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Can we talk about lefties?!!


Jonibee
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I knew it was an issue when he picked his first crayons at age 2 or 3.

 

Now he's in 4th grade. Grrrr!

 

He wants his paper straight up and down. His print and cursive are straight up and down.

 

If I make him slant the paper properly, his print and cursive ends up slanted to the left, which annoys me.

 

He gets frustrated with pencils because his hand smudges everything all over the paper by the third line.

 

He's a boy and hates washing his hands just because he had to write something. :tongue_smilie:

 

He hates writing in pen because if he doesn't hold the pen correctly, the ink doesn't flow out right -- and then he can't erase and he hates mistakes.

 

This is my last child - number 6 - my first lefty.

 

I am looking for advice please. This is a battle I've attempted every year and the fact that my son still does not write in cursive tells you who is winning this battle annually. This year it is THE hill.

 

:lol:

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Ugghhhh lefties.

 

Thankfully, my Dh is a lefty, and I punt my lefty guy to him. There are things I just cannot help him with. We're still working on the 'flinging' of everything. Control the wrist!

 

1. Buy legal pads for his work, or notebooks with no spiral binding.

 

2. Get clipboards and binder paper. Put everything in binders.

 

3. get him fountain pens. I cannot emphasize this enough. They really, really help.

 

4. There's nothing wrong with cursive that is straight up and down, what matters most is legibility.

 

those are the few things I've done to help us, and him.

 

It really IS a righty world.

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When you say his paper is "slanted properly," are you meaning that it is slanted in the opposite direction that a right-handed person's is slanted? or in the same direction that a right-handed person does? Just asking. :-) If his paper is turned so that it matches his forearm, it should be really difficult for him to slant his letters to the left instead of to the right, and his hand should be *below* what he's writing, so there would be no smearing going on.

 

I had to remediate my younger dd's paper-slant when she was about the same age, and she was *right-handed.* She had gotten in the habit of hooking her hand the way many lefties do because it was easier to do that when writing in workbooks (and we didn't do that many workbooks :001_huh:). So I began tearing out pages from any workbooks and *taping* them to the table for her to write on; ditto with notebook paper.

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I'm a lefty. Here's my advice. Let him do what works for him and don't get irritated over it. It is just as frustrating for him. I use my notebooks from back to front or use top bound notebooks (doesn't help when writing near the top though). I even turn clipboards upside down at a doctor's office, because the clip thing gets in my way.

 

I wrote best with my notebook laying sideways, entirely. And I would write from bottom straight up (left side was at the bottom and right side at the top).

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I'm a lefty, with a lefty son!

 

I have tried and tried and tried to get him to slant his paper, at 11 it is just now happening, his writing is still atrocious though!

 

We also hole punch everything possible, I rip open tightly bound notebooks and hole punch them too because the seem makes it hard to write in them.

 

He does okay with regular spiral notebooks as long as they aren't too thick, but prefers steno type notebooks to legal pads and regular notebooks.

 

Left handed scissors are always awful, so we just use regular scissors upside down. I also have been teaching him to color right to left, or turn his paper as needed so he doesn't smear marker and pencil.

 

My own handwriting doesn't slant at all, I don't know if that is normal for a lefty, but his doesn't seem to slant either as it improves, so I really don't worry about it. :001_smile:

 

 

for me personally fountain, and even slow drying gel pens are a nightmare. I prefer a good quality rollerball with a nice grip. We also use mechanical pencils instead of regular ones 99% of the time, they smear less, and when he breaks the lead every 2.2 seconds we can just click to get more!

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I'm a lefty, don't hook my hand, and pencils and ink still smear. IMO, you're more likely to smear if you don't hook. I say let him put his paper and slant his letters however he wants. As long as it is legible and neat, don't worry about anything else. The thing with the ink is so frustrating. I hate how ink pens don't always work for me. You'll find that some brands are better than others, so I'd just get a bunch of different ones at the store and find something that works. Executive looking pens are better in general than cheaper pens that are packaged in bags of 8-12.

 

Back to the smudging- IMO, it is somewhat inevitable with lefties. It takes a lot of practice to find the angle of his paper that will smudge the least but even then, some pencils and some pens smudge more easily than others. If it doesn't bother him, maybe you could relax on the hand washing. A little ink on the hand is not likely to transfer anywhere else and I would have been washing my hands all the time as a kid- between every class and after every written assignment- if I needed to have no smear evidence on me at all times. Just have him wash his hands after school is over if it bothers him and try to encourage him that it isn't hurting anything and isn't a big deal if he has a black smudge on the side of his hand for a few hours. As he practices and as he finds what pens he likes best, the smudging will decrease but will not be eliminated.

 

My lefty 8yr old has absolutely beautiful handwriting and enjoys writing very much. I don't think we should assume lefties have poor handwriting or are more difficult to teach than anyone else. ETA- My lefty DD and I both have a slant in the same direction as our righty friends and relatives. I think slanting and not slanting is personal preference and the style you learn.

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Over half of my tutoring students are left handed. I'm learning everything I can about it.

 

I found this cursive handwriting curriculum that has different pages for lefties, than it does for righties. The leftie pages are almost identical to Spalding. I have all my students do round unslanted letters, like these. Only the "v" and the "y" are different, and not much.

