Homeschooling 4 Him

Handwriting Without Tears Practice Sheets (Free PDF for Homeschool)

My family loves using the Handwriting Without Tears program in our homeschool. But, we have found that we need more practice than the books provide. I started writing out additional words for my son to practice on handwriting paper, but I was constantly wishing for something better. So, here are some free Handwriting Without Tears practice sheets in PDF format that you can download to use in your homeschool- and tips for how to use them!

Handwriting without tears practice sheets free pdf for homeschool

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handwriting without tears course

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Over 60 pages of handwriting, coloring, bug facts and more delivered right to your inbox! Have fun learning with your kids this spring!

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Why Practicing Handwriting is Important

Handwriting is a crucial skill for all students to learn. However, practicing handwriting has gone out of favor in education recently. Here are some reasons why it is important for your child to learn to write with good handwriting, even in a tech-focused world.

Handwriting Practice Helps Kids Communicate

The reality is that no matter how much technology our world has, it is still helpful to be able to communicate in writing from time to time. Children need to know how to be able to write themselves a note. A handwritten thank-you note is still a great follow-up to a job interview, or a present from a relative.

By practicing handwriting with copywork , children are exposed to great works of literature. This can help to improve writing skills as well, as kids copy the style of famous authors.

Good Handwriting is Helpful for Spelling and Reading

Kids who can read what they have written will have an easier time knowing if they spelled the words correctly. This means that handwriting practice, when done correctly, can also help reinforce spelling for kids.

In addition, when children are using correct spelling they will begin to see connections between the letters that they are writing and the sounds that those letters make within the word. This can help with reading skills as well.

Practicing Handwriting Helps with Learning in Other Subjects

Research shows that having good handwriting is helpful for learning in almost every other subject area. Kids who can write quickly and easily will have a much easier time taking notes on what they are learning or completing written assignments.

Good handwriting can even be helpful in a subject like math that doesn’t use words. Kids who can write numbers neatly and organize them in rows and columns will have a much easier time completing complicated math problems.

Lack of Handwriting Skill can be Frustrating

One of the biggest reasons to use handwriting practice sheets in your homeschool is that struggles with handwriting are often contagious, leading to frustration in other subjects and with school in general.

Kids who struggle with handwriting often get frustrated when they know the answers but can’t communicate what they know through their writing. This can lead to resistance from kids and homeschool burnout for families.

Kids who struggle with handwriting will also have a hard time working independently in any subject area. They may need an adult to sit with them and write down the answers to questions they can solve on their own.

At What Age Should a Child Use Handwriting Practice Sheets?

Handwriting is an important skill for students, even at a young age, so it is ok for kids to begin practicing when they are young.

Most kids should be able to hold a pencil with the correct pencil grip sometime between age 4 and 6. This means that it is especially important for younger kids to develop their fine motor muscles with activities like playdough, cutting and gluing, stringing beads, or playing with blocks. This will help them develop the muscles necessary to hold a pencil correctly.

Fun and age-appropriate practice sheets will help kids develop handwriting skills that will help them in learning other subjects, too. No matter what age your child is, it is important to make handwriting practice fun and attainable for your child’s age and maturity level.

Handwriting without tears practice sheets free pdf for homeschool

Which Handwriting Skills Should My Child Practice?

Good handwriting is made up of several components. Kids should work through each of these components in order as they are learning handwriting.

1. Pencil Grip

The foundation of good handwriting is the correct pencil grip . By age 6, kids should be holding their pencil with a tripod, or three finger, pencil grasp. If your child is not using the correct pencil grip, this is the first thing to correct when practicing handwriting.

2. Letter Formation

It is critical that children learn to form their letters correctly. This means that they are writing with the correct strokes, in the right direction, and in the right order.

Many handwriting practice sheets will include arrows, numbers, or other hints to help kids remember how to form the letters. However, it is important to watch your child forming their letters and make sure that they are following the correct letter formation.

3. Writing Legibly: Pencil Control

Once kids learn how to form their letters, the next step is to give them a lot of practice. This will help them learn to control their pencil and make their letters consistent.

This step takes time and practice to develop. Extra handwriting practice sheets can help to reinforce what students are learning in their handwriting curriculum.

4. Letter Sizing

It is important that children pay attention to where their letters fall on the lines. Are the tall letters touching, but not crossing, the top line? Are the tails of the letters hanging down below the bottom line?

The Handwriting Without Tears program is unique in that is only uses 2 lines, instead of the usual 3. This can make it easier for kids who struggle with the number of lines on traditional handwriting paper. However, students who are used to using Handwriting Without Tears paper should use handwriting practice sheets that have 2-line paper as well.

handwriting without tears course

You can learn more about the Handwriting Without Tears program in my Handwriting Without Tears Preschool Curriculum Review .

5. Letter Spacing

Another important consideration for writing legibly is the spacing between letters and words. Kids need practice to learn how to space the letters in a word close together, but not touching.

Children also need to learn how to leave space between words. This is usually not intuitive for kids when they first learn to write. It can help to teach them to put a finger on their paper where they need to leave a space. This can help them judge how much space to leave between words.

6. Efficiency

Over time, as children continue to practice handwriting, they will learn to write more quickly and easily. This efficiency will help them be able to use their handwriting skills when learning a variety of different subjects.

If you are struggling to teach any of these skills in your homeschool, check out my post on how to improve handwriting for children for more advice and tips.

Handwriting without tears practice sheets free pdf for homeschool

What to Look for in Handwriting Practice Sheets

Choosing the right handwriting practice sheets is important to make handwriting practice helpful and fun. Here are some things to look for when choosing handwriting practice sheets for your child.

Capital or Lowercase, Printing or Cursive?

First, it is important to look for printables that focus on the kind of letters your child is learning. Most kids learn to print capital letters first, then lowercase letters, and finally to write in cursive. Kids usually spend a year or two working on each of these skills before moving on to the next one.

Make sure the handwriting practice sheets that you choose focus on the kinds of letters, and even the specific letters that your child is learning.

What Kind of Lines?

Handwriting practice sheets should include guide lines so children know where to put their letters. Traditional handwriting programs usually use a 3-line system to show where the top, middle, and bottom of each letter should be.

The Handwriting Without Tears program uses a 2-line system that eliminates the top line to make it easier for kids to see where letters should go.

Your handwriting practice sheets should use the same kind of lines that your child is used to seeing in their handwriting curriculum. Consistency will help kids practice without getting confused or frustrated.

