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This child is left handed and last year during school nursery the keyperson tried to get them to switch hands for writing.

Text taken from a Facebook conversation 6th July 2108

Looking for advice for a friend. My son had his friend over for dinner last night. After dinner between 5-5:30 we do homework. Both reception aged children. This kid excelled in the maths part of homework however when it came to writing I literally watched their confidence and body language deplete. Mum popped over this morning to say thank you for having them for tea yesterday. Happen to mention my observation. So we had a chat about it. Points of concern and I would just like your view points on as childcare practitioners:

  1. we always see this child in the morning they are very distressed that mum is leaving. They have to lock the class room door to stop them from running out and away because mum has gone
  2. this child is left handed and last year during school nursery the keyperson tried to get them to switch hands for writing.
  3. school have not provided child with left handed scissors so struggled to cut “straight lines” when request and gets upset when pulled up on it.
  4. child holds pencil as standard left handed child however when writes will start from the bottom of the letter for example “g” and “e” they will start with the tail moving towards the centre. School have rhymes and encourage they “take off the lid and scoop it out” however they find it hurts their hands to stretch that way starting from the middle.
  5. child has a speech impedimant and has failed their reception hearing test. Referral to GP has been made but often feels like people are not listening to them when they raise their own points of concern. When it could be a mixture of a) not understanding in the first place because of their speech impediment and b) seem to be fed up with trying to teach them the “proper” way to write and just ignore them when they say “but it hurts to do it that way”
  6. when mum has spoken to the lead eyfs leader they have said “there is a curriculum in place with the writing and rhymes and they have to learn to do it that way” – but their way clearly isn’t working for this one child. My own son is also left handed and has no issues with this programme but when they tried to get him to write right handed last year I jumped on them for it. To sum up he seems unhappy at school drop off I imagine because his needs are not being supported by the school.

    I thought that making left-handed children write right-handed was a thing of the past but maybe not!!!

2 thoughts on “This child is left handed and last year during school nursery the keyperson tried to get them to switch hands for writing.

  1. Hell, I thought this country had stopped trying to make left handed kids write with their right hand. In the 1930s, My father had his front teeth knocked out by a teacher who hit him on the back of the head, bouncing his face off the desk, saying “I told you to write with your right hand.” In the 1970s my secondary school refused me violin lessons (but probably a benefit, considering 😉 ) and in the 1980s I was thrown off a mechanics course, both for being the only woman and because “I looked awkward with tools”.
    I am now a Chartered engineer and find that a significant proportion of us are left-handed – more like 25% than the traditional 10%. Its not so bad in my office, but mouse cables on our hot desks are always wired to the wrong side.
    I didn’t discover left handed scissors till I was in my 30s. And I’m very careful whom I sit next to if I’m eating with chopsticks ;).
    I’m starting an art evening class in Sept. I have fingers crossed I don’t get a tutor who thinks holding a paintbrush in the left hand is wrong. ..
    Isn’t it about time that such discrimination was made illegal?

    1. Hi Lynne, Sincere apologies for not getting back to you earlier – I was on holiday last week!
      I completely agree with your comments. My father-in-law was forced to write right-handed as a child – not clever! You poor father must have had a terrible time 🙁
      Interesting re the percentage of 25% of your colleagues; yes certainly on the high side. Lefthanders are often artistic and creative; my left-handed son did a drawing that had perspective when he was just aged 4! I hope your evening classes go well.
      Re the education system, I keep on chuntering (see the blog) and also write to the Education dept through my MP. We keep trying despite knock-backs.
      Kind regards
      Mark Stewart

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