I vividly remember the first time I saw an ISR (Infant Swimming Resource) video. My Kansas bestie Meg had put her infant son Jack through the program (before we met them) during their time stationed at Fort Rucker (Alabama), and she showed me a video of him finding his way to the top of the water and getting on his back to float while fully clothed. I had known and loved Jack for a year or so by this point, so to see him as a baby be able to do what I never thought a baby could do was unreal. It blew me away!
This month both of my girls graduated from their first year in the program, and it was hands down one of the best things we have ever done as parents. I can’t imagine doing swimming lessons any other way now, and to know that ISR is out there makes me so happy.
In order to “graduate”, there’s a final day where the child swims with a jacket, socks, and shoes. I love this so much because kids could fall in the water 12 months a year. Water dangers aren’t just present when you’re swimming. There are all kinds of water sources that kids could fall into, so it’s important to the ISR program that a child be able to apply the learned skills while fully dressed. Isn’t that cool??
Typically students pay by the week because every kid progresses at different speeds. For example, Hadley needed a week less than Sadie. I love this because if your child does really well and masters everything in just four weeks (or less), they’re outta there! If the child is a bit more timid in the water and/or more “stubborn” to apply what he or she is learning (*ahem* Sadie Rose!), then the instructor will continue to work with that child until the skills are mastered.
So how will we ensure that they retain these skills now that they’ve graduated? Kim (their instructor) had the best tips.
She wants the girls to enjoy the pool like everybody should, but she wants us to make sure every time that they can help themselves if they get in trouble. So she advised that every time we get in the pool, we practice with both girls and make them show us multiple times that they know how to float, kick their legs, close their mouth underwater, open their eyes, etc. If they show that they can do this, they’re free to enjoy the water around us with a pool noodle or something (except you know that Jamie and I are still never more than six inches from them LOL). Puddle jumpers will never be a thing for our fam again.
Throughout the last seven weeks, I’ve been sharing clips from our ISR experience, and it’s been THRILLING to hear from so many of you via DMs on Instagram. I can’t count on my fingers and toes how many of you have told me that you have your children currently enrolled in ISR programs around the country this summer. It makes me so happy. I know it’s a big commitment with your time and finances, but I hope you’re as satisfied with the program as we have been.
It also stinks to hear that so many of you want to do this program but it’s not offered in your area. I can empathize with you because that was our reality in Kansas. Swimming skills are a timeless thing, so I hope and pray that this program continues to explode with instructors in every town in every state. Maybe you’re interested in being an instructor and making a career out of ISR? It’s possible! I have a bit of info and a person of contact if you’d like to find out more about this opportunity.
Finally, I think it’s super important to note what the girls thought of the program, since this was their show after all!
THEY LOVED IT. Absolutely, positively loved it. Hadley loved it from day #1. She was scared at first and sometimes (often times) talked back to Kim and tell her that she didn’t want to do something, but Kim always knew exactly how to ignore it and gently “make” Hadley do something anyway. Sadie screamed the entire first week, but after that she took it down to just a whine. She would wake up every single day though telling me when was ready to swim with Kim, and when it was her turn, she ran straight into the pool. We always laughed about how she would whine but still want to swim with Kim and go under water over and over and over.
The first person that Sadie ever told us she loved was Kim. “Love. Kim.” is what she told us out of the blue one day. Then two weeks ago, as we were leaving the pool, Hadley yelled to Kim “Bye! Love you!” It was the sweetest thing and we all melted.
Oh SO satisfied with you, ISR!
Has your child done the ISR program before? Do you have any hesitations or concerns about it? Did you sign up for it after hearing about Hadley’s accident in 2016 or our experience with ISR earlier this summer?
Hi! I’m a proud Army wife and mom to two little girls (ages 1 and 4), and I love sharing our lives with you. I blog all about motherhood, our time in the military, our travels, our meals, my fitness journey, my fashion favorites, and so much more. I truly enjoy sharing it all! I can’t get enough of birthday cake ice cream, weekend sunrise runs, or making my girls belly-laugh. I write almost daily about my family’s lives, and though I like to keep things light, I also share the messy parts too. Welcome! So glad to have you around. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram and would love to communicate with you there!