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The Whole Child, Issue #018 - Left-hand writing
June 23, 2006

The Whole Child e-zine brings you free preschool activities each week to maximize your child's potential, build skills and parent-child relationships in just a few minutes per day. Useful tips, quotes, resources, opportunities and articles will added for extra value!

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23 June 2006, Issue #018 - Left hand writing


1. Hello from Shirley
2. Updates at Shirley's Preschool Activities
3. Book reviews - a special resource for YOU!
4. Tips!
6. Readiness Activities
7. Article - Writing with the Left Hand

1. Hello from Shirley


Did you know that drawing or writing diagonal lines is difficult for little ones? Its a skill they develop in time as they mature.

My four-year old has just recently mastered writing 'a real K' for Kayleigh, after starting off making something that looked like an F gone wrong!

This week I have included an article about techniques for helping left-handed children to write well.

If you are not receiving this email in html format or you find white gaps where there should be images, then use this link for a much more colorful and easier-to-read version!

2. Updates at Shirley's Preschool Activities

As I said last week, I added an RSS Feed to my site. What's that?
Select "What's an RSS Feed?" under the navigation bar on my site for a quick explanation of the benefits it offers.

In a nutshell, you can now subscribe to your favourite sites and receive notification on your browser home page whenever a site is updated!

ABC Fun & 1-2-3 -printed or in ebook format

For less than $1 per week you can download 26 weekly preschool lessons in ABC Fun & 1-2-3 - the e-book format.

26 weekly preschool lesson plans, including printable preschool worksheets, easy kids crafts, reviews of over 100 quality children’s stories, nursery rhymes and more are included in the 220 pages.

You can read more and preview sample lessons here. I'd appreciate it if you'd share this info in your circles and add your personal recommendations too if you've got it. Thanks in advance!

Reply to me if you're a website owner and you'd like to sign up as an affiliate and earn commission on sales that you generate.

3. Book Reviews

A special offer for YOU!

Last week I recommended The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury: Picture Books and Stories to Read selected by Janet Schulman.

"This treasury gathers 44 of the most memorable and best-loved children's books of our time into one sumptuous, beautifully produced volume. Classics, contemporary best sellers, medal winners and family favourites chosen from over the last 100 years are brought together in a collection designed for sharing and reading aloud."

Preview on or Preview on

This week I have an exclusive opportunity for you, the subscribers of this newsletter:

I am giving you a link to a page on my site which is only accessible to my ABC Fun clients. Here is the list of over 100 quality children's stories, listed from A-Z, which I have personally reviewed and recommend:

Booklist for ABC Fun & 1-2-3

WAHM It! The Masters Course

WAHM It! The Masters Course is part of the secret to my site's success. About 6 months ago I knew nothing about site-building and now I have a little online business that earns me dollars while I sleep! So far this month, I've earned about $170 just from the Google Ads on my site. In rands that is over R1000!

Download this ebook and find out how you can share something YOU love, yet still be there for your kids - to dry a tear or rejoice over a new achievement.

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Your screen may remain blank for a few minutes as the file downloads. You will need to have Adobe Reader installed to read this file.

(Use the link in the Readiness Activities section below if you need to download Adobe Reader.)

Use your 'mommy time' to build your home-based business!

4. Tips

Wrinkle free artwork

To transport drawings and pictures your children have made and not get them crushed and creased on route, roll them carefully and place them in empty paper towel holders.

5. Quote

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. "

The Bible, Proverbs 15:1

6. Readiness Activities

To download the printable pdf you will need to have installed Adobe Reader - opens in new window.

The Whole Child - Week 18 Activities - printable pdf

Week 18

Mathematical Skills

Play a dice game to count construction blocks, beads, beans or any small items. Take turns throwing the die. Then take as many blocks as are represented. Continue until all the blocks are divided between you.

Gross Motor Skills

Encourage your child to play in sand – making pies or cookies or making roads for toy cars, mountains, gardens or anything else.

Fine Motor Skills

Encourage your child to brush her own teeth. At age 4-5 she should begin to master this skill. You can brush them afterwards to make they are well-brushed if need be. She should also manage to lay cutlery on a table (even if reversed), dress herself, manage press-studs and wash and dry her face.

