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Video: Right-handed handwriting tips and expert advice

Right-handed handwriting tips and advice video
Right-handed handwriting tips and advice from the experts, with practical examples of the best way to position paper correctly and hold the pencil with a tripod grasp. Experts from the National Handwriting Association feature in TheSchoolRun's new handwriting video series.

Advice and tips to help right-handed children with their handwriting, from Occupational Paediatric Therapist Catherine Elsey from the National Handwriting Association.

How to help your right-handed child with handwriting

It's often assumed that, compared to lefties, right-handed children find it easier to master the art of neat, fluent and comfortable handwriting. But while it's true that writing left-handed can pose specific difficulties, many of the 90 per cent of children who use their right hands will also have some trouble with their handwriting.

Try these tips for helping your rightie to get to grips with handwriting.

  • Master the dynamic tripod pencil graspThis means pinching the pencil between thumb and forefinger, with the middle finger behind the pencil shaft, acting as a shelf. The muscle group formed by these three fingers should be able to move smoothly, and independently of the other two fingers.
  • Keep the wrist stable. When your child is holding their pencil correctly, they should be able to write while keeping their wrist resting on the paper, beneath the writing line. They shouldn't need to move their wrist or shoulder.
  • Position the paper at an angle. Right-handed children should sit with their paper slightly to the right of the centre of their body, and angled slightly upwards. This helps them to see the nib of the pencil as they write.
  • Use lines. Writing on lined paper will help your child to keep their letters evenly sized and spaced.
  • Don't squeeze too tight  or press too hard. Many children, especially when they're learning to write, try to control their pencil by gripping it too firmly, or pressing too hard on the paper. If they get their pencil grasp right, they won't need to grip or press so hard. Look out for signs like white knuckles, a tense, achy hand, or indentations on the paper, and encourage your child to correct their grip.
  • Consider a handwriting aidPencil grips, writing slopes and other writing tools may help your child to write more easily - speak to their teacher for advice.
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