Reinforcement for Forming Letters Correctly

It is important that when kids are practicing handwriting, they are forming their letters correctly each time they write them. Practice is only helpful if kids are practicing correctly.

The common saying is that “practice makes perfect,” but a better saying is that “perfect practice makes progress.” Practicing forming letters incorrectly won’t help your child. In fact, it will cement bad habits and make it harder for your child to learn to write correctly.

Look for handwriting practice sheets that reinforce how to form new letters with arrows, numbers, or other helpful hints.

It is also important to make sure that handwriting practice is fun for your child. Kids will be more likely to want to practice if they enjoy doing so. Look for themed practice sheets or worksheets with fun facts to copy. This will help kids enjoy their handwriting practice more.

Handwriting without tears practice sheets free pdf for homeschool

How to Use Handwriting Practice Sheets

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your PDF Handwriting Practice Sheets!

Use a Laminator

The best way to get the most out of your printables is to laminate the pages. Pages that are laminated will hold up better to repeated use by multiple kids. In addition, your child can write on laminated pages with a dry erase marker.

If you don’t have one yet, a single sheet laminator is a fantastic investment for your homeschool. You will save the money that you spend on a laminator many times over as it will allow you to re-use consumable resources!

If you don’t want to invest in a laminator, you can also slip individual practice sheets into a plastic page protector sleeve to get the same result.

Focus on Quality over Quantity

When kids are using handwriting practice sheets, it is important to focus on quality over quantity. Make sure that your child is doing only as much handwriting as they can do carefully and well. If that’s only one page, or even part of a page, it is better to practice less with correct letter formation.

Sometimes, when kids have too much to do, they get overwhelmed and just try to “get it done” rather than doing their best work. Avoid this by asking your child to do less.

Free PDF Download: Handwriting Without Tears Practice Sheets for Your Homeschool!

This bug-themed multi-level handwriting practice sheet pack includes both 3-line and 2-line Handwriting Without Tears style practice pages for both capital and lowercase letters. Enjoy handwriting practice with your kids this spring with this fun resource!

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Lumiere Children's Therapy

March 9, 2022

Handwriting Without Tears: The “Write” Way to Learn Handwriting

handwriting without tears course

A primer on the Handwriting Without Tears ® program

Key takeaways:

  • Handwriting Without Tears® helps children learn to write letters.
  • The program addresses all types of learners, including auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners.
  • It helps improve fine motor skills, letter formation, spatial awareness and body awareness.
  • It uses fun, engaging activities that help kids to learn how to form letters.
  • It teaches letter formation in a progression that makes the most sense to learners.

Occupational therapy uses various methods to help children who struggle with handwriting due to cognitive, developmental, or motor differences. The multi-sensory teaching curriculum, Handwriting without Tears® , is one method that works very well with students. This program is developmentally-based and addresses all learning styles, including visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic.

At Lumiere Children’s Therapy, our Occupational Therapists use Handwriting without Tears® to help kids improve their handwriting skills. This program helps improve fine motor skills, body awareness and letter formation.

In this article, we talk about common challenges that can lead to handwriting issues and how Handwriting without Tears® can help!

5 reasons kids struggle to master handwriting

There are many reasons your child might be having trouble with handwriting. Rather than become frustrated at his or her lack of progress, remember that there could be an unidentified root cause. Some causes have to do with writing mechanics, while others could point to an underlying cognitive or physical condition. Let’s take a look at five common causes.

1. Holding the pencil wrong

Poor handwriting might just come down to mechanics. Simply holding a pencil at the wrong angle or using the wrong grip can make a child’s writing sloppy or hard to read. It can also lead to pain in the wrist, hand, or fingers. If your child is uncomfortable, they might try to avoid writing.

Most children learn to write using the “ tripod grasp ,” which is the most functional grasp. In this grasp, a person holds the pencil about an inch from the tip, balanced between the thumb and index finger. The middle finger should be used as a resting/balance point.

2. Left-handed writers

Left-handed writers are often at a bigger disadvantage when learning to write than their right-handed classmates. The mechanics of writing left-handed are different and require a modified teaching method. Rather than pull a pencil across a piece of paper, for example, left-handed students must push it away from their hand, which can cause skipping or breaks in letters and lines.

3. Using too much pressure

If your child holds a pencil/pen too tightly or pushes down on a piece of paper too much, it can result in hand cramping, pain, and poor penmanship. They need to apply some pressure, but too much will cause problems or fatigue. Relaxing the grip can help.

4. Dyslexia 

Dyslexia has nothing to do with holding the pencil wrong. It is a language-based learning disability that affects how the brain processes and interprets language, including letters, words, and numbers. While reading and spelling can be significant challenges for kids with dyslexia, dyslexia can also affect a child’s ability to write.

5. Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia is a condition that impacts handwriting. Children with dysgraphia have trouble with transcription. They tend to have messy handwriting and may have challenges forming letters.

Signs of dyslexia and dysgraphia

What are some common signs of dyslexia and dysgraphia? Several signs point to a child possibly having one of these learning differences. They include:

Signs of dyslexia :

  • Delayed speech
  • Issues forming words correctly
  • Difficulty playing games or learning nursery rhymes
  • Reading well below the expected reading level for their age
  • Trouble spelling
  • Avoiding reading activities
  • Many of these signs affect reading, but they can also impact handwriting

Signs of dysgraphia :

  • Trouble forming letters
  • Tight or awkward pencil grip
  • Messy or illegible handwriting
  • Trouble staying in the margins on paper
  • Struggles with sentence structure and grammar rules

Some children with dyslexia also have dysgraphia. Children with ADHD often struggle with dysgraphia, as well. It’s important to have your child checked by a medical professional or licensed educational psychologist if you notice signs.

How the Handwriting without Tears® program works

Handwriting without Tears® is a multi-sensory approach designed to help children develop essential handwriting skills. The program uses fun and engaging activities that improve fine motor function. It also focuses on teaching kids how to form letters using tools like tracing paper or their fingers to master different aspects of handwriting.

The program includes specialized programs for students at every stage of learning, taking kids through the beginning stages of writing, including pre-handwriting strokes, and forming upper case letters and lowercase letters. It successfully combines teaching with interactive activities to address each student’s unique needs and struggles. Physical approaches are also used, including grip and posture adjustments for better writing performances.

