Mad Skills / by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

I’m learning so much about the world through my children’s lives. For one, academic prowess trumps common sense and basic skills. My three-year old can write her name. Well. Without prompting. My five-year old is doing addition and subtraction but cannot tie her shoelaces. Long, long ago when I was in kindergarten, we played and napped and learned life skills. We did some academics, but not nearly with the rigor that these kids do today. I’m grateful that my children are being equipped to keep up in the global marketplace but at the same time I mourn their youth and I (honest mommy moment here) struggle teaching things that teachers used to teach. So many things I take for granted that I’ve always known how to do. So many things that I know how to do but find it difficult to teach. In these moments I give God thanks and praise for Pinterest. 


When prepping for the 100th day of school I came across a project designed to help children learn to tie their shoes. Being a crafty momma (ok, MFA trained artist) I got to work with cardboard and shoe laces. Admittedly, the contraptions sat for a while. Until tonight. While Baby Girl danced, I fumbled teaching Big Girl to tie shoelaces. Despite my fumbling, she picked up the process and kept on practicing until she mastered the task. The pride when she was able to tie the laces without help was priceless!  


The wonderful thing about having two girls is that Big Grl teaches me how to teach with patience and grace so that I can teach Baby Girl with patience and grace. 


Here are some pictures of the process. And one of Baby Girl heading into dance class. (Edited on 2/16 to include photos of a successful first try with sneakers)