Today is Left-Handers Day and it’s time to celebrate! Scientists haven’t pinpointed why people are left-handed, but they know that genes are responsible about 25 percent of the time.
According to the BBC, ten percent of the population is left-handed, including Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Jim Henson, which means you are sure to have some lefties in your classroom. They may struggle in this mostly right-handed world—so here are some tips to make their writing experience comfortable and successful.
1. Paper Placement
Children who can print sentences across the page are ready to tilt their paper at a slight angle to follow the natural arc of the writing hand. For left-handed children, put the left corner of the page higher, so the writing hand is below the line of writing. This practice encourages a correct, neutral wrist position.
You may observe some left-handed children slanting their papers too much. They do this to prevent their wrists from hooking. Allow them to exaggerate the slant on their papers if it doesn’t cause speed or neatness trouble.
Make free lefty-friendly worksheets with the A+ Worksheet Maker Lite.
2. Cross Strokes
When writing, we typically travel from top to bottom and left to right. At times, left-handed children may choose to cross letters by pulling their writing hand from right to left. This is natural. Model the cross stroke for them in their student editions. Letters with cross strokes are A, E, F, G, H, I, J, T, lowercase f, and lowercase t.
3. Lefty-Friendly Student Editions
Make sure the student editions you use in your classroom are lefty-friendly—especially when it comes to early writing skills like handwriting. Pages should provide letter models on the left and right, so left-handed children can always see the model they are copying. That way they never have to lift their hand or place them in an awkward position to see a model.
Handwriting Without Tears® looks out for lefties! That’s why all our student editions are lefty-friendly and help all children succeed in the classroom. Download a sample student edition page to see the difference.