Get help with handwriting

If your child is struggling to develop handwriting skills because of a mechanical issue or a condition like dyslexia, dysgraphia, or ADHD, Lumiere Children’s Therapy can help. Our trained Occupational Therapists incorporate the Handwriting without Tears® program to help teach students the writing skills they need to succeed in school and life. We work with you and your child’s teachers to develop a comprehensive plan to meet their physical, cognitive, and developmental needs.

Our Occupational Therapy program offers a wide range of services to help children learn a variety of skills, including:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Daily self-care
  • Visual-motor integration
  • Visual perceptual skills
  • Social and peer interaction skills
  • Self-regulation and attention
  • Sensory processing
  • Strength and coordination
  • Motor planning
  • Early development for infants

Aside from Occupational Therapy, we provide other comprehensive therapy services , including:

  • Physical Therapy
  • ABA Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Developmental Therapy
  • Early intervention
  • Social Work
  • Teletherapy

Lumiere Children’s Therapy is a full-service, multidisciplinary pediatric therapy practice located in Chicago that serves the developmental needs of children from birth to 18 years of age. Learn more about how our team of clinicians works to improve the lives of children and their families.

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The Curriculum Choice

Making homeschool decisions easy

in Elementary · Handwriting · Language Arts · Preschool

Everything You Need To Know About Handwriting Without Tears

Are you looking for a way to teach handwriting to your little one? Maybe you are looking for a cursive writing curriculum? Either way, you should check out all that Handwriting Without Tears has to offer!

This is not only a guide to all things Handwriting Without Tears , but also several of our Curriculum Choice authors share their personal experiences using Handwriting Without Tears in their homeschools.

Handwriting Without Tears is a simple to use, affordable, print through cursive handwriting program for kids in Pre-K through grade 5.

What is Handwriting Without Tears?

Handwriting Without Tears (HWT)is a handwriting program created by an occupational therapist. It is a 40 year program with proven success for thousands of students. From emergent writing in Pre-K to Cursive mastery in fifth grade, Handwriting Without Tears helps students develop fluent writing success through explicit handwriting instruction.

Levels of Handwriting Without Tears

There are seven levels available starting in the Pre-K/K level up to 5th grade.

1. Letters and Numbers is recommend for Kindergarten.

Handwriting Without Tears - Letters and Numbers for Me

Letters and Numbers for Me is where Kindergarten students, or those working at that level, learn capitals, lowercase letters, numbers, words, and sentences. Activities form good handwriting habits and develop strong writers.

A Review of Letters And Numbers By Kyle

Handwriting Without Tears Letter and Numbers

When we first began our Handwriting Without Tears journey I read a lot of the kindergarten manual. But after that I have never read or used a teacher’s manual with this curriculum. You may want to but I just haven’t found it to be necessary.

We have a lot of optional items that we use with this program (See the Hands-On Materials section down below) but you really only need the book and a pencil to do this. Keep in mind I’ve done this with five children, including one with special needs and one with learning disabilities.

How we use it in our home:

  • First I demonstrate how to follow the instructions HWT provides for creating each letter.
  • During the first semester I often had the children make the letters using either the wood pieces, roll a dough or stamp & see.
  • After about 1/4 to 1/2 of a year they start being able to follow the instructions themselves. I then just hover to make sure they are writing the letter correctly and in the correct order. HWT tells them which lines or curves to draw and in which order.

Handwriting Without Tears Letter and Numbers

HWT provides clear instructions for letter creation. So clear in fact that my five-year-old boy completes his handwriting independently and well. We run the gamut on the kind of learners that we have! HWT has served each of our unique children well. It is also very easy for the teacher to use. ~ Kyle

2. My Printing Book is recommended for 1st grade.

Handwriting Without Tears - My Printing Book

My Printing Book gives your students opportunities to review their printing abilities and reinforce other language skills such as grammar, writing paragraphs, and recognizing key word roots. The hands-on material is also suggested for this grade. There is the 4″x6″ slate chalkboard used to practice making letters. (See more about the chalkboard down below)

3. Printing Power is recommended for 2nd grade.

Handwriting Without Tears - Printing Power

With Printing Power the student continues to master his printing skills with advanced paragraphs, poems, and language arts activities using single line practice pages. With Learn & Check, teachers and students can seamlessly review letter, word, and sentence skills. Combine your handwriting instruction with punctuation, paragraph, poem, and language arts.

4. Or you can choose Cursive Kickoff 2nd grade.

Handwriting Without Tears - Cursive Kickoff

Cursive Kickoff is the first book that teaches cursive, it facilitates an easy transition from printing to cursive. Cursive Kickoff gives second grade students the option of beginning cursive instruction earlier. After a quick review of print, lessons progress to teaching cursive letters in developmental groups based on formation.

5. Cursive Handwriting is recommended for 3rd grade.

Handwriting Without Tears - Cursive Handwriting

With Cursive Handwriting for 3rd graders they will easily transition from printing to cursive with fun, engaging warm-ups. Students cover cross-curricular lessons that focus on paragraphs, poems, and composition with incorporated letter review for words and sentences.

6. Cursive Success is recommended for 4th Grade

Handwriting Without Tears - Cursive Success

With Cursive Success students develop cursive fluency with lessons that feature advanced language arts and cross-curricular activities. Review & Mastery pages help your students practice their cursive handwriting while giving them opportunities to review letters and connections.

A Review of Cursive Success from Stephanie

The Cursive Success book focuses on making cursive letters connect and forming them into words and sentences. The publisher recommends these workbooks for 3rd and 4th grade but if you feel that your child is ready then I am sure they could be used in the earlier grades as well.

HWT Cursive Success workbook contains the following sections:

  • An introduction.
  • A warm up for basic letters and connection of  letters to make simple words.
  • More difficult cursive letters, special letter connections (ex. o, w, v, b) and more complex words.
  • Capital letters.
  • Activity Pages which apply cursive to real writing of sentences and paragraphs.

Inside Handwriting Without Tears - Cursive Success

The first fifty-five pages review and give instruction for the lower case letters. Then capital letters are covered. 

And in addition to all this, the last 20 pages incorporates grammar concepts such as: compound words, synonyms and antonyms, homonyms, use of contractions and apostrophes, poems, similes, use of quotations, acronyms, dictionary definitions, and more.

This really impressed me because the curriculum doesn’t just go through the letters and random sentences to copy but applies cursive to real writing skills. This is so important because the objective of handwriting skills is to help children write proficiently enough to aid them in all their studies.  All the while, it never loses the feel of a handwriting text so you never find yourself somehow teaching grammar instead of doing a handwriting lesson.

