was only natural that the children would join our love of water and they too want to get in to it.
Very early on Rob and I decided that learning to swim was pretty high on our agendas. At only six weeks old we enrolled Rupert in to swimming lesson. It was love at first try, his lessons with Water Babies was to become the start of something amazing. So amazing that we have been going there on and off for the past seven years.
Starting our swimming journey
When we had just Rupert we attended every week. They quickly became everyones favourite thirty minutes of the week. As soon as Prue was born we enrolled her, she had her lesson immediately after Rupert’s, it then became our favourite hour. The children both completed the whole programme and went on to graduate from there. Long story short (you can read how leaving Water Babies and trying older groups went here,) we didn’t do so well once we left and quickly realised we were born to be teach and facilitate our children learning and the best way was to just do it ourselves.
Returning to Water Babies
By the time we went on to have Clemmie, we had got in to such a pattern of teaching the children and learning things as a family that we didn’t really give much thought to Clemmie having the same lessons as the children had. That was until I was tagged in a facebook post. Water Babies were looking for an honest review in exchange for a free term. We applied and were accepted. After one lesson we realised how much we had missed it. As much as we love teaching the children and learning as a family, sometimes some things just fall by the wayside. Getting a family of five all in the same place and ready for a swimming lesson, whilst aligning this with the local swimming pools timetable, the weather (I mean who really wants to swim in a Cornish indoor pool on a weekend when its pouring outside #sardines #noisiestplaceontheplanet #thereisnothingtodoincornwallintherain) and the schools public holidays and weekends. Well it doesn’t take long before you actually haven’t been swimming in ages. So back to Water Babies we went, and back to Water Babies we stayed, happily signing her up for more terms.
Review by Clemmie
Clementine has absolutely loved her lessons. I can’t hide my happiness that the teacher there has now taught a hat-trick of Hopleys. And each of them have fallen for Rachel our instructor so quickly. For those of you who have an inkling that home education may be for you, this will certainly fuel a love of learning with your children. It is so child led. Over the past seven years I have never once seen our teacher force anything upon a child. If they wobble about a technique thats coming up, quick as a flash she has adapted it to something they will enjoy, placated with a toy fish and included them in the technique doing it however they wish, no tears, no tricks, no forcing. It really is wonderful to watch. and I have watched over time the children attempt the skills when they ready without coercion, simply because they have been given the space and gentle patience to try it when they are ready. Such a joy and so inspiring.
The older children now get very jealous that Clem gets all the Rachel time, they long to have her back teaching them. And I get to enjoy that the facilitators that the children have met through their lives have brought them so much joy, that they can look back at their learning with such warmth.
So now we are firmly back in the Water Babies fold. Eagerly awaiting the next lesson, with a little one year old beaming with smiles as she realises which day it is and where we are going. The fact we have continued to attend even though we know the lessons well now is testament to what we think about Water Babies. The kindness, the gentle nature, the patience. It is our home education philosophy achieved through our swimming lessons. And I can honestly tell you how hard this is to achieve from a structured and public group so I can’t praise Water Babies enough.
Lets talk about cashola
I am not completely going to miss this out. It is true that Water Babies is not known for being the cheapest option. In fact sometimes the price makes me wince. BUT! And this is a massive but, it is worth it. Every. Single. Penny. As we have streamlined our home and possessions we have directed our spending in to other areas. We spend far less on filling our house with toys and instead invest in spending our money on experiences and our learning. Water Babies certainly falls in to this category. It is also the perfect answer to those family members who perhaps don’t give your children what you would want in your home or don’t know what buy them. I have always been known to ask for money to go towards their swimming lessons.
Obviously this is something only you can weigh up, but for us we cut back on other unnecessary purchases in order to facilitate these lessons and have enjoyed our choice. It isn’t just the gentle nature and the fun and games we love throughout the session. We have tried other swimming lessons and they just don’t hit the mark like Water Babies do. What we really love is the message that goes behind every skill they teach. Water Safety. Every fun skill your child learns is really a safety skill that will help them should they ever fall in. I passionately believe that anything and everything can be learnt through fun and games and be totally accessible to children. Water Babies hits the nail on the head. Usually I would shy away from such a big company. But with the Cornwall branch I have always felt valued, never felt anything less when we don’t opt for the extras. We don’t personally want the underwater shoot, the toys, or any extras, and this applies to any extra curriculums we attend. Our enjoyment with minimalism has extended to make us realise that we just don’t enjoy the extras we used to feel pressure to have. Now we confidently wave them by, and Water Babies have never made us feel anything less for not opting in to their extras.
What can I say? Try it! I have seen Water Babies in the past offer taster sessions, or to book half way through the term if they have space, so this is a cheaper option if you wish to trial it to see what you think. They also gave us sibling discount when we had both Rupert and Prue in lessons together. If your experience were to be half as good as ours, you won’t be disappointed.
Water Babies offered us one free term of swimming in exchange of an honest and open review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and subsequent terms after the free trial have been paid in full by us.