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Tips for Left-Handed Homeschoolers

Left-handed learners often find writing more of a struggle than right-handed peers. Holding a pencil and writing can be uncomfortable, words smudge easier and it can be hard for learners to read what they’re writing as their hand covers the words. A little bit of practice and a few tweaks to how they write can make handwriting more comfortable for left-handed emergent writers.

  • Angle the paper

When left-handed learners try to write on paper placed straight on the table, their hand covers the writing as they’re writing. This is frustrating for the learner because to see the letters they’ve written, they must lift their hand from the paper.

Additionally, when the paper is straight or angled to the left (as for right-handed writers) a left-handed student’s hand moves over the words already written while writing the next word. This leads to smudged handwriting and frustration.

To prevent this, teach left-handed learners to angle the top left of the paper slightly to the right (at a 30 degree angle).

Using a writing mat like this can help students get into the habit of lining up their paper differently.

  • Write below the writing line!

Left-handed emergent writers tend to claw their wrists or keep their wrists straight to see under their hand as they’re writing: Making sure the wrist stays under the line upon which they’re writing prevents the need to do this.

It can help to place the paper higher up on the table or allow left-handers to start writing further down the page.

  • Triangular shaped pens and pencils

Correct pen grip is something that is difficult for left-handed learners. Using a triangular shaped pen or pencil can make holding a pen more comfortable and make it easier to see the page because fingers naturally stay bent while gripping the pen.

  • Use a pencil grip

Correctly holding a pen will make writing instantly more comfortable. Using a pencil grip can help, or a pencil specifically designed for emergent left-handed writers.

This pencil was the most comfortable for our leftie home learner.

  • Write on an easel

Lifting the paper up instead of being flat on the table can prevent emergent left-handed writers from hooking their wrists to see under their writing hand. Instead of the hand covering the letters, the hand is naturally angled away from the paper allowing writers to comfortably see the letters they’re forming.

Writing is more tricky for left-handed learners but with a little encouragement and daily writing practise, they’ll get there.