Ahh, thanks for sticking with me last week as I posted way less than I usually do (sad face!) Like I mentioned in yesterday’s “Slice of Life”, I realized that I way overdid it this month with jumping from one thing to the next to the next, and though May was an incredibly fun month, we already know that June is going to be much more relaxed for the DeSpain fam. Lots of pool time and spontaneous backyard BBQing with friends is calling our name!
I’m so very excited to share an ISR update! I’ve blabbed a heck of a lot about it on my Instagram Stories, so many of you are well aware that we are over halfway through with ISR swim lessons for Hadley and Sadie.
Quick background: If you are new here, we had a traumatizing near-drowning accident with our then two-year-old daughter Hadley in a backyard pool in September 2016. Lifeless, CPR, ambulance, overnight hospital visit, lots of tests, PTSD, counseling sessions, the whole nine yards.
I’ve shared extensively about it on this blog because a lot of my readers have or will have young children or grandchildren, and I do not want our experience to be in vain. It’s remained scarring to me how incredibly fast one can lose their child, and I can’t handle even thinking about another parent losing their child to drowning.
Anyway, we finally live in a city that offers ISR lessons, so I got in touch in a local instructor before we even moved to Alabama and got our girls enrolled. In being 100% transparent, our girls are being gifted this program by the ISR headquarters as a genuine thank you for widely sharing about them as a resource for parents who want to teach their children how to save themselves should they fall into water. Even though ISR wasn’t offered in our Kansas community, I still shared about ISR often because I had friends whose children had done the program, and I knew that it was a Godsend. I expected nothing from ISR in return, so I boohoo’ed like a baby when I got the email that my girls were being gifted this opportunity.
Infant Swimming Resource Review / ISR
What is ISR?
- It’s essentially a program that teaches children who are at least six months old how to get on their backs in the water and float until help arrives. IT’S UNBELIEVABLE. To see a baby submerged in water and quickly figure out how to get on his/her back is a miracle to watch, I’m telling you.
- It’s a big commitment for everyone involved. Lessons are only 10 minutes each day for at least 4-6 weeks. I was initially puzzled why the lessons were only 10 minutes long, but now I fully understand. It’s pretty exhausting for these kiddos, but in a good way.
- Hadley is 4.5, so her end-goal is to be able to swim underwater for at least 3-5 seconds, roll over onto her back to float to catch her breath for at least three seconds, and then flip back over and swim underwater again (with her eyes open and mouth obviously closed). She is learning to repeat this as many times as possible until she reaches a wall.
- Sadie just turned two, and her end-goal is to be able to get into a float position and either kick to a wall, cry out, or maybe even flip back over and swim.
I could never, ever, ever teach my kids to swim the way our professionally-trained instructor has. I watch in awe day after day as she pieces things together ever so slowly that result in my girls mastering what she wants them to. It’s incredible. You have to hear all of the parents shouting and cheering for each others’ kids every day. It’s so wonderful to watch all of the kids progress!
The instructor teaches them to do things that are outside of their comfort zone, but because she’s their teacher and not their parent, they listen to her way better than they would Jamie and me if we tried to do the same things with them. Hiring an ISR instructor to teach your babies how to swim and save themselves is so worth it.
Typically families pay week by week for these lessons because children progress at different speeds. For example, Hadley may be finished after five weeks. Sadie is likely going to do at least six weeks because she’s a bit more stubborn and nervous.
As a parent, it’s incredibly gratifying to watch your child master these survival skills. The peace of mind it brings to Jamie and me is absolutely priceless. It’s also super fun to watch how comfortable our kids now are in the water. I bought some goggles and dive rings over the weekend because we think Hadley’s at the point where she can play with these in more shallow water! So fun!
For my local readers in the Madison, Alabama area: Our girls’ instructor is Kim Shaw. I could go on and on about how awesome she is. In fact, she was the first person that Sadie ever said she loved. Ha! After day #3, Sadie said “Love. Kim.” It was the sweetest thing. Even though the girls work hard, they bolt to her whenever it’s their turn to swim with her. She is very, very patient but she also doesn’t waste time. She believes in what she’s teaching these kids and will do everything she can to teach them what they need to know.
Her schedule stays VERY full because she’s so awesome (duh), but please please please reach out to her and get on her schedule to teach your child how to save themselves in the water. You’ll be amazed at what she’ll teach your child to do! You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
To browse their website and find an instructor in your area, click here.
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo