My Preschooler is Left-Handed

Tuesday, July 06, 2010




One of the traits that my daughter Althea got acquired from me is being left-handed. Now, that she's already in Kindergarten class, learning to write is quite difficult for her. My sister and I need an extra ounce of patience in teaching her to write. We're not pressuring her though. :) 

Today, the teacher asked her to write her name 5 times as well as the alphabet. I'm happy that her handwriting is improving except for few letters which she finds quite difficult such as "S", and "R".  (I'll post the photo of her assignment booklet later...)

Experiencing this kind of dilemma caused me to search for some handwriting tips for left-handed. I found a relevant article on International Children's Education and these are some of their words of advice:

1. Sitting posture - It is more comfortable for the child to have a chair that has a flat seat and back. The chair should be at a height that allows the child's feet to rest flat with the hips, knees, and ankles all at 90-degree angles. This will help the child to have a smooth postural adjustments as the writing arm moves across the paper. 

2. Type of Pencil and Pencil Grasp - The recommended pencil is Number 3 instead of a Number 2, because it has a hard lead and does not smear easily. In holding the pencil, the forearm should rest on the writing surface in a neutral position, with the hand resting on the little finger. This position will allow the write to move freely, thus the child can write more comfortably. 



photo courtesy of: http://www.iched.org

3. Positioning of Paper - Turn the writing paper to the right rather than the left to enable lefties to see their work better, to have better leverage and to write faster. (I believe this is true!) 

4. Spatial Organization - This is one of my problems with Thea. Start writing instruction with directional letter like F, P, and B, and guide the left-handed child to produce the most legible letter forms as possible. For those having problem with spacing, a prompt such as placing a finger between words may serve as a helpful reminder.

I hope the these friendly reminders may help other parents of left-handed preschoolers. You can view the full article here: http://www.iched.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=iched&item_id=lefthanded_handwriting



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