Surprisingly there are few differences when teaching left and right handed children to handwrite. A left handed child needs a slightly different pencil grip, and needs to hold the pencil slightly higher up the shaft, as well as a different paper position and tilt. Some left handed children do find handwriting challenging to start with because they naturally want to draw straight lines right to left rather than left to right.
If you find your left handed writers are struggling with learning to handwriting I would recommend you try the following:
- Check they can cross the mid-line point (Activities on the assessment page of the website see link: https://www.teachhandwriting.co.uk/physical-ability.html.
- Check their hand and finger strengths (Activities on the assessment page as above).
- Check their pencil grip and that they are being taught at the correct developmental stage for them (Information in the Development Section of the website: https://www.teachhandwriting.co.uk/developmental-pencil-grips.html .
- Paper position and tilt is very important for a left handed writer to ensure that the writing hand stays below the writing line: https://www.teachhandwriting.co.uk/paper-position-for-comfortable-handwriting.html .
- Use a range of Pre-handwriting patterns that help a child to practise the left to right pencil pushes and pulls they need for forming letters. These patterns help them to get used to how it feels to move the pencil left to right rather than their natural instinct to want to write right to left (I would do this before introducing a letter family). Pre-handwriting pattern animations and worksheets can be found using the following link: https://www.teachhandwriting.co.uk/pre-handwriting-patterns.html
You may also find our ‘Teaching Handwriting to a Left Handed Child: Tips for Right Handed People’ useful: https://www.teachhandwriting.co.uk/handwriting-teachers-tips.html