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Learning to write as a lefty

"I'll do it with my left hand" - even though this sentence sounds so easy, learning to write is often a big challenge for left-handers. But it doesn't have to be that way!

Interesting facts about left-handedness

The fact that left-handers often have a harder time learning to write than their right-handed classmates is not due to the handedness itself. Rather, our world is often geared only towards right-handed people - be it scissors, vegetable peelers, pens or the computer mouse. While left-handed people used to be retrained to use their right hand, today we know that this retraining is completely counterproductive and absolutely unnecessary. In the meantime, many products that previously could only be used with difficulty or not at all with the left hand are also available as a version especially for left-handers. 

What do I need to know about handedness?

A child's handedness usually becomes apparent at preschool age, for example when eating with cutlery or when doing handicrafts and painting. If there is any uncertainty, this topic can also be clarified with the pediatrician as part of the U8 screening examination. Left-handedness does not have to trigger increased or even anxious attention among parents, because right-handed and left-handed children can learn to write equally well in principle. Rather, it is important to train the writing motor skills before and during learning to write, regardless of the handedness. In this way, children practice using their pens in a targeted manner, for example, controlling their speed and applying the correct amount of pressure to the paper. This lays an essential foundation for learning to write for all children, regardless of whether they are right- or left-handed.

Simple tips to make writing easier for left-handers

When using worksheets, make sure that the target is not only on the left side of the line when practicing a new letter, for example, but is also shown again on the right side at the end of the line.

If a left-handed person and a right-handed person sit at the same table, both have more freedom of movement with their writing arm if the right-handed person sits on the right side.

Sheet position

Since children like to take the people around them as a model, they also look to them for the position of the page, for example. This is why left-handers sometimes try to write in the same way as right-handers, which then leads to difficulties. When writing with the left hand, the pen has to be pushed across the paper, while right-handers pull the pen. This causes left-handers to cover or smudge what they have just written with their writing hand, which is why the wrist is bent like a hook and held in a cramped position. To prevent all this, it is advisable to turn the sheet or notebook clockwise by about 45 degrees. This way, the hand is no longer on top of the writing, but underneath it, and the "hook posture" is no longer necessary.