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Video – Left handed writing

Left-handed children rarely receive specific guidance in how to write using the left hand, and as a result most of them struggle with one or all of the common problems associated with writing left-handed.  Without help, the bad writing style and awkward posture formed to overcome these problems will become their regular writing style, and remain with them throughout adulthood. Fortunately, these problems can be easily solved at any age by small but vital corrections in posture, pen grip and positioning.

We have produced the following series of short videos, with step by step advice from Lauren Milsom (author of “Your Left-Handed Child“) to help parents and teachers pinpoint the specific problems, and show how to solve them.   Of course, the same principles apply to adults wanting to improve their writing technique, who will also find these videos useful.

Each video is a separate chapter, and we advise you to watch them all, but you can refer back to the most relevant and helpful one for your child whenever you need to. We hope you find them helpful, and would appreciate your feedback at the bottom of this page.

If you have a particular product in mind, but are not sure of it's benefits, video 4 explains   our   wide range of pens and writing implements that are designed especially for your left-handed child, or have benefits that particularly help combat the problems associated with left-handed writing. Whichever pen you choose, you can be sure it will help your child improve their writing style and grip.

Video 1 – Writing challenges

Video 2 – Writing problems

Video 3 – Writing solutions

Video 4 – Writing equipment

New: view the unique Griffix complete writing system by Pelikan

Click here to see our full range of children's pens and writing aids

Please add your own experiences, comments and advice below

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14 comments on “Writing left-handed
  1. Sara says:

    I have never seen such a good website. my daughter will be 4 yrs in June.
    she is tries to write wtih left hand but i think she is right handed.
    I am very much confused on how to encourage her to write with which hand.
    can you please help on how to recognize if my child is right or left handed.

    • J says:

      To figure out which hand your daughter will write with, just give her some pens and let her draw! From what I know, it eventually becomes clear. If she still struggles with her left hand, ask her to try with her right to see if she finds it easier. Do not forcefully switch her hand, it will be confusing and awkward.

      I don’t have much experience with children earning to write, but I hope that helped.

  2. Warren says:

    I keep the paper to 30 degrees as shown in the video but I hold my pen at a slight angle so the position of the nib matches those of the right handed writers. I almost always use a good fountain pen, my current one being a Waterman.

    I was incredibly lucky in have a kindergarten headmistress who always checked to see who was left handed and then taught good writing skills. Later I was fortunate to have an excellent art teacher who taught me to write in italic script which is actually easier than most forms of writing. By the time I was 18 I was the best calligrapher in the school.

    Later I became a graphic artist and it was incredibly useful to have writing that was better than most right handed people.

  3. Ktaylor says:

    I write with my paper slanted. I never knew that being left handed that we bear down on the paper harder because of the sliding of the fingers. I also have a calcus on my ring finger from when I was in school writing on the paper so hard. I was always told that bearing down on my paper was a sign of be learning disabled. My brother is left handed and he hooks his hand. He writes in all caps and I slant my paper and I write in cursve and print. A lot of people tell how neat handwriting I have. Due to most left handed people have sloppy writing. I love the pen that you show in the video. I think in the United States they will not have them in the stores. I will have to look for them online. I never liked writing with a fountain pen because it always tore the paper. Now I know why. So much I did not know and now I do and it makes so much sense. I really love this web site.

  4. Randy C. says:

    I learned how to write left-handed in the 1st grade from a very wonderful, and extremely helpful teacher. The 2nd grade started out bad(teacher tried to have me write right handed), Mama corrected that problem.
    The 1st grade teacher had me place my paper at a 90 angle to my body,(top of page to my right- left margin is at the top) place elbo @ 8 inches from body and forearm at 45 degrees across paper. Also keep your in a straight alignment with your forearm( no Hook Hand). This looks strange( most people comment it looks weird), but it it the easiest and neatest left-handed position I’ve ever tried.
    You don’t push the pen across the paper,you pull the pen down the page which is actually left to right on the paper in front of you. This allows me to always see what I have written in entirety, and no dragging of hand across results in no smudges. Also, since I don’t push the pen, my grip loose resulting in better control and no cramping.
    Since the 1st grade was in 1961, I have been writing quite and legibly for 50 years.

    • Simon Says says:

      I always keep my paper at a 90 degree slant, it works better and allows for excellent hand-writing, generally much better than right-handers.

  5. sofia says:

    I don’t use a tripod grip because it causes me to be a little awkward, instead i use my hand in a very similar way: my index finger is in a tripod position but my thumb is is not directly on the pencil, it only comes in contact with the pencil around the middle of my top falange.
    It’s more natural to me and no one ever complained so why should i bother changing it?

    • Josue says:

      he want to play the etrlceic guitar. He is right handed but has decided he likes to play the guitar left handed. I think this is because he plays guitar hero etc left handed.He is being taught by someone who is a beginner herself and on a right handed guitar.What should we do to help him with this?Thanks

  6. Terence J. Golightly says:

    We actually should read from right to left or on “my” planet from left to right. You see on “My” planet “we” are right handed and write with our right hands all those formerly known as right handed are now “lefties” he he. Then I have teachers tell them they are not writing the “right” way and they smudge. All reading and writing material is oriented for us “righties” ;>. They will suffer the indignities of the former “lefties” and be subject to criticism for their sloppiness and for their just lefthandedness. Ha!

  7. Amanda says:

    My mom tried to get me to write with my hand hooked and I fought her on it. It was uncomfortable and painful for me. She just didn’t want me to smudge my work. Better to have a smudged paper than a cramped hand and wrist.

    • Sherilyn says:

      I very well could have puhsed each shot with the left hand. The right hand group is centered and I was using the same sight picture on both targets.

  8. Rudy says:

    All the yoropen are not available in france. There are just the standard, the superior (black or white), and the executive, only in green or black.
    Those pen are never in store so it’s difficult to find them.
    And when you find one it’s too expensive because they’re rare !
    So i bought the superior on the only website in france which sells it.
    I hope it will be as well as every body says it !

  9. Sharon says:

    I write with the hook method but I turn my page the same way right handers do and write uphill. This way I can see my work and pull the pen and write without twisting my body. I make sure to choose pens that won’t smudge.

    I have read that the way a left hander writes – either underneath or hooked above – is a matter of brain organization.

    Over the years I have changed my grip to many strange grips, but now I use the standard pen grip and keep my hand relaxed as much as possible.

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