Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lefties Are Cool

Every once in a while on our SWR yahoo list, someone will post asking for help in teaching handwriting to a lefty. I know these are well meaning mothers and teachers that take their calling very seriously, but it breaks my heart to think of the 'stigma' lefties still face in the 21st century.

I am a lefty. And I found WRTR and SWR through the back door of precise handwriting- a friend had this book on 'clockface' print and cursive and it was a REAL aha moment for me. What a concept! It literally changed my life and the course of my homeschooling. What a divine hand leading me to SWR. I am so thankful.

I think that poor lefties get a bad rap. They are not inherently messier or more difficult handwriting learners than righties. It's simply they've been taught wrong or not at all. I can still remember the 3rd grade teacher passing by my desk during the start of 'cursive,' looking down at my left handed writing she derisively commented something like 'ugh, I can't teach a lefty.' Imagine my little 8yo self having to deal with that attitude! And how powerful those words that I still remember them decades later. On the one hand, I was raised very secure, so I felt it more her problem than mine, but on the other, I immaturely thought that refusing to learn cursive would 'get her back.' Of course, it affected me way more than her and probably only confirmed her bias.

Teaching a lefty is the same as a righty, only mirror image. Sit across from a lefty to model writing and to give directions- so it's easier for a righty teacher to see that her lefty student is modeling her example. And please never give the child the impression that they are somehow 'deficient,' more difficult with writing or doomed to messiness. For the best handwriting in all writers, I'd recommend:

Cursive First; first
Proper pencil grip
Continual practice through-out k-12: don't drop this subject!

Out of my 6 writers [I also have a 2yo] my Cursive First taught Lefty [9yo] has the best handwriting over all the non-CF righties AND his fellow CF-taught righty sister (7yo) And my lefty artist mother also has gorgeous handwriting! If only SHE had taught me to write! Amazingly, my handwriting has significantly improved with CF.

I have a dream that one day lefties will no longer have a stigma associated with their handwriting!
To see my mom's art click on this
Click on this to learn more about the importance of proper handwriting instruction

1 comment:

  1. I'm a lefty too! How exciting... I'm so glad there are more of us out there.