Auditory Perception

Play a game with code words. Decide on a word that means your child must run in a certain direction, say ‘toothpaste’. When you say ‘tomato’ she must freeze and stand still. Any other words you say must be ignored - then use other words like ‘tiger, potato, tomorrow,’ to try and catch her out. This game helps her react to instructions quickly.

Language and Thinking Skills

Read a book about animals of different kinds, if possible. Talk about why different animals could not swap homes or environments. Why can’t a cat live in a fishbowl? Why can’t a dog live in a bird’s nest?

Faith Building

Last week you added rain to your prayer tree which started in Week 15. Place a fruit over any flowers/prayer requests which have already been answered and date the fruit.

This week ask your children about ‘weeds’. Weeds represent sin in our lives that will choke blessings and prevent good growth. Weeds can be repeated sins that need to be rooted out, worries that need to be given to the Lord in prayer, unconfessed sins or anything that will hinder our relationship with Jesus. Talk about this and ask your children if there are any specific weeds that need to be dealt with.

7. Article

Writing with the Left Hand

My 6-year old son is left-handed. At times he seems reluctant to do written work, even though he can write letters and numbers. I realise that this could be a 'boy' thing or just a 'maturity' thing, but I recently did a bit of research on teaching left-handers to write, in case that was also affecting him. This is what I found:

It is usually around age 5 that children begin to clearly show dominance in one hand, although in some cases, it is apparent from a younger age.

It is quite normal for children to use either hand in their toddler years and no attempt should be made to encourage the use of one hand over the other. If a child has a tendency to be left-handed, forcing her to use the right hand can do her more harm than good.

Unless you are part of the 10% of the population that are left-handed, you are probably quite unaware of the differences between writing left-handed and right-handed and the difficulties that being left-handed presents.

Experts say that by the primary grades, many left-handed child have not be correctly coached and have developed bad writing habits and experience considerable difficulty as a result. They often struggle and write extremely slowly, which is frustrating and puts them at a disadvantage if they have to write tests within a time limit.

The problems left-handed children encounter can be easily overcome, with a bit of planning, coaching and the correct tools, such as left-handed scissors and seating a left-handed child on the left-side of a twin desk.

Writing problems can be avoided by teaching a left-handed child a few simple habits as soon as she begins to put crayon to paper.

The differences between writing with the left hand and the right hand

As you know, in English and most western languages, we read and write from left to right.

If you are right-handed, you begin on the left-side of a page and write, moving your hand from left to right. As you proceed you can see what you have written and your hand moves mostly in a pulling motion across the page.

However, if you use your left hand (try this), as you write from left to right, your left hand tends to move over and cover the words that you have already written, so that you can’t read them! If you are writing with ink that can smudge, this is an added problem. Your left hand moves across the page in a pushing motion.

In order to be able to see more easily what they are writing, many left-handed children, raise their wrist towards the top of the page, into a hooked position, so that their hand does not cover their writing. This is NOT the best way for a left-hander to write.

Correct procedure for writing left-handed

To avoid this, a left-handed child needs to be coached from as early as possible, to differentiate between ‘reading position’ and left hand ‘writing position’ of the page/book. Even when colouring in or drawing, a preschool child that uses her left hand should be encouraged to become familiar with this rotated page-orientation.

Reading position is straight up, the way we normally position a book when we read or write. Left hand writing position requires that the page be rotated clockwise to about 45 degrees (or less), so that the child can write across the page from left to right, seeing what she is writing without having to hook her wrist.

The degree to which the paper should be rotated will depend on the height of the surface on which the child is writing, as this will affect the elbow position of the child. The amount of rotation needed increases as table height forces the elbows away from the body.

In this rotated writing position the child must be taught to write or draw with a straight wrist and her elbow and wrist below the writing line, not lifted to the left side or with the wrist raised (hooked) above the writing. When practicing this, the child should write large letters.

Experience shows that virtually all left-handed children in kindergarten and primary grades have been coloring in with the page in reading position for years and have developed the bad habit of orienting the page in the upright reading position. As a result, most of them have great difficulty writing and it requires considerable patience and coaching to undo these habits and build the children's confidence in the new technique.

So, if you have a lefty, make sure you coach her correctly from the start, tell her teacher too, if she is in preschool and if you know someone who has a left-handed child, share this information with them as well!

(c)Copyright by Shirley Erwee, 2006,

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