My seven year old still reverses a lot of letters when he writes. Any suggestions on how I can work with him?
Letter reversals are surprisingly common through age 7. After that age, this could be an indication of a learning disability such as dyslexia. Letters that are similar such as b, d, p, and q are some of the most common errors. However in more extreme cases, mirror writing (writing backward from right to left) is also a problem for young writers. Here are a few hints to help your child conquer those difficult letters at home.
1) Alternate different implements to write with including pencils, pens, markers, sandpaper letters, and tracing with a wet paint brush over a chalkboard.
2) Use shaving cream, pudding and sand to finger-paint the letters for practice.
3) Use pre-printed work sheets with directional arrows when tracing over a letter or an alphabet strip as a visual reference.
4) Make up phrases to remember direction such as, “letter b is a bat (the stick) and ball (the circle),” or “b begins bed, d ends the word bed.” You can find or make up little stories about the problem letters as a memory technique.
Practice makes perfect. There are many handwriting booklets and worksheets (such as those mentioned in paragraph 3 above) for sale in your local bookstore, or even for free online.