Swimming is a sports/exercise that we have decided is a must-learn skill for the family. Why? In a nutshell, it is a safety issue.
For a large family with many young children we can’t keep an eye on all of them all of the time whenever we are at the swimming pool. But why do we need to go to the pool you may ask?
When you have a large family, the cheapest and easiest way to take a vacation is to head to a nearby country like Indonesia or Malaysia for a resort holiday. And a resort style holiday equals lots of time spent at beaches and swimming pools. Therefore they needed to be water safe.
This decision was sealed when our 6th child experienced 2 near drowning incidents 🙁 In the 1st incident I was nursing the baby at the pool side when she somehow lost her balance and fell. In the 2nd incident (at a different resort) she stepped into a pool that she thought was shallow. In both incidences it happened in a twinkling of an eye. And in both incidences, Big Brother Aaron (then 8 or 9 years old) was able to haul her up quickly and she did not suffer any adverse effects. It was scary!!! I could see her falling but I was too far away and carrying a baby to reach her in time.
At the moment, 4 of the children have graduated from swimming classes. 2 started formal lessons last year and only the youngest is still unable to swim. All we require of them is to be able to swim well enough to pass the standardised swimming tests. Once they do that, we stop the lessons.
Why take formal lessons and not just let them learn on their own? This is again something we have decided that we would rather pay someone to do it than do it ourselves 😉 Despite the fact that both dh and I swim. In fact, I used to be a school swimmer!
I know for other families, learning to cycle is a life skill they insist their children master. But we have decided that we will pass on that. And yes, dh and I can both cycle. Though I only cycle in straight lines and never uphill! Lol!