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Lefties at School

Left-handed children have particular problems in learning basic skills using the wrong tools. These problems are easily overcome with some sensible guidance and use of simple left-handed implements, but they often get neither and end up with an unfair reputation as being slow, awkward and clumsy as a result!

Difficulties include cutting out simple shapes using scissors. Left-handed scissors have the blades reversed so that the child can the cutting line and so that the natural squeezing movement of the left hand pushes the blades together to make them cut rather than pushing them apart so that the card or paper gets stuck sideways inside the blades.

Writing

Left-handed writing requires a correct grip and correct paper positioning. If they are made to write like right-handers, but using their left hand, they often end up with a very cramped position and a "hook" writing style that is painful and slow - not great for exams in later life! As children start to use ink pens, a left-handed nib cut-off in the correct direction is essential if they want to avoid a blotty mess.

Even simple things like sharing a desk can be made complicated - always put the left-hander on the left-side of the shared desk or there will be clashing elbows and arguments all day.

There is now a trend to use whiteboards in class, with wipeable pens. Left-handers have a real challenge to use these without wiping off what they have just written as they go along. Tilting the board to the right should help, but is not always easy to do.

Mirror writing

Left-handers sometimes slip naturally into mirror-writing flowing from right to left and perfectly readable to them (or to anyone with a mirror). Famous examples of this were Leonardo da Vinci and Lewis Carroll

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