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Posted by Mummy Dearest on Mar-16-2005

The Baby very much wants to learn to write. She is always scribbling away. Finally, a few days ago, seeing how much she wanted to do things correctly, I sat The Baby upon my knee and said, Baby, you write backwards.

First, let me say that The Baby is left handed, she has been from birth. No doubts, ever. And when The Baby tries to write, it isn’t that she writes backwards really, she writes in a mirror image : not only words from right to left, but things like the hook on her small g‘s point to the right, rather than the left. She uses the same motions and logic that a right handed person uses, but with a left handed logic and sense of ease.

Her consistency is scary, with that iron code of logic that only a five year old can have. And so I am slowing teaching her to write left to right, turn her umbrella handles and put the circle on the other side of her p’s and d’s.

  1. blackbird Said,

    I am left handed. hmmm. very neat that she writes so well backwards — but a problem nonetheless.

  2. Will Said,

    Obviously, a sign of creative genius!

    Sue, be on the look out for a package from Iowa.

    I am enjoying the old kitchen in Brabant a lot these days!



  3. sue Said,

    Will! It’s you ! You have really been gone for a long time.

    I must admit,I am rather sad about having to stop Meg from her mirror writing- she does it so…naturally and comfortably. And it is just about the weirdest thing to see.

    Of course, in about six months, I might be saying that Meg has the most unusual case of dyslexia ever documented, but for now, I can see perfectly well why she is doing what she is doing.

    What I can’t follow is how she isn’t noticing that her writing is backwards.

    But then, she’s five.Five year olds live in a world of strict logic and fantasy. What strict logic does to past tenses in English is frightening.

  4. Will Said,

    Yeah, I’ve been kinda of absent from the web these day. My camera broke, and I descended into a blogging funk. But its all better now.

    Couldn’t DaVinci write in perfect mirror script? I think I remember that from, errr, the DaVinci Code…

    Well it is good to be back among friends.


  5. Edwinek Said,

    Hey, that’s interesting. The daughter of our French friends does the same thing. She also hasn’t really learned how to write. We came to the the conclusion that to her the words are just one other kind of drawing. And when you draw a house, who cares whether the door is to the left or to the right? It’s the same thing, innit?

  6. Nean Said,

    Well, Meg is obviously a creative genius. Goes without saying. But indeed, for most children who are not reading yet, letters are drawn and not written, and laterality does not matter in most of the things they draw. So the same gets tranferred to drawing their letters.

    For left handed children it is apparently more likely to be all the letters and all the words from right to left, because it is easier for them.

    The easiest way to reverse it I hear is to play with the concept of laterality in drawing and folding paper and so on, not necessarily by practicing with letters. Then the letters correct themselves. But I expect it will take care of itself.

  7. Naomi Said,

    I’m delurking to let you know that my daughter is also left-handed, and was a mirror-writing expert until she went to kindergarden. I actually thought it was quite neat, and since I was going to college for a degree in elementary education, knew it was pretty typical for a young “lefty”. She is now 11 years old, makes straight-A’s, and has wonderful handwriting. She just kind of migrated from the mirror writing to regular writing as kindergarden went along.

    By the way, I just love reading your blog! Thanks for writing!


  8. sue Said,

    Oh Nean- you know that it just turns my knees to jelly when you talk *smart* to me. I could read those big words all day long !

  9. sue Said,

    Edwin, what makes Meg different from Mike and Sally when they were first playing with letters, is that in each and every instance, her letters are reversed. They don’t go any old way at all, they are each and every one perfectly wrong !

    That is what caught my attention. And at this point, you are correct, it doesn’t matter.

    BUT- Meg just misses the cut off age for going to group three, and this is the sort of thing that could hold her back for another year in Group 2. ( kindergarten). And I think that she is ready to move on.

  10. sue Said,

    Thanks, Naomi- I was pretty sure that it was related to her left-handedness. When I thought of the mechanics of writing, it made sense to me.

    But mirror writing is really, really neat to see and I’ll be sad when she loses this curious talent.

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