 

 

Blumenfeld, Sam (2011-12-16). How To Tutor (Kindle Locations 1449-1470). Paradigm Company. Kindle Edition.

 

Teaching the Left-Handed Child to Write

 

About one in ten children is left-handed. Being left-handed does not affect a child's learning ability. Some left-handed children can be taught to write with their right hands. Others, however, find it much too awkward and exhibit general incoordination, including speech reactions. Therefore, the tutor should discuss the problem with the child's parents before deciding which course to take. It appears that hand preference is so innate that one should not interfere with the natural coordination and balance that come with the use of the preferred hand. It has been found that when the left-handed are taught the best approach to handwriting, they can often write with greater speed and higher quality than the norms established for all writers in general.

 

If the child is left-handed it is preferable that he be seated to your left during handwriting instruction. Since our handwriting system was devised for the convenience of the right-handed, everything has to be reversed to accommodate the left-handed, except, of course the direction of writing. Both right- and left-handed must write from left to right. However, instead of tilting the paper to the right, the left-handed child tilts it to an extreme clockwise position. He also holds the pencil about one and three-eighths inches from the point, with the eraser end directed toward the left shoulder and he keeps his hand below the writing line. This permits the left-handed child to see what he is writing and to maintain the proper leverage.

 

The left-handed should use the same forward slant in writing as do the right-handed. If taught correctly, the handwriting of the left-handed should look exactly the same as that of the righthanded. It is important to make sure that the left-handed paper is tilted extremely clockwise. Too little turning will encourage the "hook" position which creates smearing problems and is in general an inferior writing position.

 

The tutor will find that the left-handed child tends to reverse letters more frequently than does the right-handed child. In fact, there is a tendency to mirror-write at early stages of learning because of the natural movement of the left hand. The tutor, therefore, must supervise the left-handed child's initial handwriting instruction quite closely so that the child not only learns the correct left-to-right direction of writing but also recognizes his reversals when he makes them. It is important to provide enough practice at the early stages of instruction to establish correct writing habits.

 

If, however, a left-handed child comes to the tutor with the habit of hooking already firmly fixed, he should be taught to write by placing the paper in the same position as does the right-handed writer. He keeps his wrist somewhat on edge and flexes it while writing.

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I'm a lefty. Here's my advice. Let him do what works for him and don't get irritated over it. It is just as frustrating for him. I use my notebooks from back to front or use top bound notebooks (doesn't help when writing near the top though). I even turn clipboards upside down at a doctor's office, because the clip thing gets in my way.

 

I wrote best with my notebook laying sideways, entirely. And I would write from bottom straight up (left side was at the bottom and right side at the top).

 

:iagree:

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I have two lefty boys....

 

In the words of my wise Dh: "Just let him do what he needs to so that you can read it. Quite frankly, neat penmenship isn't high on any man's list."

 

It just about killed me, but I finally listened to him and now my oldest ds writes pretty neatly. He doesn't hold his pencil the way I want him to or slant his paper correctly, and his cursive doesn't slant. BUT, it is much neater that my Dh's (and most of the other mens' writing that I read). We can always hope that they become doctors and then sloppy handwriting is almost a requirement. ;)

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With two leftie sons, I'm agreeing with everyone else. Let him do what works for him. One of my lefties hooks, and one doesn't. The one that did preferred loose notebook paper and binders to composition books. He has a beautiful handwriting. My other leftie, not so much. I finally decided there are worse things. As long as I could read it, I didn't worry about it.

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Ugghhhh lefties.

 

Thankfully, my Dh is a lefty, and I punt my lefty guy to him. There are things I just cannot help him with. We're still working on the 'flinging' of everything. Control the wrist!

 

1. Buy legal pads for his work, or notebooks with no spiral binding.

 

2. Get clipboards and binder paper. Put everything in binders.

 

3. get him fountain pens. I cannot emphasize this enough. They really, really help.

 

4. There's nothing wrong with cursive that is straight up and down, what matters most is legibility.

 

those are the few things I've done to help us, and him.

 

It really IS a righty world.

 

:iagree: Another lefty here with a lefty dh and a lefty ds6. Ds8 thinks he's special as a righty :lol:. I really think some overthink teaching lefties and, unfortunately, lower their standards. It is a righty world, but we learn to adapt.

 

I will say that I personally hate backwards slanted writing and won't let my lefty do it. I don't mind straight up and down, so I'd encourage that since he can do it. I didn't learn to properly slant my letters until jr. high or high school, but never slanted backwards thanks to a lefty 4th grade teacher with high standards. I always had ink on my hand in school...that's just how it was. I learned to cope eventually and don't smear now that I'm an adult.

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I'm left-handed and so was my brother, and I don't understand the fuss over it. I think it only becomes a big deal if you make it a big deal.

 

Who cares if a kid slants the paper? So what if he needs to learn to use his right hand so he can use scissors more easily? It's not the end of the world if he has to adapt to writing in spiral notebooks and binders.

 

Really.

