Teaching a Left Handed Student to Write

Teaching a left-handed child to write, is no more challenging than teaching a right-handed child.

I would not recommend my first teacher’s methods. She would stand over me, determined to make me use my right hand. Every time I picked up a pencil with my left hand, she would wrap my knuckles with a wooden ruler. This type of teaching would be stopped very quickly in today’s education system.

Lefties are prone to back slant their writing. The natural desire of a left-handed writer is to start on the right side of the page and work toward the left. Most left-handed people can easily do mirror writing.

To ensure an even script, encourage the child to slightly hook their hand. This will keep their letters pointing toward the right side of the page. Be careful to monitor the hook, it can become an issue if the child over plays it. Do not try to change their natural desire to hold a pencil in their left hand. The decision is not theirs. They are right brain controlled, which will also make them artistic.

There are many lefties who are ambidextrous. They can write easily with either hand. Encourage them to pick a dominate hand, while not interfering when you see them use their right hand. The use of either hand for writing can be a positive situation.

Attitudes toward left-handed people have changed over the years. I remember being made fun of. I was different and being left-handed was not the norm. Encourage the child to be proud of their uniqueness. Tell them of all the positives of being right side brain oriented.

Don’t get discouraged if the child continues to be a sloppy writer. As they mature, they will find a style that suits them. In a classroom setting, never single a left-handed student out from the other children. Teach them in the same manner as the rest of the class, while advising them in private of ways to prevent back slanting their letters.

I embraced being left-handed. I was proud to be different. Make sure the child knows that they are not the only leftie in the world. Some of our greatest artists and politicians were southpaws.

The most important thing to remember, when teaching a left-handed child is; never try and make them a righty! This will frustrate them, as they will be battling their own instinctive need to write with their left hand. Teach them in the same methods you use for the rest of your class.

Discourage the other children from making fun of the left-handed student. This used to be the norm when I was in grade school. It is totally unacceptable in our school system today. Use the opportunity to teach the students about a wonderful word call *diversity*.