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Shoe Tying 101

October 12, 2010

Crocs are a way of life around here. All summer nothing else touched my son’s feet, but the weather is getting cooler and frankly the Crocs need to be put out of their misery.

I began considering teaching my son to tie his own shoes. I know that Velcro is a way of life these days and that many kids don’t learn to tie their shoes until much later or they get by with the “bunny ear” option.  I also knew that fine motor skills are very much still a work in progress.

I decided we would just go slow, very slow. I found these great step-by-step directions with pictures and rhyme. I also made a “shoe” out of the lid of a shoe box and an old shoe lace that I colored two colors with a marker.

We added it to the homeschooling workboxes one or two days a week. We would just work on one step at a time until he had it. “Build a teepee. Come inside. Bring a friend. Close it tight so we can hide. Over the mountain. Around we go. Make an arrow. Make a bow.”

It took a long time. Much longer than I originally thought, but now eight weeks later I have an official shoe-tying boy. In a final push, I offered him $10 to finish learning (he was down to the last step) by the end of last week. He had to show he knew how to do it but tying it three times in a row with no help.

Now if he wants me to tie his shoes, I charge him a dime. He doesn’t ask for help 🙂

Some tips we learned along the way:

1) He’s left handed so I had to modify the way I tie when i demonstrated steps for him.

2) Sometimes I had to break the steps into “micro-steps”–especially at the end. I added in a “pinch” before the “around we go” step. I also showed him how to know which string to pull through to make the “arrow” and that he had to let go of the “pinch” to pull it.

3) Don’t push it. They are ready when they are ready.

 

 

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