 

It's not a big deal! :) You don't need to worry about it, or provide all sort of special left-handed devices. The world has a lot of right-handed stuff, and kids won't even think about any of it being a problem if no one mentions it, and may end up being quite ambidextrous -- I know that my brother and I did. (I learned to play baseball right-handed, because I just assumed that when you were up at bat, you had to stand on the same side of the plate as everyone else. :tongue_smilie:)

 

And plenty of lefties have beautiful handwriting, so it's not necessary to give your kid a pass on handwriting because he's lefthanded and he holds the pencil differently than your other kids or doesn't slant his paper the "right" way.

 

I know a lot of people worry about teaching their lefties, just as I secretly wondered if I was doing something wrong when I was teaching my right-handed kid to write, but I truly think that if you don't mention anything about lefthandedness being different, the kid will do just fine.

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Over half of my tutoring students are left handed. I'm learning everything I can about it.

 

I found this cursive handwriting curriculum that has different pages for lefties, than it does for righties. The leftie pages are almost identical to Spalding. I have all my students do round unslanted letters, like these. Only the "v" and the "y" are different, and not much.

 

 

Blumenfeld, Sam (2011-12-16). How To Tutor (Kindle Locations 1449-1470). Paradigm Company. Kindle Edition.

 

Teaching the Left-Handed Child to Write

 

About one in ten children is left-handed. Being left-handed does not affect a child's learning ability. Some left-handed children can be taught to write with their right hands. Others, however, find it much too awkward and exhibit general incoordination, including speech reactions. Therefore, the tutor should discuss the problem with the child's parents before deciding which course to take. It appears that hand preference is so innate that one should not interfere with the natural coordination and balance that come with the use of the preferred hand. It has been found that when the left-handed are taught the best approach to handwriting, they can often write with greater speed and higher quality than the norms established for all writers in general.

 

:glare: As a left handed person, these statements are pretty darn insulting and sound condescending. I wouldn't even bother with a curricula that spoke like this. 2011? And they think that people believe that being left handed affects the ability to learn? Pressuring a lefty into writing right handed? Writing affecting speech? Problem? Being left handed is not a "problem". Seriously? No thank you.

Edited by mommaduck
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I'm left-handed and so was my brother, and I don't understand the fuss over it. I think it only becomes a big deal if you make it a big deal.

 

Who cares if a kid slants the paper? So what if he needs to learn to use his right hand so he can use scissors more easily? It's not the end of the world if he has to adapt to writing in spiral notebooks and binders.

 

Really.

 

It's not a big deal! :) You don't need to worry about it, or provide all sort of special left-handed devices. The world has a lot of right-handed stuff, and kids won't even think about any of it being a problem if no one mentions it, and may end up being quite ambidextrous -- I know that my brother and I did. (I learned to play baseball right-handed, because I just assumed that when you were up at bat, you had to stand on the same side of the plate as everyone else. :tongue_smilie:)

 

And plenty of lefties have beautiful handwriting, so it's not necessary to give your kid a pass on handwriting because he's lefthanded and he holds the pencil differently than your other kids or doesn't slant his paper the "right" way.

 

I know a lot of people worry about teaching their lefties, just as I secretly wondered if I was doing something wrong when I was teaching my right-handed kid to write, but I truly think that if you don't mention anything about lefthandedness being different, the kid will do just fine.

 

That, I'm a leftie with a leftie son as well and I don't treat him any differently than if he was a rightie. He doesn't even realize that there's a difference in writing and that the things in our house are made for righties. Heck, I can't even use a computer mouse if it's put on the left side of the pc because I'm so used to it being on the right. I grew up in a random caribbean island where lefties are treated like something bad (I've had aunts and uncles make fun of me in front of the entire family because of my apparent inability to wipe my butt. Because you know, when you're a leftie you always leave poop on your hands:glare:) and the ONE good thing my father did was to not treat my sister and I (she's a leftie as well) any different nor force us to become righties.

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:glare: As a left handed person, these statements are pretty darn insulting and sound condescending. I wouldn't even bother with a curricula that spoke like this. 2011? And they think that people believe that being left handed affects the ability to learn? Pressuring a lefty into writing right handed? Writing affecting speech? Problem? Being left handed is not a "problem". Seriously? No thank you.

I may be wrong, but....I think it is referring to some evidence that some kids who are forced to switch hands then develop other problems. I believe I've heard this as a possible link to some people who stutter.

 

 

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I'm left-handed and so was my brother, and I don't understand the fuss over it. I think it only becomes a big deal if you make it a big deal.

 

Who cares if a kid slants the paper? So what if he needs to learn to use his right hand so he can use scissors more easily? It's not the end of the world if he has to adapt to writing in spiral notebooks and binders.

 

Really.

 

It's not a big deal! :) You don't need to worry about it, or provide all sort of special left-handed devices. The world has a lot of right-handed stuff, and kids won't even think about any of it being a problem if no one mentions it, and may end up being quite ambidextrous -- I know that my brother and I did. (I learned to play baseball right-handed, because I just assumed that when you were up at bat, you had to stand on the same side of the plate as everyone else. :tongue_smilie:)

 

And plenty of lefties have beautiful handwriting, so it's not necessary to give your kid a pass on handwriting because he's lefthanded and he holds the pencil differently than your other kids or doesn't slant his paper the "right" way.

