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StartDOT Handwriting Blog

18 January, 2015

Help with reversed numbers and letters

Meet Alice.

Her mom noticed she was having a hard time writing her numbers. They were all readable, just backwards. Sound familiar?

Alice was getting frustrated as Alice’s mom tried different ways to help her learn to write them correctly.  Nothing seemed to work… until she tried StartDOT Handwriting. She heard about the app from Alice’s Kindergarten teacher and other moms, so she decided to give it a try.

What a difference! Alice’s numbers started to turn around, and the best part: it didn’t seem like work at all. Alice still loves using the StartDOT Handwriting app and now writes her numbers with confidence!

Some notes on number and letter reversal:

Reversing letters is entirely normal for kindergartners and is typically nothing to worry about. Children at this age have not fully developed what is called "visual form constancy." That is, they don't understand that if you change a letter's direction, it can become a different letter or not a letter at all.

After all, a chair is still a chair if you flip it over and a book is still a book if you turn it upside down. And, in your child's eyes, a d should still be a d, whether it faces forward, backward, or is upside down.


Of course, if you're concerned that your child is behind, it never hurts to talk to their teacher or a class OT. Remember that your child may continue to reverse letters for a while but a good rule of thumb is that they should have this sorted out by the time they enter the third grade.

This aspect of handwriting skill can be mastered with practice. And our goal at StartDOT is to make number and letter practice fun!

28 January, 2015

Playing in the Sky, Grass, and Dirt!

Sloppy. Messy. Illegible.

Have you ever thought these words about your student’s or child’s handwriting? There are a ton of possibilities that contribute to messy handwriting but a common problem is letter placement on the lines.

Above the dash, top line, bottom line… all of these "helpful" directions can be very confusing to a child who is struggling with handwriting.

Here's our suggestion: try using Sky, Grass, Dirt paper to make letter placement more understandable for the child. The easily-remembered colors simplify the spatial concepts of top, middle, and bottom to easily identify where the letters should go on those crazy lines.


Children quickly see when they’ve made a mistake.  For example: "lowercase c does not go in the dirt…" and when they’re on the right track: "yes, lowercase p goes in the grass & dirt."

You’ll never get tired of hearing, "Oh I see how to do it!"

30 January, 2015

Let them color on the walls!

Color on the wall to improve pencil control. What?!

Ok, we don’t mean that literally. This solution is all about location, location, location.

Instead of coloring, painting, drawing etc. while seated at a table, tape the papers to a wall, fridge, or sliding glass door to create a vertical work surface. This way the child’s arms aren’t resting on the table but “working” to strengthen important muscles in the arm and wrist needed for pencil control.

Coloring on the walls