Shoe Tying, and Other Basics: Home Skills or Lessons?

Day 031 - Goodbye velcro, hello shoestrings!
The Question:
Who still teaches shoe tying? I believe it’s a home skill. What do you think?
The Answers:
Miss Bindergarten
Here is a great collection of ideas to teach shoe tying!
Jackie
Home skill !
Diana
It’s part of my weekly homework :o)
Kendra
I believe it’s a home skill too, but at the same time there are MANY who have parents who will not help teach their kids.
Lois
When I taught K, I would teach it in the spring.
Becky
There are exceptions, as with everything, but it is a home skill.
Elizabeth
I have a box of old shoes in my classroom. We only get to do center time during recess when the weather is bad. I pull out the box of shoes then. I teach as many as I can, and I let the children teach each other.
Shirley
Except when you have parents who won’t, don’t or can’t.
Rebecca
I teach it to the ones who need it.
Julie 
Home! We have enough to do!!
Susie
VELCRO!
Karen
Home skill. I give prizes to the kids that learn and tie shoes for the other kids. Big motivation to get parents to teach them.
Laurie  
I teach it.
Pamela
Home skill. As a teacher I am overloaded with Common Core!
Amber
Home skill!!
Ashleigh
I don’t teach it but my children do. There’s usually one or two in the very beginning who can tie so I let them be the “experts” and the experts get to teach. By the end of the year, they all know how to tie!
Cathy
 It’s a developmental thing–velcro is good!!
Denise
We check it but don’t really teach it.
Jen
I did and it is a school and home skill.
Cami
Home. I teach them to tighten them and tuck them in.
Diane
Home skill, but I have a chart they can add their name to if they learn and they get prizes, praise and recognition when they learn. So I don’t teach it, but I do encourage it. And in puzzle center are shoe tying boxes and old, men’s neck ties they can choose to practice with.
Laurie
Definitely a home skill. With today’s kindergarten curriculum, I don’t have time to teach shoe tying. I do have a book in my class library that teaches it. It has laces and the kids can practice.
Lorinda
It’s hard to find the time…but I give them a chance to practice during centers time.
Diane
And the OT at my school says its technically a 6-8 year old skill developmentally.
Vana
I teach it when the window opens. I do ‘bunny rabbits”. I taught K for many years, the last 3 in second grade and I am still teaching shoe tying. The students love the bunny rabbit way.
Abigail
I would show everyone and practice a couple times in school. Then we marked December 1st on the calendar. By December 1st everyone needed to know how to do it or get shoes that didn’t tie because as of December 2nd I refused to tie anyone’s shoes. Same with zipping coats. Everyone needed to know how by October 1st. exceptions were made in rare cases such as severe fine motor issues but for the most part, everyone practiced at home and everyone either figured it out or got shoes that didn’t require tying.
Sara
I used to be so annoyed when they couldn’t do it. Until my own kid couldn’t do it in Kinder. I seriously think some kids just don’t have the fine motor…so, I encourage it, and it’s on our “things to practice at home” list..
Laurie
 I think it is a home skill and needs to taught at home but many parents these days don’t buy shoes that tie because most of them are either velcro or the fake shoe laces.
Sarah
I fully believe it is a home skill. Life skills should be taught at home and reinforced at school. If my kids come unable to tie their shoes, I have them shove their untied shoes laces in their shoes or let a student who knows how to tie, tie their shoes for them. And explain that if they want to know how, they need to ask mom and dad for some help.
Diane
 I check it but don’t teach it. Reading is more important.
Nadine  
Parents expect us to do everything else…I expect them to be parents and teach their children how to tie their shoes. My K teacher did not teach me…and that was back in the days when you went to kindergarten half days, and you learned how to get along with others.

Donna

Home skill for sure
Julie
 I still do because my parents want take the time to teach their  little ones. I tell them we will work on it together until Christmas, after that they are on their own. I wish I had $1 for every shoe I’ve tied over the last 28 years!
Jean
No time , I consider it a home skill, I tell them to ask a friend. Thank goodness for velcro, I would never get any teaching done.
Heather
I think this one is a skill for at-home teaching. It’s not written into our school’s curriculum plan, which is pretty full already.
LaTanya
With no aide and 23 students I definitely don’t have time to teach it …
Erin
 I had a couple books that ‘tie’ on the cover and put them in my reading corner. Each kid had to log a few practices per week- they loved it! Otherwise I had no time.
Angie
Shoe strings are so nasty….drag the floor of the bathroom (pee), the ground outside, their houses, etc. I do my best to avoid tying and tell the kids how nasty strings are. I tell parents the same thing and try to light a fire in them to teach their kids. Same with address and phone numbers. We have too much to teach anymore. We cannot get bogged down with stuff that is the responsibility of the person who chooses to have the child.
Kelly
I believe we owe it to our Kindys to teach them to tie their shoes, just like we teach them to do up their coats. Of course they shouldn’t wear laced shoes until they can do it. But I will teach them so, at some point in the future, their parents will be able to send laced shoes instead of velcro or slip ons.
Kathy
 I always tell mine they can’t go to first grade if they can’t tie their shoes. By the end of the year, everyone can tie. They don’t always stay tied, but the concept is learned.
Susan
 I teach it on a weather delay when I only have one of my classes and they are with me for four hours instead of three. We do a special unit on the sh blend and do all sorts of shoe activities.