 

I know a lot of people worry about teaching their lefties, just as I secretly wondered if I was doing something wrong when I was teaching my right-handed kid to write, but I truly think that if you don't mention anything about lefthandedness being different, the kid will do just fine.

 

:iagree: there was never a big deal made over my dominant hand, nobody ever tried to teach me differently because of it. I had an inky or pencily hand, got annoyed when running up against the spiral of the notebook, and had sore hands from cutting. But, those problems aren't problems anymore as an adult. My handwriting has always been better than most I've seen. Nobody ever told me to angle my paper a certain way or slant a certain way, I just did what was comfortable for me. I've seen lefties who hook. It seems uncomfortable to me, but if it works for them, who cares. Like Cat and many other lefties, I ended up doing many things ambidextrously. I was worried about teaching my right-handed son, but it's honestly not been any sort of problem.

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:glare: As a left handed person, these statements are pretty darn insulting and sound condescending. I wouldn't even bother with a curricula that spoke like this. 2011? And they think that people believe that being left handed affects the ability to learn? Pressuring a lefty into writing right handed? Writing affecting speech? Problem? Being left handed is not a "problem". Seriously? No thank you.

 

The curriculum is from the 1970s, and has not been updated. It's a treasure the way it is, outdated statements and all. It is through this book that I learned to put my lefties on my left, and that was a very important change for us.

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The curriculum is from the 1970s, and has not been updated. It's a treasure the way it is, outdated statements and all. It is through this book that I learned to put my lefties on my left, and that was a very important change for us.

*shrugs* never did a thing for me growing up, just as sitting across from a right handed person crocheting never did a thing for me (watching close up videos over and over did). To each their own and I'm glad it helped you. I still found it condescending.

 

I had the joy of having a stepparent insist that I was really a right handed person that was just being stubborn, because I was semi-ambidextrous and used right handed scissors (I can only write with my left, including upside down, and only cut with my right...nearly everything else, I can do with either hand and usually have to figure out which hand is the strongest for the job).

 

I have at least two very left handed children, four right handed children, and two yet to be determined. I've not encountered any problems teaching any of them to write.

Edited by mommaduck
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I'm a lefty. Here's my advice. Let him do what works for him and don't get irritated over it. It is just as frustrating for him. I use my notebooks from back to front or use top bound notebooks (doesn't help when writing near the top though). I even turn clipboards upside down at a doctor's office, because the clip thing gets in my way.

 

I wrote best with my notebook laying sideways, entirely. And I would write from bottom straight up (left side was at the bottom and right side at the top).

 

I'm glad to hear you say about the notebooks working for you! I was just going to suggest that - it's what I'm doing with a 1st & 3rd grader for left-handed writing. Flip the notebook around, then it's just like regular! :D

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When I am modeling how to write a handwritten Spalding cursive letter or word, the student is able to see what I am doing MUCH better when my hand is not blocking the paper. This tip is even helpful for right handed students. It was just dumb of me not to notice that placing the student on the other side of my hand would increase visability :tongue_smilie:

 

Spalding and SWR make a big deal about where the teacher stands when writing on a board, but no one ever explained to me about writing on paper. This tip saved me from having to buy a board.

 

I appreciate having what should be obvious things pointed out to me. My tutoring students have already experienced enough failure, and falling through the cracks.

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I'm glad to hear you say about the notebooks working for you! I was just going to suggest that - it's what I'm doing with a 1st & 3rd grader for left-handed writing. Flip the notebook around, then it's just like regular! :D

 

Thank you! Again :tongue_smilie:

 

What about scissors? Yet AGAIN, I should have known this! I was listening to students say they never learned to cut, and just didn't know that I need to provide special equipment. I just thought they needed more practice, with a sharp pair.

 

I've been planning scissor remediation and am so glad I didn't start it yet.

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My son is left handed and his twin sister is right handed. When I had them sitting together at their desk practicing hand-writing they would fight because one was always elbowing the other. Obviously, I over looked an important factor when I set up their desk, so I switched it around. My son's handwriting is surprisingly neat and pretty, but he does tired easily. He's the only lefty in the family, so I find this thread very interesting and informative.

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Thank you! Again :tongue_smilie:

 

What about scissors? Yet AGAIN, I should have known this! I was listening to students say they never learned to cut, and just didn't know that I need to provide special equipment. I just thought they needed more practice, with a sharp pair.

 

I've been planning scissor remediation and am so glad I didn't start it yet.

 

This is the one of the few concessions I make for my lefties. It was so hard for me to cut with right-handed scissors as a child and I led a charge to get left-handed scissors in the classrooms when I was in 3rd grade. I'm VERY left-handed and it took me a long time to develop the needed muscle strength in my right hand to cut and open cans with a can opener. Now, I don't even take notice of which hand I'm using to cut. Dh and ds6 are fairly ambidextrous lefties so they don't struggle as much.

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I'm left-handed and so was my brother, and I don't understand the fuss over it. I think it only becomes a big deal if you make it a big deal.

