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Left handed and handwriting practice

(26 Posts)
Ismeyes Sat 23-Jul-11 20:40:04

DD has just finished reception and is left handed. She is quite good at her individual letter formation, but when she tries to write sentences (which she wants to do alot at the moment) the letters all start to crowd over each other. I suspect this is because she cannot see what she has already written, so it is hard for her to work out spacing. She is getting very frustrated with herself.

Does anyone have any tips for helping her? I'm right handed, so its hard for me to advise her really. All the practice books I could find seem geared to right handed children, I think there might be different formations for left handers?

KenDoddsDadsDog Sat 23-Jul-11 20:43:16

Have you tried practicing with her paper at an angle? If she is writing in a book, it's really hard to write and keep your book open with the same hand too. I turn writing books upside down!

Ismeyes Sat 23-Jul-11 20:48:51

Ok, what angle?

Its interesting what you said about turning books upside down, she is obsessed with making her own story books at the moment and they all open on the left hand side. I made the mistake of telling her it was the wrong way and she told me it was the right way for her and they were her own books. So that told me!

KenDoddsDadsDog Sat 23-Jul-11 21:12:54

The top of the page should angle to the right. And as you write you angle it more. It stops left-handers from writing in that funny awkward pen hold.

TalkinPeace2 Sat 23-Jul-11 21:15:55

Get a couple of left handed friends to work with her a bit
we write just the same as you
and once the pen angle is right - about 45 degrees to vertical, we can see what we are writing just like "normal" people
whatever you do, do not let a right hander con her into the hook pen hold
its a nightmare
Good = picture #5

Ismeyes Sat 23-Jul-11 21:47:48

Thanks, ok will try to remember to tell her to angle the paper and will look at how she writes in the morning. So from what you have said, I can use a usual handwriting practice book with her, just angle and check no hook hand.

I only have one left handed friend, but she lives 300 miles away!

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Sat 23-Jul-11 21:49:49

I am left handed and I turn the paper sideways and write downwards, towards me. I simply cannot write on paper that is straight. I can't see and I smudge because my hand is going over what I've just written.


Your hand is straight that way too.

VelveteenRabbit Sat 23-Jul-11 21:54:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TalkinPeace2 Sat 23-Jul-11 21:56:16

I'm lucky - both my parents and three of my grandparents were left handed
I'm of an age that Mum had to have a fit at my primary school to not switch me
DH is left handed
both our kids are right handed
we showed them what we do and they copied us with the other hand - never an issue

VelveteenRabbit Sat 23-Jul-11 21:56:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Saracen Sat 23-Jul-11 21:57:01

There are some good tips and videos about handwriting here: plus of course a whole host of products for every aspect of the leftie's life which you never knew you needed!

TalkinPeace2 Sat 23-Jul-11 21:57:18

Velveteen - parker pen nibs are symetric - you wear them to your own shape

VelveteenRabbit Sat 23-Jul-11 22:00:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ismeyes Sat 23-Jul-11 22:19:08

Thanks, just looking through that website now

Ismeyes Sat 23-Jul-11 22:34:58

Ok, so it says that 't' is the only letter formed differently, so I will try the angle and encouraging underhand writing with a normal handwriting book. Thanks all.

KenDoddsDadsDog Sat 23-Jul-11 22:44:02

And maybe get her a gel pen or similar. Biros are horribly smudgy for lefties !

pinkgirlythoughts Sun 24-Jul-11 10:32:34

let her write with a pencil, not a pen... I remember crying in the juniors when I was told I could now write with a Berol handwriter pen, because I was so terrified I'd smudge it and get it trouble!
Also, encourage her to write slowly to keep it neat- I notice that I get more 'hook-handed' the quicker I write, then my writing looks spidery.

bruffin Sun 24-Jul-11 10:48:52

At dcs' primary they had left handed handwriting sheets. They were laminated so they could be washed off and used over and over again

sayithowitis Sun 24-Jul-11 12:53:14

We use these at our school. They show how to write each letter and how to form a join, for both right and left handers.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 24-Jul-11 17:54:57

as a left hander I find that utterly insulting
we are not disabled, just different
do they have different coat hooks for the blonde kids too?
and the ones with brown eyes?

we pick up a pen
we write, draw, create - often better than you lazy dexters
special sheets to "help" up are just discriminatory

bruffin Sun 24-Jul-11 18:45:54

TALKING they had laminated right handed sheets as well. Every child had one
What I was trying to say was the left handed one was different to the righthanded one as they started from different points.
Fwiw DD is left handed. It took her until she was yr6 for her writing to be even legible.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 24-Jul-11 19:33:46

ds is right handed
his writing (like most of the boys in his class) is dire
nowt to do with which hand
more to do with variable development of fine motor skills

why would left handers start letters from different points?
my kids are both right handed and THEY start from different points
sorry, I'd still have a fit if I saw it in a classrom

hocuspontas Sun 24-Jul-11 19:41:24

At this age they may use whiteboards for letter formation and words so angling is doubly important because it will be rubbed off as they are going along!

Talking - children are taught to start all their letters in the correct place to make it easier to do joined up writing. I don't think our school have any differences in starting positions for l or r handers though.

bruffin Sun 24-Jul-11 20:04:13

letter formation

letter formation

again more left handed letter formation

Some left handers do things differently. My niece used to have problems with a teacher who used to make her have her sheet of paper straight, when it was much easier for her to write at an angle, all the advice online says that left handers should be allowed to write at an angle.

Seating of children should be looked at because if you put a left hander to the right of a right hander they bang elbows as they write.

My DD always came home with a black little fingers where she smudged the paper. If she is colouring or or drawing she needs to start at a different point to a right hander as her work gets smudged.

You can't treat lefthanders exactly the same as a right hander, you need to meet their needs.

hocuspontas Sun 24-Jul-11 20:12:24

Unless they are playing hockey bruffin, then lefties have to lump it. I am still holding a grudge after dd1 had difficulty holding a hockey stick correctly in yr7 and never made the team sad

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