Dec 142011

A few summers back, MeMe did what we thought was impossible and learned how to ride a bike. Coordination and balance were never MeMe’s strong points. (Until very recently, thanks to Learning Breakthrough!) For him to learn to balance, pedal, and steer, all at the same time, well, we might as well expect him to buy the winning ticket in a lottery.

I bought MeMe a cute, clunky trike when he was one years old. It sat and got dusty once I got sick of pushing him around on it everywhere. He never figured out the pedals on a trike, and here I was expecting him to learn to ride a two-wheeler. Learning to ride is hard enough for everyone else.

I came across this video and an epiphany struck me- perhaps this same method could be used to teach MeMe!

It took a few days but it worked! We went out early in the morning before people were up and about, since MeMe hates when people stare at him.

The first thing I did was remove the training wheels. We also removed the pedals! We would teach him to balance before moving on to the other riding skills. One skill at a time.

That day MeMe learned to scoot around on his bike and push himself with his feet- just like the kids in the video. At first we had to give his bike a starter push, or even hold the handlebars for him, but before we knew it he was balancing! First step to riding a bike, accomplished.

He had also learned to steer a bit as he scooted around. We did another day of practice for steering and balancing. We had to remind him to look straight ahead and not down at the ground.

The next time we took his bike out, he was ready for pedals. Well, not quite, since he’d never learned how to pedal, but he was ready to start learning. We showed him how to get the right pedal up higher than the left one so that it would be easy for his starting right foot to push down on that pedal and begin cycling. To our surprise he got the hang of it almost right away. (He had been to a homeopath that day to help him with some of his issues, and we were certain the homeopathy was the cause of his success here- a story for another time.) With just a few tries he was off riding on his own. He even learned how and when to brake. We were very pleased and very proud.

Ever since our success with this method, I always use it to teach my other kids how to ride. Even though they don’t have sensory processing disorder, I know it’s the quickest way to be riding easily and confidently.

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