 

Who cares if a kid slants the paper? So what if he needs to learn to use his right hand so he can use scissors more easily? It's not the end of the world if he has to adapt to writing in spiral notebooks and binders.

 

Really.

 

It's not a big deal! :) You don't need to worry about it, or provide all sort of special left-handed devices. The world has a lot of right-handed stuff, and kids won't even think about any of it being a problem if no one mentions it, and may end up being quite ambidextrous -- I know that my brother and I did. (I learned to play baseball right-handed, because I just assumed that when you were up at bat, you had to stand on the same side of the plate as everyone else. :tongue_smilie:)

 

And plenty of lefties have beautiful handwriting, so it's not necessary to give your kid a pass on handwriting because he's lefthanded and he holds the pencil differently than your other kids or doesn't slant his paper the "right" way.

 

I know a lot of people worry about teaching their lefties, just as I secretly wondered if I was doing something wrong when I was teaching my right-handed kid to write, but I truly think that if you don't mention anything about lefthandedness being different, the kid will do just fine.

 

 

:iagree: there was never a big deal made over my dominant hand, nobody ever tried to teach me differently because of it. I had an inky or pencily hand, got annoyed when running up against the spiral of the notebook, and had sore hands from cutting. But, those problems aren't problems anymore as an adult. My handwriting has always been better than most I've seen. Nobody ever told me to angle my paper a certain way or slant a certain way, I just did what was comfortable for me. I've seen lefties who hook. It seems uncomfortable to me, but if it works for them, who cares. Like Cat and many other lefties, I ended up doing many things ambidextrously. I was worried about teaching my right-handed son, but it's honestly not been any sort of problem.

:iagree:

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I am left handed,my son is left handed but a righty batter and pitcher:)

 

Had to look up "hook" style, wow that looks uncomfortable. Also, I am surpirsed to learn also that all these years I thought all the pens I used sucked when they wouldn't work and not becasue i was a leftie lol.

 

Edited by mommyshanti
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My first 2 are both lefties, ds and dd1. Dd is pretty neat, ds, not so much. Neither one slants or hooks. I don't particularly care what it looks like as long as it is reasonably legible. I'll have to check out the fountain pens, I've read that before. Dh thought from the start that we should try to change ds and that I was somehow encouraging him to be lefthanded. I fought him hard on that. We don't do a ton of writing so it usually isn't much of an issue. Dd never seems to be bothered and writes on whatever, she loves to write. Dd2 is right handed and both dh and I are as well. IIRC ds prefers shooting with his right hand though, it does make it a bit confusing when he tries new things as we're never sure which way will be easiest for him.

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I'm a lefty with 2 lefty kids (out of 3) -- another vote for just letting your son be!

 

As a right hander you just are not going to understand how frustrating it is to have your hand immediately cover what you just wrote. You try to write neatly when you can't see what you wrote! And yes, you smudge. Mechanical pencils worked best for me. Most important thing is that he isn't hooking his wrist too much (bad for his wrist) -- as far as letter formation or slant -- ignore it. Most writing is done on computers these days (where left-handed is a benefit, since common letters are on the left side).

 

In my case, the more my teachers tried to "help" me with my handwriting, the more frustrated I got -- but my handwriting didn't improve. Then, I went to college, had to deal with tiny desks in lecture halls, and radically changed my writing angle -- I turned my notebook completely sideways and started writing top-to-bottom -- it would have horrified my teachers! Guess what? No more smudges, I can read what I just wrote, my notebook fit on the desk, and my arm wasn't fatigued. AND my handwriting became immaculate, probably because I could see what I was writing.

 

My point is, your ds is frustrated enough. If you leave him alone he will either find his own solution or realize he lives in a society where handwriting is rarely needed. I know a lot of adult left-handers who speak bitterly of the adults who hounded them to write better, but I don't know a single one IRL who says, "Boy, I'm glad they kept after me to write better, because the frustration was so worth it to have such nicely formed letters now!" Don't make it THE Hill, because IMO he's NOT likely to thank you for it.

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Honestly!!! The "leftie" debates drive me batty---completely crazy! Have we ever stopped to think that we live in a world that has persecuted the "left" for a very long time. The "left" hand side of things have been considered "evil", "dirty" and a has had a host of other rules and regulations about it from various religious traditions for most of history. Some Hindu holy men still on purposely hold their right arm up for years until it deforms because it's considered so shocking and such an austerity to force themselves to eat and do things with their left hand. How insulting! We are still newly coming out of the times when it was common practice to have kids switch to using their right hand. Right handedness has been considered the "proper" way to write for most of history. Still working out of our old subconscious religious archetypes. I honestly believe that left handers seem so unusual and right handers seem more common because of those educational and religious trends. In reality the numbers would likely have evened themselves out if these early religious and pegagogical trends weren't the norm. We've forced genetics hand (no pun intended) with our social mores.

 

And then we tried to over compensate by giving the leftie "special" attention---left handed scissors and desks and whatnot. Then here comes the "studies" about left handers having a higher risk of this and that thing. We still use phrases that set up the right as the better idea (well not quite in modern day politics lol and yet who is more critical of the "left"---the "religious right") He's the "right hand man" etc.

