Last year when Joseph was in kindergarten they would send home progress reports saying "joseph needs to learn to tie his shoes". I just let it go because I was perfectly content having him be able to put on his shoes, pull the velcro and be on our way.
Last night I received an e-mail from his teacher stating that he would have to stay in from recess each day until he learned to tie his shoes and that it was a skill that should have been mastered in kindergarten.
At first I was upset, because I felt bad that Joseph was going to be punished for a decision I had made as his mom. I knew other moms with 7 year olds that also did velcro and I remember wearing velcro shoes at his age and so I didn't see the big deal. I also felt a little ashamed... I mean was I being lazy in not teaching him? Being the internet junkie that I am I googled it and read how other moms were "appalled that 6 and 7 year olds could maneuver cell phones and computers but didn't know how to tie their shoes".... Yikes!
I could also see their point in wanting him to learn and I began to realize part of the reason he didn't learn was because I was trying to make things a little easier on myself and I thought on him as well. I was worried teaching him would take a long time and that he would struggle each morning to tie his shoes or that at school he would be having to constantly stop and re-tie his shoes. I know I'm a worry wart.... I know it shouldn't be something to get worked up over... but I'm going to use pregnancy as an excuse here! lol :-)
I was texting my best friend Chrissy and she helped me to see that the school wasn't pushing something on us, but that it was something that most children know how to do by this age and they wanted Joseph to master it.
Recess isn't that big of a deal, however to Joseph it's huge and so I thought... well.... why not just start teaching him tonight. I thought I would e-mail his teacher and let her know we are going to start working on it but not to penalize joseph for my decision as a parent and that we would work on it with him each night.
Well..... he learned in about 30 minutes! I was so shocked and it made me think "Why did I wait so long?"..... Mike took our other 2 boys upstairs to play and joseph put on one of my shoes.... and he learned. He said he wanted to wait about 10 minutes to show his dad to see if he still remembered, and 10 minutes later he tied his shoes for his dad... then this morning before school he did it again.
I'm also thankful that Joseph didn't care at all that he didn't know how to tie his shoes yet, he was just worried about missing recess!! What a motivator! :-)
I don't know if there is a "moral" to this story or not.... but I know I learned something as a mom.... I was putting it off thinking it would make life harder,but I underestimated my son.... he did great and we are going to buy some shoes with laces probably this weekend. Samuel my 5 year old is now begging to learn to tie his shoes..... :-) My babies are growing up on me!