What Sets Handwriting Without Tears Apart From Others Is It’s Vertical Style Approach

What I believe sets this curriculum apart form all others is its ease of use. It truly does take the tears out of handwriting.  It uses a vertical style approach and most children develop a vertical stroke first when learning to print, so it is much easier for a child to transition from print to this form of cursive. ~ Stephanie

7. Can-Do Cursive is recommended for 5th grade.

Handwriting Without Tears - Can-Do Cursive

Practice makes perfect when it comes to cursive writing. Can-Do Cursive is perfect for the child who needs another year to master their cursive writing skills. Designed for fifth grade students and above, Can-Do Cursive gives your students opportunities to review their handwriting abilities and reinforce other language skills such as grammar, writing paragraphs.

Real Life Example Of Using Handwriting Without Tears (Daughter Is a Lefty!)

We started using Handwriting Without Tears right from the beginning of when we started homeschooling. It has proven to be an excellent program in our home. The beauty of the curriculum is how simple it is for the child to learn! We started using the program at the 1st grade level. My daughter is a lefty and I knew I wanted a handwriting program that would help her to write beautifully.

What is a typical lesson like? It is a simple program to implement. My children do 1-2 pages for each lesson. Each new skill is clearly taught in the child’s book. HWT uses simple explanations for each new skill. In the lower grades, HWT uses “magic bunny” to show how to make new letters.

In the older grades, HWT continues to use simple explanations and drawings that the child can easily understand. The lessons are short and can be done in 15 minutes or less! The teacher guides provides tips and activities for each lesson.

About HWT Unique Writing Paper

Their unique writing paper is unlike any other handwriting program. The writing paper does not have the typical three lines with the middle line being a dotted line. HWT believes typical handwriting paper causes line confusion for many students. 

Handwriting Without Tears is a no-fuss program created by an occupational therapist that is simple to use! It is very affordable. The teacher guides are simple but do provide plenty of instructions, tips, activities, and lesson plans.

HWT created writing paper with only 2 lines.

  • The bottom line keeps the child’s writing straight.
  • The second line called the mid-line controls the size of the letters.

HWT believes by having only 2 lines will cause less confusion for the child.

3 Different Paper Levels:

  • wide double line
  • regular double line
  • narrow double line

Handwriting With Tears Hands-on Materials

Handwriting Without Tears Hands-on Materials are great for tactile and visual learners to begin forming letters and numbers. A review from The Curriculum Choice

The Handwriting Without Tears Hands-on materials are multi-sensory materials designed for children who are getting ready to learn to write and for those who are developing their handwriting skills.

Shannon says, “ I have used these with my children starting at age three, and even my oldest at age seven still enjoyed and benefited from using them.”

Capital Letter Wood Pieces

handwriting without tears course

These are used to teach formation of the capital letters.

For example, students learn to take a “big line”, put it on the left, then add a “big curve” on the right to make the letter “D”.

The wood pieces are also used to teach children how to make “Mat Man”, a simple stick figure person.

Children also learn positional concepts such as top, middle, bottom, left, and right as you use the pieces with them. This vocabulary, as well as “big line”, “little line”, “big curve” , “little curve”, is used in teaching letter formation with all of the HWT products.


Shannon says, “My children have enjoyed all of these HWT materials over the years, but the Stamp-and-See is probably their absolute favorite.”

Handwriting Without Tears Hands-on Materials - Stamp and See Screen

This is a 4″ x 6″ magnetic screen that comes with a set of four magnetic wood pieces (big line, little line, big curve, little curve), and a chalk-sized magnetic writing tool.

You use the laminated cards that come with the roll-a-dough set, place one on the magnetic screen, and then use the magnetic wood pieces to stamp the letter on top of the card. When you remove the card, voila – you have made the letter!

After working with the magnetic stamps, you can then use the writing tool to trace over the letter card. Once again, when you remove the card, you can see the letter that you’ve made. I want to mention that the writing tool is the size of a small piece of chalk. Handwriting Without Tears encourages using short pencils and pieces of chalk to help children achieve a correct pencil grip as they are learning to write. This approach has worked wonders with my own children’s pencil grips.

Roll-A-Dough Letters

Handwriting Without Tears Hands-on Materials - Roll-A-Dough Letters

This product includes a 4″ x 6″ plastic tray, a set of 18 double-sided, laminated capital letter and number cards, and a container of dough.

A letter or number card is placed in the plastic tray, and then the child forms the dough into the shapes needed to make the letter and places them over the letter card.

The dough is terrific for strengthening finger and hand muscles, as children roll, push, and shape the dough into “snakes” to form their capital letters. The tray can also be used for letter practice with rice, shaving cream, or sand.

(Shannon says, “Occasionally I am brave enough to do the “messy” stuff because my children are such tactile learners and really do enjoy it. I just make sure there is a plastic tablecloth underneath the work surface for easy clean-up.)

Slate Chalkboard

Handwriting Without Tears Hands-on Materials - Slate Chalkboard

This is another favorite in Shannon’s home. It’s a 4″ x 6″ slate in a wood frame with a smiley face in the top left-hand corner. The smiley reinforces top, bottom, left, and right, and also reminds children to start their letters at the top.

The chalkboard is used in combination with a method called “Wet, Dry, Try” to teach letter formation.

First the teacher writes the letter with the chalk, the child uses a wet sponge and makes the letter strokes to erase the letter, and then uses his finger to trace over the wet strokes. Then the child uses a paper towel to dry the wet strokes. Finally, the child gets to use the chalk to write the letter. The child has practiced writing the letter four times using four different methods and typically has had fun doing it!

Hands-on Materials: The Bottom Line

Shannon says, “Using this tactile approach with all the handwriting Without Tears Hands-on Materials to teach letter formation has helped my children to gain confidence in their handwriting skills while having fun at the same time.”

Purchasing Handwriting Without Tears

Handwriting Without Tears is a no-fuss program that is simple to use and very affordable. You can purchase everything you need right from their website.

The Student Books are $12.45 a piece.

Teacher Guides are $24.99 each. The teacher guides are simple but do provide plenty of instructions, tips, activities, and lesson plans. Korey says, “ As homeschool moms we often ask “Do I even need the teacher’s guide?” I do recommend using the TG to get the full benefit of the program. There are manipulatives available for all the grade levels. As the parent you can chose to incorporate the manipulatives or not. The manipulatives are wonderful for a tactile learner.”

Bundles – Plus they offer a variety of money saving bundles.