 

I'm a leftie, all three of my children are lefties, my dad was a leftie, my BIL and his wife and two children are lefties. And really, none of us have a hard time with handwriting. Or scissors. Or can openers. Or sitting at desks. Or notebooks. Or pencils. Or knives. Or smudges.

 

I think if there's problems, it's the fault of teaching. Not what hand the kid is using. Fuss with any kid too much to hold it this way and not that way, slant paper this way not that way, slant cursive this way not that way blah blah blah and yeah---you're going to confuse. Too many people still take the spoon from the babies left hand and place it in the right...without thinking about it!!! Just stop. It doesn't matter. If a kid is having trouble writing--left or right handed---figure out why and fix it. Don't assume they're having trouble because of what hand they're using. And for goodness sake stop worrying about it. Or over compensating nad setting up special situation sfor the left hander to navigate. I meet too many people who freak out if their toddler shows "signs of left handedness" and "what are we going to do??!!!"

 

Ugh. Whatever. Yeah as a leftie it does start to feel insulting and condescending. Especially when people tactlessly point out "your kids a leftie!" Yeah so? Your kids a rightie---what's your point? I have brown eyes and you have blue---want to talk about that a minute too?

 

:glare:

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I've read several threads like this over the years and, maybe I'm oversensitive or something, but they always rub me the wrong way. Left-handedness is not a defect or a disability but some people stlll act like it's a problem. Who cares whether little Billy holds his pen differently or the paper at a slant. If the kid needs to adapt to make it more comfortable to write in a manner intended for right-handed people I think it's wrong to try to change that just so it "looks" better. If the kid is distressed about it or in some sort of pain from holding his pen a certain way then, by all means, offer help but otherwise: not a big deal.

 

I also hate the assumption that lefties have poor handwriting. I'm left-handed and so are two of my kids. I always get complimented on my beautiful handwriting and I like to tell people it's because I'm a lefty. :lol: My oldest ds and dh are right-handed and they both have atrocious handwriting. It's never occurred of me to attribute that to their lack of left-handedness. ;). Some people just have poor handwriting!

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Scissors can be tough for lefties. Right handed scissors will not work in the left hand. Left handed scissors almost uniformly stink. I don't know what the problem is, but I used to get them in school and my parents bought some for our home, and none of them cut as smoothly as right handed scissors. I would give your left handed students both kinds of scissors but really encourage them to use right handed scissors in their right hand. It will be hard at first but as they build muscle, it will get easier, and things will go more easily their whole lives if they can use righty scissors.

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I'm left-handed and so was my brother, and I don't understand the fuss over it. I think it only becomes a big deal if you make it a big deal.

 

Who cares if a kid slants the paper? So what if he needs to learn to use his right hand so he can use scissors more easily? It's not the end of the world if he has to adapt to writing in spiral notebooks and binders.

 

Really.

 

It's not a big deal! :) You don't need to worry about it, or provide all sort of special left-handed devices. The world has a lot of right-handed stuff, and kids won't even think about any of it being a problem if no one mentions it, and may end up being quite ambidextrous -- I know that my brother and I did. (I learned to play baseball right-handed, because I just assumed that when you were up at bat, you had to stand on the same side of the plate as everyone else. :tongue_smilie:)

 

And plenty of lefties have beautiful handwriting, so it's not necessary to give your kid a pass on handwriting because he's lefthanded and he holds the pencil differently than your other kids or doesn't slant his paper the "right" way.

 

I know a lot of people worry about teaching their lefties, just as I secretly wondered if I was doing something wrong when I was teaching my right-handed kid to write, but I truly think that if you don't mention anything about lefthandedness being different, the kid will do just fine.

 

 

As I am a leftie, :iagree: with this whole post.

 

As far as the smudging, it happens sometimes. It's not a big deal, and I wouldn't bother with the handwashing all the time, but I did learn to slant my paper to avoid it. I just tested it, and I slant my paper about 60 degrees to the right, and then my hand is below everything I write, and I do not cover up what I just wrote. I think anywhere from a 60 to 90 degree slant to the right would work. I think this is what is meant by the post that mentions "extreme slanting."

 

I also think you should let him stick with the vertical letters. I *can* slant my writing to the right, but I mostly don't. As long as they aren't slanting to the left, it will look fine.

 

As far as pens, regular cheap ball point pens such as Bic or Papermate work just fine for me, but if something says "roller ball" on it, I don't know why, but they just don't work for me. It seems I have to hold those exactly straight up and down to get them to write. Papermate was always my favorite for school while I was growing up, and now I have a bunch of Zebra pens which work well too.

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As far as the smudging, it happens sometimes. It's not a big deal, and I wouldn't bother with the handwashing all the time, but I did learn to slant my paper to avoid it. I just tested it, and I slant my paper about 60 degrees to the right, and then my hand is below everything I write, and I do not cover up what I just wrote. I think anywhere from a 60 to 90 degree slant to the right would work. I think this is what is meant by the post that mentions "extreme slanting."

 

...and now I have a bunch of Zebra pens which work well too.

