Wednesday, March 14, 2012

He can tie his shoes!

Jay can finally tie his shoes! Yeah, he's 8, and most kids have learned to tie their shoes long before age 8. He has never wanted to, though, and I didn't see it as important enough to push. He has always refused to get shoes that tie, looking for ones with velcro. We had bought him snow boots last year & no regular shoes for winter, figuring that he'd need the boots more. Well, we have hardly gotten any snow, especially for a Midwest winter. So, over the weekend, we bought him some new shoes.

He picked out 2 pairs that he liked, both had velcro. Both were size 3 (the pair he'd gotten rid of when we bought him the snow boots were a 2). We tried on pair A. His foot barely fit inside it. We tried on pair B. That one fit a little better, but he still would have outgrown it in a month. So, I went back to look for the next size up in each. Pair A did not have a next size up, 3 was the largest. Pair B had larger sizes, including 4, but they all tied instead of having velcro. So, he ended up with shoes that tie.

I showed him how to tie his shoe, once. Then, I helped him with it twice. By the end of the day, he had it down pat. He can now tie his own shoes. It's one of those skills that is basic & everyone expects kids to learn young. It's not a very important skill, though. So, I never felt obligated to push him to learn it. I knew that once he decided to do it he'd learn fast. He just had no interest in wasting his time on learning something so trivial. I understand that and support him in his decisions.

When he was 2, a doctor told us that he was 'too self-directed' and that it would cause problems with his education. Of course, he meant that it would cause problems in a classroom of 30 other kids who were willing to sit and do the lesson the teacher provided, when Jay would instead insist on doing something else. Being homeschooled means that he doesn't have to sit still & quiet and do some ridiculous lesson that is too easy for him or is just busywork. Homeschooling means he gets a say in what he does. Homeschooling allows that self-directedness to co-exist with parent/teacher guidance. I have no problem with having a child who is self-directed. He knows who he is, what he wants, & how to get it. That's more than many much older people can say.