More Handwriting Options For Your Homeschool

This collection of Homeschool Handwriting Resources is designed to help you teach your children to legibly write in print or cursive.

20 Top Handwriting Resources for Your Homeschool – Even in this digital age, being able to clearly handwrite and read handwriting is an important skill. Most public schools no longer teach cursive. So how will kids learn to sign their name? How will they read things like their grandparents letters, old documents, etc.? This collection of Homeschool Handwriting Resources is designed to help you teach your children to legibly write in print or cursive.

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Heidi Ciravola is mom to three kids who were all homeschooled. Two have graduated college and one is finishing homeschooling high school. She spends much of her time navigating the high school waters (from electives to college prep) and reviewing homeschool curriculum for all ages. You can find her writing about these things as well as her love of books and homeschool life in general over at Starts At Eight .

handwriting without tears course

Reader Interactions

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July 15, 2009 at 9:43 am

LOVED this review!

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July 15, 2009 at 1:03 pm

I’ve been wondering about this program. Thanks for the review.

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July 15, 2009 at 1:08 pm

HWT is by far the best handwriting curriculum that we have ever used–and we have tried many! I am just sorry I didn’t know about it 15 years ago when we started our homeschooling journey.

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September 5, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I will say that the one drawback of the program is that I found it difficult to find my way around in it at first. There is so much information to absorb. I would have preferred a format that had Lesson 1 and suggest game/activity/practice for each day instead of pages and pages for me to read and try to absorb as a teacher. Philosophy notes could be inserted throughout the text with an TOC for that, too. I taught handwriting in the public school for years but just found this program while homeschooling my daughter. I’m on week 2 of using the K version and I do think it is the best and already purchased the PK to use with little brother.

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October 25, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Unfortunately I do not agree with the majority of reviews of this program. I find absolutely no reason to not integrate the learning of letter formation with the knowledge of letter names and sounds. The heirarchy of learning submits that first, children learn to listen as infants, later begin to speak, they they begin to apply that knowledge of speaking and sounds to the abstract symbols of letters. Following this extremely challenging process, is the ability to put those sounds together within text along with understanding that text’s meaning. Once this begins, the children are able to begin to write their letters with meaning. It is absolutely beyond me as to why this program initiates teaching the children upper case letters first when all of written print for the children to read consists of a majority of lower case letters. If the reason is merely because, “it’s easier,” a new reason needs to be found.

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May 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm

I too thought that kids should learn the lowercase letters first since the vast majority of what they read and write will be lowercase. Then I began teaching my daughter to print her letters. After over a year, I finally realized my stubbornmess on this issue was a stumbing block on HER path to learning to print.

Truly, “it’s easier” is the only reason needed to teach uppercase first. Kids develop fine motor skills at vastly different rates. The uppercase letters are simply easier to write and mastering them gives kids a confidence boost, encourging them to continue learning to write. Forcing kids with average or even lagging fine motor skills to try to master lowercase letters first is almost cruel.

Now, why should learning to form the letters be separate from learning the letter sounds? Same reason – kids gain the necessary fine motor skills at vastly different rates that are not related to their developmental abiltiy to learn to read. My daughter could recognize all of the alphabet and knew her letter sounds at 2.5 years. She was sounding out words by the time she turned 3.5 and is reading at an early first grade level now at 4.5 years. But she only just developed the fine motor skills necessary to draw decent lines and curves. Should I have held off on teaching her to read? Of course not. And if she HAD been ready to learn to write as she was learning her letters, then I could have easily integrated the two lessons myself.

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May 27, 2010 at 3:50 am

Just wanted to say that you’ve some awesome content on your weblog. If it is OK I wants to use some of the information you supplied on my web site. If I link back to your web site would it be OK to do so?

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The Smarter Learning Guide

Handwriting Without Tears Review

Science curriculum

Handwriting doesn’t have to be a nightmare for students…or their parents. With an easy to use, structured format, activity-rich lessons and strong multisensory component, if you’re looking for an effective, engaging and even fun way to help a student learn to write by hand, Handwriting Without Tears might be just the solution you’re looking for.

What We Like

But watch out for …

What Is Handwriting Without Tears?

Created by Learning Without Tears, a leading provider of accessible and easy to teach learning materials, Handwriting Without Tears is a handwriting program aimed at preschool students and up. 

Designed by occupational therapist Jan Olsen, Handwriting Without Tears systematically teaches students everything from the proper pencil holding through correctly writing letters, numbers, sentences, cursive and more.

The program teaches through a combination of workbook exercises, hands-on activities and even music and song, and consequently has become a very popular program for traditional schools and homeschools alike. 

What Grades Or Ages Is The Program Intended For?

Handwriting Without Tears is largely a curriculum aimed at students in K-5. 

That said, it is more of a skill-based program than one intended for a particular age or grade range. 

That is, rather than having a book for Grades 1, 2 or 3, there are books that cover readiness and pre-reading skills, capitals and lowercase, letter groups, words, numbers, cursive and more, with lessons, exercises and activities that match different levels of skill development and fluency. 

Consequently, the program can more easily be used by those outside of a traditional age range for handwriting instruction, which is actually pretty helpful as students tend to develop differently. 

Precocious students who take to handwriting can feel more free to move through the various books as their skills progress, while those who are a bit behind or have learning difficulties can take their time and work on the fundamentals without feeling as embarrassed since there are no obvious references to grade or age. 

This focus on skill means that the books in the Handwriting Without Tears tend to have a rather unique naming system. 

Rather than referring to recommended grades or ages, they have different titles that somewhat relate to their main content. 

As can be seen by these titles, there is something of a progression of skill throughout the series. 

Earlier in the series, students learn the very basics of letter formation and handwriting and then progress through learning print writing, developing their printing skills, before tackling cursive and then honing these skills through more complex exercises in later books. 

As with other skill-based curricula, however, this does mean those that transition into Handwriting Without Tears from another handwriting program can find it a little less intuitive to figure out where to start. 

Because there is no obvious and direct correlation to grade or age, homeschooling parents need to make an honest assessment of their child’s skill level, which itself requires a bit of thought and knowledge about the student. 

To make things a little easier, Learning Without Tears offers a type of placement test that parents can use, which they call their Screener of Handwriting Proficiency , which can be downloaded online. 

Parents coming into Handwriting Without Tears can also use it to figure out where their students are strong and where they need help, which in turn can help when selecting the appropriate book from the series. 

