How do i help my child get her letters facing the right way when writing?

Denise - posted on 04/28/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My eldest daughter is 6 years old and is an excellent reader and can spell really well. The problem is when it comes to writing things down it all gets muddled with letters facing all the wrong way. It doesn't seem to matter what we do at home, she still resorts back. School are no help currently.

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I am a teacher as well as a parent of grown children with grandchildren. I think that it is completely normal. The child brain is taking in so much information at this early age and words can be read without vowels and also the backward letters are a part of learning the finer points of reading and writing. Most children do this and it goes away naturally as they continue to read (a must in growth development) and write. Practice at home and positive feedback are a good thing. Don't label a child early. So many things we want to see "perfect" too early and so it is better to not place too much of an emphasis on it or make the child feel bad. Just gentle reminders of what is the correct way to write a letter by showing it in a sentence or in a book is a good way to remind the child what is correct. Patience is a virtue!

Courtenay - posted on 04/28/2009

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I am a women who has born with dyslexic. I have learn to deal with it but it is still frustating. I would recommend that you go to a local collage and have her tested. Be positive and read to her allot. Example is the key. Saying to have her pactice words over and over doesn't really help if she is dyslexic. Phonics helps me, with game and stuff. To have little pictures with words help me. I hope this helps. Its really hard to explain in detail, in words how it is to be dyslexic. Good luck.

Chanti - posted on 04/28/2009

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I had the same proplem with my son. And I asked my sister in law who waas a teacher and she told me to sit down with my son and have him write those letters over and over. And she said to repeat this everyday until he was able to do it with no mistaakes. And if that doesn't help then maybe its something more and you might have to get her tested.

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Keep practicing and give her time. Reversals are very common in children ages 5-7 .

They soon make the connection and outgrow doing it.

Angela - posted on 04/28/2009

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Ashley's confidence wasnt that good either, i empathize with you. Its kinda heartbreaking to see your kid feeling frustrated about not being able to do what other kids seem to do easily. Just to give you a clearer picture of how long it took to correct it, i'd say about 6 to 8 months, but that's in my experience. We never know your daughter might get it right faster. But you know as you go along just as long as there's consistency in her doing her writing exercises, there will be significant improvement. Smile!!! I smiled and encouraged even if sometimes i felt like snapping at her.

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Stephanie - posted on 12/12/2012

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As a teacher for several years, I've seen this in many children. Your daughter is exhibiting developmentally appropriate writing behaviors. If your child were struggling in other subject areas it may pose a concern, yet by the time she is in second grade, the issue should be resolved.

Denise - posted on 04/28/2009

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Thanks Rhonda that was so nice, very good ideas. We already do quite a lot of that stuff but we'll at it. Everybody on here has been so great, it's such a great network!

Rhonda - posted on 04/28/2009

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My oldest son, now an adult, is dyslexic. However, the problem you mentioned is common among most children who are just learning to write.

Here's a trick that worked for us....Making your own flashcards:

Get some sandpaper (medium or fine) and cut it into flashcards. With a marker, print a set of capital letters and a set of lower case as well.

Have your daughter trace the letter with her finger, while saying it out loud. This helps to hardwire the information in the brain by using sensory perception. She is seeing it, actually feeling it(which is why the sandpaper is necessary), and hearing it all at the same time.

Only work on a few letters at a time, so it doesn't overwhelm her. And work on a few daily, working through the entire alphabet of capital and lower case, and just keep repeating the process. Also have her print the letters several times during each session. She'll get it in no time. It just takes a lot of patience and a little time each day. Even though he was diagnosed as dyslexic, by 5th grade he had no problems at all with reading, writing, or comprehension. The flashcards really helped him, and I do think it's a great idea for any child learning to read.

Hope this was helpful.

Denise - posted on 04/28/2009

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Thanks. You're right about the smiling - it improves everyone spirits doesn't it. I'll keep persevering and we'll see what happens.

Denise - posted on 04/28/2009

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Thankyou so much for taking the time to answer, it's amazing they remember anything the amount they have to learn! Fingers crossed she'll grow out of it.

Denise - posted on 04/28/2009

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Thankyou, that seems to be the general response, she will be 7 soon so lets hope it's only short term.

Denise - posted on 04/28/2009

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Thanks for that. She has been writing for about 3 years now and still hasn't got out of the habit. Currently her school will only let her do printing and actually chastise her if she tries anything different, we found cursive style helped a little though. She is very bright but the handwriting is really holding her back. I'll keep up the practice and hope something clicks!

Krista - posted on 04/28/2009

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I teach grade one and it's VERY common for 6 year olds to write letters backwards occasionally. I wouldn't worry about dyslexia at all. There are a lot of letters that students must learn, and when you think about all the letters that are the same even when flipped, such as A,T,U,Y,O, etc, and other letters that are completely different when flipped, such as d,b,p, it's no wonder that kids have trouble sometimes. With continued practice she'll grow out of it.

Denise - posted on 04/28/2009

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Thanks so much for answering. She's not mirror writing whole words just letters, of course this means she gets her spellings wrong and then gets all sad! We do work with her most nights on her writing but that's not helping her confidence. Her teacher not overly helpful - and I'm a teacher of older kids myself so I know what to expect! It's reassuring that it could just be a passing phase.

Laura - posted on 04/28/2009

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I'd reccomend practice. Just handwriting practice. When she is forced to copy the habits of handwriting will likely set in. There are many programs out there to use. Check out your local book store. Just get even some poetry that you may like her to know. As long as it is on her level of comprehending. As she practices, for accuracy, she may develop the personal desire for her own script to be like other's. If you try that and it doesn't work, I'd look into some varied forms of dyslexia. Hope it all goes well.

Mom Of Six, Laura, in Atlanta

Angela - posted on 04/28/2009

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My daughter did that too, i have no other way to describe it but to say it's like mirror writing. I asked her teacher if this was an indication that she could be dyslexic or have some form of learning disability. Teacher said no and that most kids who are just learning how to write usually have that peculiarity. Took her word on that, seems to be right cause my daughter's not doing it anymore. I just supplemented by doing writing exercises with her at home. To give an example of what she was doing before, her name's Ashley but the way she write her name down sometimes would be yelshA. Or sometimes the letter C, R, B or any other letter, would be facing the other way when she's writing it down. Hope this helps.

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