Saturday, March 7, 2009

It's a bit embarrassing...

to admit this, but my kiddos are learning how to tie their shoes.

Yes, I know.  YOU learned to tie shoes when you were three.  Or maybe, like one little boy I know, you clomped around in cowboy boots, even in the summer, until you started kindergarten.  Then you tied your shoes every day, and so did all the tiny, sweet-faced kids in your class.  As a parent, you had your children tie their shoes as soon as they had the dexterity to grasp those laces.

Well, some of us just didn't get around to teaching this until now.  We LOVED the convenience of velcro straps, or the awesome little bungee strings that sort of look like laces, but your kids don't even have to undo them to slide their feet in.  Get your shoes on, kids, we're leaving in one minute!  No problem!

So now, we are working on shoe-tying as a matter of necessity.  Because my kids have officially graduated into the shoe sizes that don't come with straps or bungees.  And it isn't sandal season yet.  Watching them learn this skill has really illustrated the differences between their learning styles.

Dudeman attacked his new shoes with determination.  He watched the demonstrations, repeated the step-by-step instructions, then set out on his own once he was able to say the steps in sequence.  Cross, bunny ears, circle the bunny ears, pull it through.  Over and over and over, even when he was really too tired and cranky to be practicing something frustrating.  I found his shoe on the bed in the morning--I think he was practicing until he just collapsed from exhaustion.

Supersim approaches things in a totally different way.  I don't know if I can do this, Mom.  I don't know if I'm ready for this, Mom.  Why can't they make strap shoes in bigger sizes!  Who invented laces in the first place!  This is stupid!  Then she quits trying.  But she isn't done learning.  Later, I spy her practicing the moves in the air.  Yes, in the air.  She's not ready to take on real laces, because she might fail.  This kid won't try over and over again.  She waits until she KNOWS she can do it.  Then she tries.

I guarantee, one day soon she will show me some beautifully tied laces, and she will have done it on her first try.  Meanwhile, Dudeman will continue to practice and mess up until he does it just right. Both kids will get it in their own time, they will just get their by completely different paths.  

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