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Teaching writing to an ambidextrous 5 year old

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My 5 year old DS is ambidextrous.  He is homeschooled currently, and I am having a really tough time teaching him to write.  His name is 6 letters, and he will write the first three with his left hand and the next 3 with his right.  I feel like there must be one hand that is more dominant, but he seems comfortable with both.  I am not really sure where to start.  I put writing on the back burner for a bit.  He loves to draw, and I often see him drawing with a crayon in each hand.  I'm starting to feel like teaching writing will require a "real" teacher.  I can't seem to get him to use the correct grip either.  Does anyone have any words of wisdom or experience with this?  Also, when I googled ambidextrous child, a study linked to increased ADHD and learning disabilities came up.  Not sure if any of that applies to him, but it gave me one more thing to worry about dizzy.gif

post #2 of 6
I feel strongly that a child should not begin writing until they develop a tripod pencil grip. Give him very small crayons to color with (like broken and short) so he has to hold it in a tripod. Play games picking things up with tweezers and string small beads to strengthen his fingers. Doing those activities may cause him to start to favor one hand over the other.

If you feel you must start a writing program, get the preschool book from handwriting without tears. Read the teacher's guide and go slowly.

Peace,
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you SO much for your input , Laura.  I really appreciate your suggestions and will give them a try!

post #4 of 6
I have a 4.5yo who also seems ambidextrous. In one coloring session he switched hands almost every time he switched colours (tripod grip with either hand)! Just wondering how things were working out for your guy teamsalem?
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi,

My son just turned 7 and things are going a lot better with writing.  He ended up having "difficulty crossing the midline of the body."  It is an issue that Occupational Therapy deals with.  He has been in OT for about a year now, and we have seen a lot of improvement.  He has finally chosen a hand and no longer uses both.  I think that it is normal for a 4 year old to use both hands, though.  My OT told me that most kids choose a side by 5, or as late as 7 if they are left handed.  My daughter, at 4, also used both hands but it wasn't as strange as watching my son, who often would be drawing with both simultaneously.  It was just obvious to me that something was different with him.  I think hand fatigue sometimes played a role with why my daughter switched hands. 

post #6 of 6

My 5 year old DS is also an ambi. For now we are not pushing writing for DS. However, when we do write, or have him bat, or anything that usually has a dominant side we ask him which side he wants to use. Sometimes he chooses his right and sometimes he chooses his left. There are times where he will switch back and forth. We make sure he understands there is no wrong choice, but that we just want him to be comfortable and use whichever hand feels better at the time for the task at hand.
 

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