Unfortunately, while accessible to homeschool parents, it requires parents to set up a free account using their email. 

To use it, parents set up an account and select an administration packet based on an approximate grade level or skill (beginning print, intermediate print, beginning cursive, etc).

Parents give students a short quiz sheet, where students are given different tasks depending on their assumed level of skill. Kindergarten students are assessed on their ability to find letters and numbers, 2nd Grade students are given letter, number and short sentence tasks, while more advanced students may have to identify and write in cursive.  

The assessments are pretty straightforward and easy to administer, in our opinion, even for parents who have never homeschooled before. 

While pretty obviously designed for classrooms and teacher/professional use, they do include a homeschool option. 

The instructions are fully scripted, providing parents with a ready, proctor-style dialogue to use as well as detailed, step-by-step instructions for the test’s administration. 

When it comes to scoring and evaluation, the Screener offers pretty detailed information concerning what parents should be looking for and offers pretty clear examples and illustrations of what to watch out for (both good and bad), which is quite helpful. 

screenshot of learning without tears screener test page

On the downside, the Screener is set up as an self-administered and grade leveled assessment. 

As a result, parents of students who are very behind or who really just don’t know where their student would otherwise fit in a traditional school framework may still find themselves hunting around the different grade levels and reading a few different assessment options to figure out where to start with the assessment itself.  

What’s Required To Teach With Handwriting Without Tears?

Teacher’s guide.

As with other educational programs, there is a teacher’s guide for Handwriting Without Tears.  

These spiral bound books are printed in color and are a couple hundred pages long. 

As might be expected, the teacher’s guide contains full lesson plans for each handwriting lesson, outlining lesson objectives and required materials, as well as providing step-by-step guidance, detailed illustrations and suggested dialogues. 

Given the very visual nature of handwriting, and the fact that the workbooks often contain a step by step diagram of letter and word formation, some parents can world directly from the workbooks and make do without these formal lesson plans. 

Other parents, such as those who are new to homeschooling, are teaching students who are struggling or are unsure of their own ability to teach proper handwriting techniques, can certainly benefit from the structure and teaching tips that these teacher’s guides provide. 

It’s also important to note that the teacher’s guides contain a lot more than just lesson plans.

They also contain enrichment ideas, support and tips for differentiation and English Language Learners, as well as offering suggestions for linking a lesson to broader language arts learning and other social studies courses. 

They also contain various activities, which can make Handwriting Without Tears a far more engaging and dynamic program, allowing students to get up, move around and enjoy their learning a lot more. 

picture of handwriting without tears lesson guide showing multisensory activities included in lessons

One thing we found interesting and, honestly, kind of cool was that lessons often include a scannable QR code. 

Once scanned with a smartphone, these QR codes open to the Learning With Tears Website and offer parents a variety of helpful resources for teaching that level’s lessons, including videos, lyrics to songs, various printables, digital worksheets, enrichment activities and more. 

screenshot of digital resources available from handwriting without tears website

These extra resources can provide a lot of value and in many cases make lessons a lot more fun and engaging than a typical copywork-based handwriting program might offer. 

They can also offer important tips for instruction that can be useful for some parents, such as further remediating the learning or making sure that left-handed students are progressing without any bad habits.

One thing parents should note is that these teaching guides, while certainly useful, can be extremely detailed and activity-rich. 

While this may be no problem for most homeschooling parents, who are often used to taking what they need from a curriculum, these guides can be a little overwhelming for some newer homeschooling parents, particularly those who are simply looking for handwriting practice. 

Student Edition Workbooks

What is effectively the heart of Handwriting Without Tears, the student guide is where students put pen to paper and practice their letter formation and handwriting. 

These books are consumable, printed in black and white and are well-illustrated and straightforward to use. 

Each worksheet contains a good amount of illustrated instruction, clearly outlining what is expected of the student, and generally providing a highly detailed review of how students should approach letter, sentence and number formation, both in print and cursive. 

sample of handwriting without tears showing workbook exercise for practice of letter

Because they are so straightforward and detailed, they can be (and are, by some parents at least) used independently of the teacher’s guides as a main form of instruction or in tandem with another program. 

That said, the student editions sometimes make reference to activities outlined in the teacher’s guides and so those using them alone may miss out on some of this extra (and fun) learning. 

picture of student book from handwriting without tears referencing teachers guide

One thing that we like about the student workbooks is that they open flat, rather than curving, and so are a little easier for left handed kids to use compared to other programs out there.

Slate and Other Handwriting Tools and Manipulatives

In addition to its workbook exercises, Handwriting Without Tears includes a variety of hands-on exercises using different learning tools and manipulatives, which make learning a bit more interactive, engaging and even fun for students compared to many other programs. 

Below, we discuss some of the more interesting ones we found. 


One of the more central manipulatives used in the program, the Handwriting Without Tears Slate is a 4”x6” wood-framed chalkboard that is used to help students learn to properly write letters and numbers. 

picture of handwriting without tears slate chalkboard

The slate is designed to work with the Handwriting Without Tears program, giving students an opportunity and space to work on letter and number formation outside of the workbooks and formal lessons, letting them strengthen their skills and develop proper writing habits. 

The slate is periodically referenced in lessons and workbook exercises and, being essentially a chalkboard, it is designed to be pretty intuitive to use. 

In fact, there is a big smiley face on the top left corner, emphasizing the top-down/left-right directionality of proper penmanship. 

It is also integral to the program’s interesting Wet-Dry-Try practice activities, where students use a wet sponge to “trace” a letter with water, dry it with a cloth and then try their hand at writing the letter with chalk. 

Interestingly, there is an app-based version of the slate available, which digitally replicates the slate chalkboard. 

With the app, students use their fingers on the touchscreen to write with virtual “chalk,” and try their hand at a digital version of the Wet Dry Try activity using a virtual wet sponge. 

Although not quite as tactile and physical as the real life version, the app is perhaps a little more travel-friendly and parents might appreciate the lack of chalk dust and residue after lessons. 

Stamp and See Screen

Handwriting Without Tears also offers a Stamp and See Screen, which is a magnetic screen about the size of the Slate (4”x6”) and is essentially a magnetic drawing screen or Magna Doodle that has been configured for use with this program. 

picture of handwriting without tears stamp and see screen

Students use it much like a chalkboard, drawing letters with a chunky, magnetized, chalk-like stylus and can erase what they’ve done with a sliding eraser located on the side of the device. 

In this way it is much like the Slate chalkboard, only without the mess and without the ability to do Wet-Dry-Try activities. 