 

I'm a lefty too and I also don't see the big deal here. Outside of my teachers attempting to force me to change hands as a child, I had no problem learning to write left handed. Only had a problem with smudging when I was very young. I learned quickly to slant my paper (yes, about 60-75 degrees) so that my hand was under the lines I had already written. I don't slant my letters (aside from cursive writing lessons in 3rd grade). I have very readable, small penmanship.

 

If your boy is having trouble with the slanting, just work on that as a separate penmanship issue. Give him a couple lines of copy work to practice with slanted paper (60-75 degrees with top of the paper heading to the right. Don't correct his writing. Just let him get used to the new paper position. In time, his penmanship will adjust to the slanted paper.

 

As for the pens, I love the zebras but I love gel pens even more. I never have a problem with them skipping.

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Scissors can be tough for lefties. Right handed scissors will not work in the left hand. Left handed scissors almost uniformly stink. I don't know what the problem is, but I used to get them in school and my parents bought some for our home, and none of them cut as smoothly as right handed scissors. I would give your left handed students both kinds of scissors but really encourage them to use right handed scissors in their right hand. It will be hard at first but as they build muscle, it will get easier, and things will go more easily their whole lives if they can use righty scissors.

 

Like most Lefties, I'm pretty ambidextrous, and always used RH scissors. First day of K, we're doing a craft and the teacher comes and takes my RH scissors away from me (right out of my hands) and hands me a pair of LH scissors. I out them in my right hand and try to cut, but they won't work. When I complained, she told me to put them in my left hand and learn how to use them because there were only so many pair of right handed scissors. My mom bought me my own pair of RH scissors and had a little chat with the teacher.

 

IMO, let kids use left or right handed scissors, whatever is easiest for them, but don't ASSUME they need LH because they are LH when writing! I'd probably first see if they CAN use scissors in their right hand. If not, or they keep trying to use their left hand, get some left-handed scissors. For kids with strong left-dominance, it's easier to learn to use scissors with the left hand -- so what? As they get older and have better coordination it is NO BIG DEAL to learn to use the other hand. I can use scissors with either hand (left or right style scissors in either hand, so yes, I can use right hand scissors in my left hand and vice versa with little thought). I've never met an adult who uses left-handed scissors.

 

ETA: only real trouble I had in LEARNING writing (aside from battle over paper slant with my teachers) was in cursive the teacher described motion as up/down and pull/push, so the up/down was the same but the pull/push was backwards for lefties, so I really struggled with that. Once I got past 3rd grade, I think the neatness issue was just because I couldn't see my work, and the "extreme slant" (like that term) fixed that.

Edited by ChandlerMom
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Honestly!!! The "leftie" debates drive me batty---completely crazy! Have we ever stopped to think that we live in a world that has persecuted the "left" for a very long time. The "left" hand side of things have been considered "evil", "dirty" and a has had a host of other rules and regulations about it from various religious traditions for most of history. Some Hindu holy men still on purposely hold their right arm up for years until it deforms because it's considered so shocking and such an austerity to force themselves to eat and do things with their left hand. How insulting! We are still newly coming out of the times when it was common practice to have kids switch to using their right hand. Right handedness has been considered the "proper" way to write for most of history. Still working out of our old subconscious religious archetypes. I honestly believe that left handers seem so unusual and right handers seem more common because of those educational and religious trends. In reality the numbers would likely have evened themselves out if these early religious and pegagogical trends weren't the norm. We've forced genetics hand (no pun intended) with our social mores.

 

And then we tried to over compensate by giving the leftie "special" attention---left handed scissors and desks and whatnot. Then here comes the "studies" about left handers having a higher risk of this and that thing. We still use phrases that set up the right as the better idea (well not quite in modern day politics lol and yet who is more critical of the "left"---the "religious right") He's the "right hand man" etc.

 

I'm a leftie, all three of my children are lefties, my dad was a leftie, my BIL and his wife and two children are lefties. And really, none of us have a hard time with handwriting. Or scissors. Or can openers. Or sitting at desks. Or notebooks. Or pencils. Or knives. Or smudges.

 

I think if there's problems, it's the fault of teaching. Not what hand the kid is using. Fuss with any kid too much to hold it this way and not that way, slant paper this way not that way, slant cursive this way not that way blah blah blah and yeah---you're going to confuse. Too many people still take the spoon from the babies left hand and place it in the right...without thinking about it!!! Just stop. It doesn't matter. If a kid is having trouble writing--left or right handed---figure out why and fix it. Don't assume they're having trouble because of what hand they're using. And for goodness sake stop worrying about it. Or over compensating nad setting up special situation sfor the left hander to navigate. I meet too many people who freak out if their toddler shows "signs of left handedness" and "what are we going to do??!!!"

 

Ugh. Whatever. Yeah as a leftie it does start to feel insulting and condescending. Especially when people tactlessly point out "your kids a leftie!" Yeah so? Your kids a rightie---what's your point? I have brown eyes and you have blue---want to talk about that a minute too?

 

:glare:

While I agree with a lot of your points, I want to point out that not all lefties are equal. There are degrees of handedness. Dh and ds6 are quite ambidextrous for lefties and have never had trouble with doing many right-handed things. I am not naturally ambidextrous. As a child, my right hand had very little muscle strength and cutting with right-handed scissors was nearly impossible. I'm also the one who brought up can openers because it took me years to learn to use one. Now, The only thing I advocate for young lefties are scissors. Can openers aren't things that need to be mastered at a young age, but scissors are and left-handed ones can make a big difference. As an adult, I rarely cut with my left hand because we only have 1 pair of left-handed scissor which are my nice sewing scissors.

