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Is Your Child a Backward Printer?

Is Your Child a Backward Printer?Parents often worry when young children keep reversing letters and numbers in their written work.

When young children first begin to print, it is very common for them to reverse letters and numbers. The most common are b, d, g, p, q, s, 3, 5, and 9.

When a child starts school, backward numbers and letters can affect his understanding of math computations and reading comprehension. By the time a child is in 1st grade, he should start to recognize and self-correct as it is very important that these errors don’t become a “bad habit.”

Here are some simple ways to encourage proper formation of letters and numbers:

  • When you notice reversals on homework, gently ask him to check and see whether he notices anything that needs to be changed. Guide him if he has trouble finding the errors. Then, let him erase and correct.
  • Keep a simple chart of capital and lowercase letters for her to reference when she’s doing work.
  • Also keep a small number grid handy to reference number formation for math assignments.
  • Try bringing in another sense. Help her roll out clay and form letters or numbers that are giving her trouble.
  • Or, add salt or sand to a small, shirt-size box to practice writing letters and numbers with his finger, then gently shaking to erase.

Since practice makes perfect, have her rewrite correctly any words on papers containing backward letters. She will soon understand that it’s simpler to write the numbers and letters correctly the first time rather than have to erase and make corrections.

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