 Wooden Letter Shapes

Interestingly, Handwriting Without Tears also offers a set of big, wooden shapes – big lines, little lines, big curves and little curves. 

Students can use these shapes to “build” letters on a table and even use them in tandem with the Stamp and See Screen, kind of like a giant Magna Doodle stamp.

Using these shapes to build letters lets kids work on their lettering in a very hands-on, interactive way and without putting pen to paper (or chalk to board) and can make for an interesting, 3D activity of sorts.

Handwriting Without Tears Approach To Handwriting

Developed by occupational therapists, rather than educators or curriculum developers, Handwriting Without Tears approaches teaching handwriting skills a little differently than most companies out there. 

Developmental teaching

Handwriting Without Tears is designed to follow what the company calls a developmental teaching order. 

In other words, the program has been designed in a specific way, presenting the teaching material while taking into account how students learn and how they develop cognitively and physically. 

The series starts off with the easiest and most fundamental skills and slowly builds on that as it progresses through the series. 

In Handwriting Without Tears students learn uppercase before lowercase, block before cursive, and learn letters according to similarity of formation rather than alphabetical order (more on that later). 

Further, in the earlier books of the series, students are given gray blocks to write their letters in, providing them with a defined space to work in, helping them develop good habits of size control and proportion when writing by hand.

Later on, as students get more used to working with white space, they move on to more traditional, two-lined worksheets and then single-line worksheets. 

The books are also designed to be as clear and simple to look at as possible, which is great for younger kids, and, interestingly, reinforce left-to-right directionality of writing by having all illustrations and drawing go from left to right across the page, helping students get in the habit of tracking words (and later write them) in the correct direction. 

Systematic approach

Handwriting Without Tears is also a very systematic handwriting program. 

That is, it provides very specific, very clear and simple step-by-step instruction throughout all aspects of pre-writing and writing, providing not only explicit direction on how to form letters and numbers according to a specific methodology, but also providing pretty detailed and precise instructions for proper posture, pencil holding and more. 

picture of handwriting without tears showing fundamentals of writing posture

As a more practical example, when students are taught to write a certain letter, they are expected to follow a pretty precise sequence of steps, often being told precisely where to start with a dot.  

screenshot of handwriting without tears showing step by step approach to drawing a letter

The idea is to provide students with a handwriting base, rooted in occupational therapy best practices, that will help prevent issues before they start, rather than allowing students to work things out naturally and correcting any issues later. 

While some homeschooling students and parents may chafe somewhat at this directive, fundamental and more rules-based approach to handwriting, it does provide parents with a firm and consistent teaching methodology that they can more easily implement. 

Multisensory lessons

Handwriting Without Tears is a strongly multisensory handwriting program, as well, engaging far more of a student’s senses than simply pencil-paper skills.

Aside from handwriting practice, throughout its lessons students can work with various manipulatives, such as wooden blocks or magnet boards, engage in a variety of activities,  such as doing Wet-Dry-Try or working with playdough or cards, and even engage in song and rhythmic movement. 

Aside from making handwriting practice and learning far more engaging and fun for the student, there is evidence that engaging more pathways in the brain can better help students remember and recall information. 

A multisensory also makes Handwriting Without Tears better suited to students with different learning preferences or styles. 

Whether a student learns best through written work, listening, touching or getting up and moving around, they are pretty likely to find at least some activities that work for them in this program.

In addition, by shifting handwriting practice away from solely traditional pencil and paper practice, the program can be less intimidating for students who initially find holding and using a pencil difficult, allowing them to work on their letter formation in a more adaptable and less frustrating way.


Finally, and one thing that we find interesting about Handwriting Without Tears, is that it can be fairly multidisciplinary. 

In addition to straightforward handwriting practice, the program also offers various exercises and activities that integrate with other subjects and topics the student may be learning. 

picture of activities in handwriting without tears that integrate with other subjects

For example, there can be exercises that work on grammar and mechanics, with students learning and working on synonyms, homophones, root words, rhyming words, singular/plural and more, as well as the occasional exercise that incorporates things from broader social studies lessons, such as geography. 

Although Handwriting Without Tears doesn’t really dive too deeply into these other topics (it is a handwriting program after all), this does mean it can be a little more of a natural fit for homeschoolers and can be incorporated into a student’s studies in a number of different ways. 

How It Works

Handwriting Without Tears is designed to be parent-led, with parents introducing and presenting information to the student. 

In later grades and as students’ reading skills improve, however, we feel students can do a lot of the work more independently, particularly given the clear instructions and illustrations in the workbooks. 

The books’ are broken up into different units, made up of 4-5 lessons and a unit review, which is a kind of exercise page that assesses how well a student has mastered the different letters and skills taught in that unit. 

The program’s lessons are pretty consistent, straightforward and tend to follow a particular format. 

They are also pretty short, typically taking around 15 minutes or so to complete, so they’re not as overwhelming for younger students as other programs can be.

At the top of each page, the objectives, multisensory activities and multimedia resources (QR Code) are all neatly laid out, providing parents with a clear overview of the lesson and what’s required to teach it. 

sample of teaching lesson outline in handwriting without tears

The lesson then begins and goes through a three-step process of instruction:

Direct Instruction

First, parents themselves actively demonstrate how a letter is formed. Following the instructions laid out in the lesson guide, they verbalize each step of the process as they draw each stroke. 

screenshot of demonstration by parent in handwriting without tears lesson

At this stage, parents can also take advantage of the many multisensory activities found in the lesson guides. 

Many lessons have a particular activity associated with them, and their particular page numbers are listed clearly at the top of the page, so parents should have no trouble finding them.  

Generally the activity guides are found towards the back of the lesson guides and are pretty clearly laid out, providing a good deal of background about the activity, its objectives, what materials are required and how to go about implementing it.  

Guided Practice

Following this, students then practice under the watchful eye of their parent, tracing the letter (by hand and then with a pencil) and following the same step by step approach the parent just demonstrated, all the while verbalizing what they are doing, which can further strengthen their learning. 

screenshot of guided practice in lesson

Independent Practice and Check – After the guided practice, students can work on their handwriting and, later, writing independently. 

Then (with their parents at first) check their written work for proper sequencing, size, placement and so on.