 

Scissors can be tough for lefties. Right handed scissors will not work in the left hand. Left handed scissors almost uniformly stink. I don't know what the problem is, but I used to get them in school and my parents bought some for our home, and none of them cut as smoothly as right handed scissors. I would give your left handed students both kinds of scissors but really encourage them to use right handed scissors in their right hand. It will be hard at first but as they build muscle, it will get easier, and things will go more easily their whole lives if they can use righty scissors.

 

:iagree: we have three pairs of Fiskar scissors for the boys: 1 of the no-handed, non pointy type for my preschoolers and toddlers, 1 pair of right-handed child-size scissors with pointy ends, and 1 pair of left-handed child-size scissors with the pointy end. The disappointing thing about the lefty scissors is that I had to buy them online for $7 while the same model of righties were bought locally for $2. :glare: I couldn't find any lefty scissors locally.

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I'm sorry. I've heard SO many people fuss about their lefties & writing. Our eldest is a lefty, & from the time he first picked up something to write with I've never once even tried to correct anything about what he's done.

 

He has incredibly neat & tidy writing. I let him choose how to hold the paper, the pen, & how to go about his business. Personally, who says the paper HAS to be tipped? Who says his writing HAS to be slanted? Can you read his straight writing? Is it neat? Why fuss? Try writing with your left hand to get a feel of what he's going through! I know those aren't the answers you are looking for, but honestly those ARE the approaches I took with my lefty & I've never had the issues I hear other people having. :grouphug:

 

Now scissors on the other hand... I have to be sure I have either lefty scissors on hand or ones that make no difference because otherwise he's got them on "upside down" & they won't cut, poor fellow.

 

I also bind my own notebooks for him so the binding is at the top or on the "wrong" side of the paper to make it easier for him to use without feeling like the binding of the notebook is in the way.

 

Now I'm off to see if my lefty has slanted handwriting, because it's never something I ever considered before.. ;)

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As I am a leftie, :iagree: with this whole post.

 

As far as the smudging, it happens sometimes. It's not a big deal, and I wouldn't bother with the handwashing all the time, but I did learn to slant my paper to avoid it.

 

As far as pens, regular cheap ball point pens such as Bic or Papermate work just fine for me, but if something says "roller ball" on it, I don't know why, but they just don't work for me. It seems I have to hold those exactly straight up and down to get them to write. Papermate was always my favorite for school while I was growing up, and now I have a bunch of Zebra pens which work well too.

 

I am a lefty, and I also use the cheap disposable pens because they don't bleed a bunch of ink (unless they're partially broken, in which case my writing and hands will be a big huge mess.) Inky pens, usually the more expensive pens available, are a complete no-no for me.

 

Also, what's with all this worry about handwriting slanting? Nowadays, everyone types everything, so unless he's planning on a career as an elementary school teacher or a calligrapher, he'll survive just fine with legible up-and-down handwriting. There's no notebook spirals on the left side of a computer, either, so it's a problem that he'll outgrow in adulthood. Like others have said, loose-leaf paper is great for avoiding the spirals issue.

 

I find that left-handed scissors are mostly unnecessary, especially as you age and gain hand strength. As a kid, the Fiskars scissors were wonderful because they were kid-friendly in size (but not dull like safety scissors) and were more ambidextrous in shape than other brands. As my hands grew, I adjusted just fine to cutting with adult right-handed scissors in my left hand. Normal can-openers also used to be a struggle, but as I gained hand strength and the desire to not starve, I learned how to open cans and now I'm a pro.

 

Computer mice are another issue for lefties. I can use a computer mouse on the right side, but whenever possible I move the mouse to the left side of the keyboard because my left hand is stronger and more responsive for clicking. I keep the mouse controls the same, but left-click with my left middle/ring/pinky fingers and right-click with my left pointer.

 

Forks and knives were also hard to use properly as a lefty (but perhaps I just wasn't instructed well), and my mom still makes fun of me for the impolite shortcuts I take when using utensils. I cut with the knife in my weak right hand while unattractively stabbing the meat in my dominant left hand, and it isn't a pretty sight. I was never convinced as a child why it's important to switch hands when using utensils, and I learned how to cut meat from watching my right-handed parents. Honestly, food-cutting might be a more important life skill for a lefty than correcting the slant of their handwriting.

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I don' think anyone was *bashing* lefties? It CAN be hard for a righty to teach them how to form letters. We don't *realize* things like they can't see what you're doing when you sit on their wrong ride.

 

Sometimes they press harder, and fountain pens are good? They help with hand fatigue? Notebooks bound at the top are easier for them to handle? I mean, why make the kid struggle when buying a different notebook helps?

 

Like I said, it's a righty world and most of us, being righties, don't *realize* how righty the world is. Then you have a kid who's lefty, and you have to teach them and you just want to make things easier for them. Really, no bashing intended.

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