Wow! The amount of questions that I have gotten from you all, and in the past, about the boys swimming lessons is crazy! We figured that it would be something you would be interested in hearing more about. I am taking the most frequently asked questions that I have gotten and answering them here So, here is the scoop on ISR…
- That is insane! What are these swimming lessons you are doing with your kids?
Rob and I have signed all three boys un for ISR (Infant Swimming Resource) which is a one-on-one swimming programs that is completely customized for your child. ISR teaches children how to “self-rescue” in the water if they are ever in the position where they are drowning. Children (6-12 months) learn how to flip over to float on their backs and remain their until help arrives. Older children learn the swim-float-swim sequence. This sequence is taught so children are able to swim with their head in the water, flip to float (breath and rest), then continue swimming.
- Why are you doing ISR?
Every family is different and every child is different but Rob and I decided that this was the way to go for our children. We had Hunter in 2 different (very well known) swim schools and Grayson in 1 before finding ISR and neither boy was successful in actually learning how to float/swim. So we started looking for something new and found ISR. We figured why not? We had tried 2 others and although Hunter was learning – the progress was sloooow. And Grayson, well was not learning (he was terrified of the water).
- What is the difference between ISR and standard swimming lessons?
A LOT! First, the schedule is intense. ISR lessons are 10 minutes per day (yes only 10) 5 day per week (yes 5) for about 6 weeks! There is a lot of science and reasoning behind all of that but essentially in order for children to learn anything they need constant repetition, waiting 1 week between lessons is not enough repetition to learn. The purpose for 10 minutes is because these sweet kiddos get tired! Since lessons are one-on-one, the children are swimming/floating (basically working) the entire time that at the end of 10 minutes they are fatigued. And 6 weeks is about the amount of time that it takes for children to master these skills. All three of my boys have completed the program and all three had different lengths. Hunter completed all of his checkout procedures after 4 1/2 weeks and then finished out the week, so he ended at 5 weeks. Grayson took 7 weeks. Preston took 6 weeks.
- Does your child cry and how do you handle that?
YES. They all cried, some more/longer/harder/louder than others, but they all cried. Is it hard as a mother to sit there and listen/watch? YES… but it is SO worth it in the end. Mine and Rob’s parenting style is focused on the “end goal” and my “end goal” for my children in life is that they grow up to be capable, independent, tender-hearted men that are able to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. So major parenting decision or transition that we go through with our children we are focused on that end goal as opposed to the here and now. I know how important it is to be able to self rescue if (God forbid) my little loves are ever put in that situation, so I just focused on that end goal and remembered that although it was hard – it was also good.
- How much does it cost?
The cost of ISR can vary based of off instructor (since they are independent business owners) and location (cost of pool rental/etc). But I can speak to the general cost as it compares to swimming lessons at different well-known swim schools, from my experience. While it may seem to be more expensive, you are paying weekly, it really is about the same as a typically weekly swim school program. The price is very comparable, especially when you think about how at a swim class your child may be sitting on the edge for 15 minutes of the 30 minute class, and with ISR they are getting one-on-one, customized swim instruction.
Additionally, here in Chicago there is an opportunity to apply for a scholarship to help with costs if that is a concern for you. CAST Water Safety Foundation is a nonprofit organization who works with families to provide scholarships to make lessons more attainable to all. If you are considering ISR but don’t think you can financially make it work, definitely look into their scholarship programs.
- Where do you go for lessons?
We’ve gone to 2 locations. The first one, that Hunter & Grayson went to last year, closed because of COVID. This year, we took Preston to the Forest Park, IL location.
If you are not in the Chicagoland area then you can go to the ISR site and ‘Find an instructor near you’ to see where lessons are being offered in your area.
- What happens after they finish?
After they “graduate” the program your instructor will recommend next steps for your child. It was recommended that Preston go for a “Refresher Course” in the spring of 2021. A refresher course is just a review of what they learned in the 6 week sessions but is condensed into one or two weeks. Once again, the custom programing is amazing – at the end of the older boys 6 week course their instructor knew that when Hunter came back for a refresher that he would only need 1 week and that Grayson would need 2 weeks, and of course she was right!
If you are still reading this, then good for you! And you must be interested in giving ISR a shot – if that’s you then please reach out to them. The CAST team here in Chicago is amazing. Give it a try, you won’t regret it.