Left Handed Handwriting. A Golden Nugget

Every teacher and every therapist has encountered a left handed child.  If you aren’t left handed yourself, you may wonder how to help and advise parents.  You want to ensure they end up with a well adjusted left hander, who masters handwriting with the same finesse as many of their right handed counterparts.  If you master my favourite tip for lefties, you will be well on your way to success with left handed handwriting!

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Left Handed Handwriting

If you have a lefty this is the one thing you mustn't omit!  Get this one right and you will find the greater percentage of your lefties will be on their way to being well adjusted left handed handwriters.  Here at The Happy Handwriter we call it The Crocodile Mouth®.  It works so well we even trademarked the name!  The book must be angled parallel to the forearm of the left arm.  The triangular space between the angled book and table edge is called the Crocodile Mouth®.

It is so tempting to ask your children to place their books parallel to the edge of the table.  This forces the forearm into an un-natural biomechanical position, and your left-handed child will cover up their work as they go.  The only way for them to be able to see what they are writing will be to hook their wrist which causes a knock on effect of blocking of the development of the finger movements we require for speed and quality of handwriting.

I know that placing the book at an angle can cause the lower corner to become dog-eared and no one likes that!  But these are handwriting patterns we are taking about – and we have to make a sacrifice to achieve good left handed handwriting and I am sorry to say, the dog earing is the one!

Left Handed Writing Skills

Angling the book allows the child to write in a downhill direction.  This allows them to see what they are writing at all times and they have no need to assume that hooking position of the hand that we see with so many left handed children.  All our handwriting books have a section on the Crocodile Mouth®, so you may be sure your lefty is taught “the right way the first time!®”

Debolina from Mom Junction also weighs in on how to teach lefties to write.

Your lefty also needs left handed scissors.  But I digress – that is for another day – back to my golden nugget!

This is my golden nugget – the thing I believe to be most critical when teaching left handers to write!

©Bunty McDougall
Occupational Therapist

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