Lindsey
 I make my parent volunteers teach it… then they realize they need to teach their own child.
Elizabeth
I have them teach each other. My shoe tiers tie their friend’s shoes. Eventually they get tired of asking others and figure it out if they’re ready. I hardly tie any! Maybe once or twice a week.
Kristine
I teach it – I have 2 “practice shoes” out for the kids. I introduce this in early October, and leave them out for about a week for the kids to go to as a choice. I will get them out every 6 weeks or so, and leave them out for a week. You would be amazed at how many kids will go to it throughout the year!
Latisia

I just tied them my first year, then when i saw them walk through the bathrooms with this laces dragging by the toilets, I decided that I will never tie shoes again and I tell them all that “I refuse to tie shoes, tie them or tuck them”

Jamie
 I assign it as homework the first few weeks and have the kids teach each other throughout the year.
Erin
I have never taught this and don’t mind tying shoes when needed. Interestingly though, my son’s kindergarten teacher (different school in the same system) made it homework. When the child is the star of the day, he or she has to demonstrate that he can do it in front of the class. I was pleasantly surprised that my son learned after two solid sessions of practice with dad… Of course he doesn’t even have tie shoes.
Buena
 Home skill…along with zipping coats, buttoning buttons, etc.

Morann
 Home skill. Coming from a kindergarten teacher with a kindergartener at home.
Robyn
My shoe tying experts help teach the skills to the kids that don’t know how.
Jean
Definitely a home skill. I don’t know of any adult who can’t tie shoes.
Nancy
They are asked to have velcro shoes for school in the supply list. I tell them right from the start that “I don’t tie shoes…”
Sarah
 Home skill. In fact, I assign it as on-going homework the first week of school so parents know that we will not be teaching it in class.
Lindsey
Home skill but when I have time I try to work on it with them or have our kindergarten aide work with them on it.
Vicki
 I ask at the beginning of the year who knows how to tie shoes and they are in the SHOE TYING CLUB and THEY are the ones who help others tie their shoes in our class. I do not tie shoes or zip jackets. I DO send “TIE YOUR SHOES” and ZIP YOUR JACKET as homework. . .
Kim
Home skill not taught at home and no time to teach it in school, at least where I taught–100% academic instruction in a kindergarten class!
Kristen
 It’s not a standard– no time for that! There are 54 shoes in my room! I usually offer a “reward” for kids who can show me they can tie their shoes. Then they become the “experts” and help everyone else. My opinion is, if your child can’t tie shoes and you are not going to teach him/her, then buy velcro shoes! They’re available everywhere!!!
Jessica
Home skill, and it’s really not 100% doable till their first grade age (need better fine motor skills) Also, we are doing too much of the parenting as it is, in many cases.
Carrie
 My students are not allowed to wear tie up shoes to school if they cannot tie independently.
Lorri
 I agree, home skill. I have the students help each other. The coaches at my school have the “shoe tying club” at P.E. When the kids show them they can tie their shoe they put their name on a star that goes up on the wall. The kids love it.

Diana 
 I do it the last month of school– the first grade teachers love me!
Diane
 Overall, I feel it is a home skill, but if a child wants to learn and the opportunity arises when I have time, then I will take the time to work with a willing student. Otherwise, I help tie if I am not in the middle of a lesson, or children seek out the shoe experts (other students who are able to tie). Many children can tie by the end of the school year, but for others it will take more time and practice…it’s just the way it is. I place no pressure on my students to tie their own shoes. I would rather focus my energy on the high demands of reading and mathematics!
Pamela  
I do not teach that skill but always can find the time to tie a 5/6 year old’s shoe. I hope I never get that important or too busy, it takes 30 seconds.
Mindy
Home skill, I think we need to make parents start stepping up and be parents. I have had students come in the first day not potty trained (with no underlying medical/emotional problems) and the parents telling me it was my job to potty train them. I do have a few shoe tying practice boards in my room, students can practice if they complete an assignment early or during labs.
Stacy
 My kids LOVE Pete the Cat stories so I mimic the following website. I laminate their membership badge and some students use it as a book marker  The other students who can’t tie their shoes know who to ask if they need help (by looking at the shoe tying club poster). Also, I have included a page in their homework reminding parents to help them with shoe tying and there is a daily check list attached with it. 

