Category Archives: Sports

The Long Hard Road to the Swim Championships

swimmeetIt was a long hard road, literally.  We drove across 3 state borders and many miles, to travel back and forth to swim practice and swim meets.  Each day, my daughter could not wait to go to swim practice.  Her hard work paid off at Junior State Championships.

I noticed that my daughter gained more than a chance at States or Junior States; she gained character. This has been a tough season for my daughter.  Through a sudden departure of a head coach, the exodus of friends, the increased injuries, and unscheduled illnesses, she kept going to swim practice.  She persevered through this year and I am so proud of her.

There were times she had to dig deep inside herself and muster up courage to face her fears. When her times were stagnant, she would say, “Well, you know what that means? I just have to work harder.” Yes, she gained so much this year.  Unfortunately, coaches and fellow swimmers will never observe most of what she achieved.  What she gained was confidence, integrity, and perseverance.

She gained so much more through the triumphs and the trials that abounded. The Lord has been with her through every step, every tear, and every stroke.  He knows her heart and her passion for swimming.  He brought her through this challenging year.

As I stood on the swim deck timing the 500 Freestyle, tears of joy filled my eyes for her courage and her love for her sport. Yes, my daughter, you are a champion in more than a swim meet; you are a champion of the heart.  Congratulations, my dear daughter on 5 out of 6 best times at the Junior States Championships!

5 Productive Swim Practice Ideas for Parents

Swimming

I spend a lot of time at swim practice and meets, waiting for and watching my daughter.  Since we travel over an hour, it does not make sense for me to go home.  As a homeschooling swim mom, I find there is an endless stack of items to do. Over the years, I have found some ideas to keep myself productive during swim practice.  I will break them into 5 groups.

 Reading and Reviewing School Work

I like to pre-read books that my daughter is going to read.  I try to use swim practice time to read books.  There is never enough time to read books before my daughter is clamoring to read them.  Unfortunately, it can be loud when the coach is shouting across the pool to the swimmers.  Therefore, I try to choose books that are not complex requiring thought.

 Exercising

This is a wonderful time to exercise.  Our facility has exercise equipment to use at an additional fee.  If this is not possible and the neighborhood is safe, going for a walk is a great way to move those muscles. Walking, around the parking lot a few times, can get those muscles moving.

 Crafts

This year I have decided to knit hats for my family for Christmas presents.  Many swim practices, I divide my time between paperwork, reading, exercising, and knitting.  Knitting and other fiber arts are great for keeping the hands busy while watching your child or talking to other parents.

 Conversation

We are truly blessed with a wonderful swim team family.  The parents are a joy to spend time chatting in a good way.  However, I do have a few suggestions when chatting.  Always remember to chat, not gossip.  This is so important.  In addition, your child or children are yours to worry about.  It is not for you to talk negatively about other children.  When mentioning other kids, I am careful to say positive things.  They are kids and do not need any additional pressure from parents.

 Paperwork

I do not know about you, but I have a lot of paperwork or little catch up items to do.  I have been known to balance a checkbook, pay bills, make phone calls, arrange a doctor’s appointment, clean out my purse, buy some goggles online, and yes, admittedly, I have purchased Christmas gifts during swim practice.

 

Sports are a wonderful activity for children to build character. As parents, maintaining positive reinforcement through our actions and activities helps our children as they explore their sport. Spending our time productively demonstrates to our children, that we are good time managers, so that we do not waste time!

Have a wonderful day!

Homeschooling with Sports – Making the Most of Your Time

sport swimmingGym bag. Check!
Swim suit. Check!
Snack. Check!
Gas in the van. Check!
And, we are off!

It is 3:00 p.m. and we are on the road driving to my daughter’s swim team practice, which is located 1 hr. 15 min. away on a good day. My daughter has a passion for swimming. Not an ordinary passion to swim, but an “I live for the water, swim team, and swim meets” passion. We make this drive 3-4 times a week from September to March.

As homeschoolers, we have a lot of curriculum to complete. It is easy to stay home and teach all the time. It is hard to step away and give this much of our homeschooling day to a sport. However, we have learned how to be creative and innovative in our studying while we are traveling to/from swim practice. My daughter has trouble reading in the car. It gives her a headache. We have tried many different ways to cover information while in the car, including audio CDs and eBooks. Here are a few things we have tried and our observations:

  • Audio and Video curriculum – We are part of the Classical Conversations community.  We purchased the audio CDs.   My daughter enjoys listening to the CDs during the long car rides.  But, here is what I like.  My daughter is learning!  I test her knowledge through either oral test or written questions, frequently.  She knows her Classical Conversations facts.  I attribute that knowledge to listening to the CDs in the car.
  • Story of the World CDs by Susan Wise Bauer are excellent in the car.  Jim Weiss has a great voice.  As a family, we listen to the CDs on long car trips.  We invested in the whole series of CDs because we enjoyed them so much.
  • Science CDs and music CDs for math.
  • Audio Books in the car from reader’s lists for her grade level and above.  We find many audio books at our local library.
  • eBooks on the laptop or eReader. I have discovered that an eReader is nice.  I was skeptical at first, but after receiving one as a Christmas present, I see the value.  Instead of carrying many books in the car, we actually just take the eReader with us.  It cuts down on many books gathering in the recesses of our van.  In addition, there are a lot of free eBooks especially the classics. One of the drawbacks is that this is still new technology and many of the curriculum books are not on eBook format, yet.
  • Flashcards in every subject – Math, Presidents, States, Animals, Space, are just a few of the flashcards that we have used in the car.

We have tried these methods. Try a couple of methods to see what works for you.

Give sports a try! It takes a lot of time and a little creativity, but it is well worth it!

Have a wonderful day!
Laura