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Is there a trick to teaching a left handed child to write when you're right handed?

Teaching my 5 year old to write was simple. To start with she'd put her hand over mine to get a feel of how a letter is written and then she'd copy it, and even now she'll watch me write a letter or word and watch me. My 4 year old is left handed, the only left handed person in our entire family who is still living, and I can't seem to get the hang of teaching her to write. There are only two people I know who are left handed; my aunt's ex-boyfriend and his brother. My aunt's ex works a lot during the day and his brother lives over an hour away so neither one really has the time to sit with my daughter and teach her the way I taught her sister. My 4 year old is starting school in the fall and I don't want her to be behind the class since most kids starting school know at least how to write their name.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:32 PM on May. 28, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (43)
  • I'd look for other left handed people in the area. A friend of mine did that with her kid, and it worked out great. She found a left handed woman having the same problem with her right handed son, so they sort of switched and taught each others kid for a few hours a week, then had a play date afterward.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:38 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • I'm left handed. Just have her trace your letters or copy your letters. Don't tell her specifically where to put the pencil. I was able to teach my kids who aren't left handed. I think I just had them copy.

    Answer by mompam at 2:39 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • You just have to teach your kid to write the way she feels comfortable. I'm sorry to say but by 4 she should already be writing her name. That is another thing so I will leave that alone! You CAN NOT make her write right handed. Teach her by wirting and than showing it to her things like that.

    Answer by delilahsmom1177 at 2:40 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • like pp said let em trace the letters i am left handed (well i use both) my daughter is left and my son( 3yrs) is still undecided (he keeps switching from one hand to the other) your little one will figure it out. let them color and write alot. let them figure out how it is comfortable to hold a pencil with their left hand some write upside down. some bend their wrist some like myself hold it the same as if i would with my right hand (although i does from time to time make the side of my hand dirty from dragging it across the fresh ink) but let them play with it and they will figure it out on their own.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:43 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • I already know I can't make her write with her right hand. I would never even attempt to force her to write in a way that doesn't come natural. I'm also aware that she should know how to write her name, she recognizes it when she sees it and can write a distorted "B" but keep in mind that when she was born I had no idea she'd be left handed, though within a few months it was obvious that her left hand was dominant so to speak. There's a chance had I known she'd have a bit of difficulty writing I may have given her a short easy name. By the way to pick out that she can't write her name and then saying you're going to leave that alone is in fact not leaving it alone, you could have simply not said anything about it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:48 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • Wow OP take offence easy? Listen I was just saying that is all. All I know is that my brother was writing his first and last name at 3! MY DD is 2 1/2 and knows how to spell but not write her name! I was not aware that I could not say that! I picked at nothing. It is an opinon that is all get over it!

    Answer by delilahsmom1177 at 2:51 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • I'm a lefty that homeschools and have to teach my right hand children how to write. So mine is a similar issue. First it doesn't matter if child is left or right handed the pencil grip is the same. Second the paper angle for lefties is different then righties. So you'll want to be sure the angle is correct for your child. Seeing it may be difficult for you to write with your child it may be better for you to make out their name in dots and have connect the dots to write their name with the paper angle correctly for them. There are writing curriculum such as writing without tears that work with both left and right handed children. Also those write-wipe books at walmart can be helpful. They work with any child as long as paper is angle correctly. My children....


    Answer by SAHMinIL2 at 2:55 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • A fun way my son learned to write his name - My older son plays hockey and we spend a lot of time in rinks. The glass gets foggy. We went from window to window, him writing his name with his finger in the fog. If he messed up we just went to another window. I think it took the pressure off of being perfect. Also it helped that he could write it huge. Maybe a chalk board would also be good? Or in the sand?

    Answer by mompam at 2:55 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • My children are older and are learning how to form cursive letters with a wipe-write book from walmart (That will take you to amazon but it's the same book I got at walmart for $3-4). They write in in with dry erase mark and when they are done we wipe it off and reuse it. Paper angle and pencil grip. There are also websites that you can download for free (other letter practice sheets) all of them will work providing the paper angle is correct for your child's handedness.


    Answer by SAHMinIL2 at 3:05 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • Im lefty. My DD(3.5)  is right. We havent had any problems.. But here are some tips 1 teach curve, zigzag, straight, circle ,2. look into Monessori Method- really cool!!! Trace with pencil, or finger, or even dot-2-dot's.. Check out "Handwriting without Tears".

    Make sure she is doing other things to build finger muscle like stringing beads..


    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 3:10 PM on May. 28, 2010

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