Mary
Since losing a fulltime aide about 8 years ago, and a parttime aide 4 years ago, it is now a skill to learn at home. But any child who can demonstrate shoe tying earns a trip to my treasure chest.
Bette
 I don’t tie shoes because my kids just untie them all day long. I tell them to tuck them in their shoes and practice at home. I am a big fan of velcro.

Amanda

Home Skill, Common Core doesn’t have a rubric or assessment tool for that. HEE HEE!
Heidi
I teach it. There are lots if home skills that I teach today, it is the way of the world. Shoe tying, nose blowing, dressing for weather, bathroom & then hand washing!! Most commonly manners, please & thank you.
Laura
 I thought their shoes had all Velcro fasteners!
Dequency
 In the beginning of the year I tie them when they become a safety concern. And that is with hand sanitizer close by. Now I have them find a friend. Same with coats. Since it is 25 degrees here in Las Vegas they must zip their coats. If they can’t they find a friend. They come to me as a last resort.
Erin
 I have a shoe tying wall of fame. Once they learn to tie (at home) they can show me at school, and I put their picture up! It encourages them, but leaves school time for reading and writing!!!
Amber
Home skill or not, it’s part of caring for children.


Make a teepee, come inside.
Pull it tight so we can hide.
Over the mountain, and around we go!
Here’s my arrow and here’s my bow!
Tina
 I think a lot of parents don’t realize that their kids should be practicing this skill during K – so, I give it for homework during a vacation week – if they can do it, they get a certificate and can go prize-diving- it jump starts their trying to tie!
Amy
 We don’t teach it but many of our kiddos don’t know how to do it.
Mary
I finally hit on something several years ago that makes most kids want to learn to zip their coat early in the year, in the fall for us here in Michigan. Children may not get in line to go for recess until their coats are zipped, they need to try to zip and then if they need help and raise their hand, I will gladly come teach them how to do it. Every year though, several kids end up saying with excitement, “I didn’t know I could zip my coat!” I usually have 3-4 kids who struggle getting their winter coats zipped, but often their coats have velcro closures, too!
Natalie
After Christmas, the Kindergarten teachers “forget” how to tie shoes and the students must tie their own shoes or ask a friend. This has been homework since the beginning of the year and we talk about it way in advance…. One year I had a parent call and ask if I needed assistance when we returned from Christmas break. Somehow her child misunderstood and told her I couldn’t tie shoes after Christmas…she thought I was having surgery on my hands and would not be able to tie the students shoes… I told her I was just trying to promote independence!
Kathy
 It might be a home skill, but if it isn’t taught there… What are you going to do??? I don’t worry about who should teach what I worry about who knows what and I go from there. I just try to teach them what they have to know and things along the way that they should know, but for what ever reason don’t know!!!!!
Christina
With all the academics we are forced to shove into their heads, that is now a home skill.
Cheryl
 I have too much to do already to spend time teaching shoe tying. It would be questioned if it is not part of CORE. I help them and they ask a friend but it is definitely a home skill.
Linda
I say find a friend in the room who can tie it for them, then they go home and learn it so they can be a friend and help others!
Ginna
 I would do it. Our phys ed teacher does also. Our kids don’t learn it at home so we need to do it!!!
Mary
 It is my sense that we teach them what they need to know. It should not be a case of the child fitting the curriculum- the curriculum should fit the child . That is the essence of DAP and best early childhood practice.

Anna
It should be. But unfortunately kindergarten gets to teach that along with a lot of other skills. I tell mine I don’t tie after Christmas. They need to learn or find a friend.
Glenda
Lots of things are home skills but end up at school.

Erika
 Accountability at home… The least they can do is teach them to tie their shoes. It might get them away from the video games for a while.
Ruth 
Well… if you get tired of being asked to tie little ones shoes all day, you might teach shoe tying for somewhat selfish reasons. Yes, they should know from home, but often they don’t. Plus, the ones who know can feel quite superior and even help. I just realized most of the kids don’t know because they have never had to do it, danged velcro!
Linda
Lifelong skill…actually common core does cover it with directionality, following directions etc!
Elise
 I’ll tie it once a day in a double knot, after that, if they can’t tie, they need to find a friend. With 26 children, I’d be tying shoes all day, not teaching. When they can tie shoes, they get a shoe-tying award certificate. I also ask parents at the beginning of the year to teach them to tie, or to buy Velcro when they are ready for new shoes!
Home skill, after all, it’s not in the CCS!
Karen
Yep, at school we’re all about CCS. Personally, I’d be happy to put up with the shoes if my kiddos knew their addresses.
Renee
 I think Kindergarten teachers are getting lazy. What about those children that don’t have a home life? It doesn’t hurt to take 5 or 10 minutes out of your day for a week or so to teach a child a skill.
Linze
 I tie shoes until Christmas break and then after Christmas it is their responsibility. I let students and parents know my “policy” and if needed I discuss it at the January conferences. I too, am always telling the kids who can’t tie that their homework is to learn how to tie their shoes.
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