Life Milestone: Learning to Tie Shoes

May was a big month for Christopher: learning to ride a bike, loosing his two front teeth, and learning to tie his shoes. He had been begging for tie shoes since spring break because the teacher said he could get an Eagle Feather (a recognition of excellence type award at his school) if he came back knowing how to tie his shoes. He didn’t have tie shoes, but I refused to buy them until his old shoes wore out or he outgrew them.

New shoes. With laces!!!

Well two weeks ago we noticed that his shoes were split in the toes…probably because he uses his shoes to stop himself on his bike most of the time instead of using the breaks. So I relented and took him to buy shoes with laces. The Saturday before Memorial Day, we went and picked out a cute pair of gray and red lace up Under Armor shoes. They were the only tie shoes that came in size 13. Luckily, he liked them. I insisted on tying them at the store, but I promised that he could learn to tie them as soon as we got home.

Christopher learning to tie his shoes using a YouTube video.

I’ve mentioned before that Christopher isn’t the best learner, so I decided to use YouTube to teach him how to tie his shoes. When we got home, we watched a couple of videos online until we found an amazing video! It had an absolutely brilliant method, and, best of all, there was no talking in the video. The guy just quietly ties the laces. We watched it once, and then I give minimal instruction and paused the video after each step, so Christopher could do it along with the video.

What makes this method so amazing is that instead of trying to thread the one lace through the other to make the second loop or using the two loop method, this guy has the kid grab the lace with their fingers and pull it through. You kind of have to watch the video to understand, but it made it so easy! Seriously, why don’t we all tie our shoes this way?

It took only about 10 minutes — 10 painful minutes with some yelling and a few tears, but once he figured it out, he was so proud of himself. He went into the other room right away to show Jim that he could tie his shoes. And he kept tying them all day long. It was cute.

Look at the smile? So proud! (And a little fuzzy.)

And of course when he went to school on Tuesday, he got his Eagle Feather. And we rewarded him with a Super Mario 3D World video on YouTube. (He hasn’t been allowed to watch YouTube since December, so that was a pretty great treat.)

Do you remember learning to tie your shoes? Which method did you use to teach your kids or did they learn at school?

I remember being one of the last people in my kindergarten class to learn. Once we could do it, we got our names on a shoe certificate that was hung in the hall outside our class, and I remember really wanting to get my name up there.

On the blog last year…

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