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Handwriting Without Tears - Use The Correct Approach When Teaching Left Handed Kids

Feb 5, 2008
In the last few years the number of left handed persons has increased dramatically. This is partly because left handed children are not forced to use the right hand for writing any more but are rather encouraged to use whichever hand the child shows a preference to. Previously a left handed child was always corrected and encouraged to use the right hand.

A left handed child cannot be taught to write using the same principles that are used to teach a right handed child. The normal and the more regular methods of teaching are more suited for a right handed child. Often a right handed person is not even aware of the problems a left handed person has to face.

Here are some of the common problems faced by a left handed child:

Push Vs Pull: When a right handed child is writing he or she is pulling the pen/pencil across the paper. This works well because we write left to right. Left handed children have to push their pen/pencil across the page. This is quite hard. This also makes the nib of the pen/pencil go deeper into the paper rather than flow smoothly.

Smudging: When a left handed child is writing on the paper his or her hand is following the pen/pencil. And this way it is easy to smudge the letters they just wrote. This can cause a real mess. The mess can be even more when a left handed person uses a proper nib in cartridge or a fountain pen.

Watch What You Write: Since we write from left to right (in majority of the languages), a right handed person can watch what they are writing as they are writing. This is often difficult for a left handed person and hence they can develop bad handwriting if not taught using the correct method and approach.

Here are some of the ways in which you can help a left handed approach:

Mindset: First and foremost never ever discourage a left handed child from using the left hand for writing.

Paper Position: Rotate the paper 45 degrees clockwise (top to the right). This way by moving the paper to the right (rather than the traditional approach of keeping it to the left) you are allowing the left handed child to view their writing as they write. This gives them confidence, makes them right faster and teaches them handwriting skills.

Pencil Position: Left handed children should hold their pencils an inch and half higher than right handed children. Encourage them to keep their wrist and hand below the writing line. If you find there is a lot of smudging then may be use a harder lead pencil like number 3 instead of a number 2 lead pencil.

Avoid Hooking: One of the main problems faced by left handed children is that they cannot see what they are writing. In order to be able to see what they are writing they tend to hook their hands above the writing line and write. This is a very difficult posture and cumbersome. Discourage them from hooking. A proper paper position and pencil position will enable them to see what they are writing. So encourage proper paper position and good pencil position and discourage hooking.

Special Products: There are special pens and pencils specifically designed for left handed persons. Make use of them and teach your children handwriting skills the correct way.

And finally Happy Handwriting to one and all...Teach kids handwriting without tears.
About the Author
Sandy Naidu runs the website - handwriting worksheets. On this site she sells uppercase and lowercase handwriting worksheets. All the alphabets used on these handwriting worksheets are approved by education software cooperative. There are also numerous fine motor skills on these handwriting worksheets.
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