Following the lesson, optional learning is laid out for parents. There are ideas for enrichment, differentiation for English Language Learners and those struggling with handwriting, and some activity ideas that connect topics in the lesson to other subjects the student might be learning (usually Language Arts but occasionally other Social Studies subjects as well). 

screenshot showing other activities a parent may want to include in handwriting without tears

Handwriting Without Tears Letter Order

One thing that parents should be aware of, and that tends to separate Handwriting Without Tears from other programs, is the order in which it presents the alphabet. 

Most programs tend to introduce letters according to alphabetical order, generally following how students would have learned them in the first place, and generally students are taught the uppercase and lowercase formats together (or one after the other). 

In other words, lessons tend to go from A to Z. 

In Handwriting Without Tears, however, letters are instead grouped according to how the program wants them to be constructed, i.e. how they are supposed to be written from start point to end point.

For example, students might work on so-called “Frog Jump Capitals” – i.e. the letters F E D P B R N and M. 

These letters are grouped together since they are drawn starting with a big line on he left, starting at the top and moving down before jumping back to the top and moving rightwards, as demonstrated in the video below. 

Similarly, the capital letters H K L U V W X Y Z are grouped together as “Starting Corner Capitals,” since students start at the top left corner, before moving down/left to right. 

As the series progresses, it groups various capital letters and lowercase letters in similar ways, both in block and cursive print.

Across the series there are, for example:

  • Diver Letters
  • Center Starters
  • Slide letters
  • Tow Truck Letters

This grouping system, while perhaps a little unusual for parents and students used to thinking of letters in relation to their alphabetical order, is actually in line with the program’s developmental approach to teaching.

When it comes to writing by hand, the alphabet can be something of a jumble of different techniques and forms, some are easier to draw while others are harder. 

This is especially true with cursive, considering its now less familiar shapes and issues students have when joining different letters.

By breaking the alphabet apart and regrouping the letters by how they are formed, Handwriting Without Tears can start by introducing the easiest to draw ones first before moving on to the more complex, making the system actually pretty thoughtful.

It also makes the program quite useful for students who struggle with handwriting, as by letting them work on easier letter formations first, they can achieve some quick wins that can boost their self-confidence and perhaps reduce their anxiety around handwriting a little more. 

Our Thoughts on Handwriting Without Tears Lessons

Overall, we feel that Handwriting Without Tears lessons are very effective, well-designed and can be very engaging, especially for students who struggle with handwriting or who may  otherwise roll their eyes at the prospect of pen-and-paper writing in the digital age. 

The lessons are short and to the point, often taking less than 15 minutes to go through, so they’re not too much of a burden to fit into even a busy homeschool schedule and aren’t so long that students get bored or lose interest.

The program’s lessons are also very straightforward, moving from introduction of a letter to guided practice to independent practice pretty fluidly. 

The instruction is also very clear, providing parents and students with easy to understand, step-by-step instructions for producing letters and offers plenty of helpful illustrations that can make things a lot more understandable and act as a model against which parents can check student work.

Although the program does offer activity options for each lesson, these don’t really ever feel like busywork, and they can add a lot of value to the learning, particularly with kids who have different learning preferences (tactile and auditory learners, for example) and can be a change from more workbook-oriented programs, such as A Reason For Handwriting , Zaner-Bloser and others. 

Handwriting Without Tears offers a good deal of practice, as well, offering a good amount of guided and independent practice in each lesson and providing a unit review after every few lessons. 

In this way, it can be a very helpful program for students who need a lot more practice and reinforcement when learning fine motor skills.

One thing we enjoyed about the lesson plans was their integration of technology through the printed QR codes. 

By simply scanning the page (or inputting a provided url) parents can immediately access a wide variety of multimedia digital resources that can add some fun and useful activities, exercises, videos and songs to use during a lesson.

Through these QR codes there’s no need for parents to move to a computer and hunt around for files or websites, they can simply use their phone or tablet and access the materials right away. 

Another thing we found interesting about Handwriting Without Tears is how flexible it can be for homeschooling parents, something that surprised us given the program’s systematic, rules-based nature. 

While the program offers a lot of options for activities, as well as extra exercises for remediation or enrichment learning, parents are largely free to choose what they would like to include in their lessons. 

Depending on time constraints, as well as how distractible a student is, parents can choose to include all, some or none of the activities recommended by the book. 

Some parents have focused solely on the workbook exercises and, while probably not the most engaging, recommended or comprehensive way of using the program, have reported finding handwriting success with their students. 

There are some things about Handwriting Without Tears that we feel parents should be aware of before starting, however. 

It is, for example, very different from many other handwriting programs out there. 

It is a very structured, detailed and rules-based approach that teaches students a very particular and explicitly taught method of forming letters and numbers, providing detailed instruction on everything from size, proportion, stroke method and directionality, and even covers things like proper posture and grip. 

While very helpful and effective for most students (and parents who have never taught handwriting before), some other students and homeschooling parents may chafe a bit under this structured and systematic approach, preferring a program that offers a little more individual creativity and freedom.

Similarly, students who have gone through a large part of a handwriting program already and have learned certain habits may not appreciate having to go back and relearn some of the fundamental methods of the program.

Another, admittedly minor, issue homeschooling parents may have is with how the books are structured. 

By and large, the activities, tips and guidelines are all located in different sections of the book, meaning there can be some flipping around during lessons. 

Finally, parents should note that the lesson guides are quite detailed and expansive. 

While this makes the lessons very comprehensive, clear and easy to teach, at times it can be a lot of information for homeschool parents to take in, and can be a little overwhelming for some and it can be somewhat easy for those not used to homeschooling to get distracted by all the information, potential exercises and activities. 

How Easy Is Handwriting Without Tears To Teach?

Handwriting Without Tears is very easy to teach in our opinion.

The lessons are fully scripted, providing parents with all the information they’ll need to introduce topics and teach them in a step-by-step manner, including a ready dialogue they can fall back on if they aren’t really sure about how to explain things themselves. 

Further, the program’s lesson guides and workbooks are illustrated, providing an easy to understand visual guide that effectively outlines each step in the handwriting process very clearly for both parents and young students. 

The activities themselves are similarly well scripted, detailed and illustrated, making it quite easy for parents to quickly and easily set up and run them with a minimum of prep-time.

As a result, we feel that new and experienced homeschooling parents alike should have no issue teaching Handwriting Without Tears. 

On the downside, however, while the program is fairly easy to teach once parents get used to it, its format, letter grouping and methodology does take some getting used to on the part of parents, who would probably be best served by reading up on the program’s structure and way of doing things. 

Pros And Cons 

Developed by topical experts.

Rather than being developed by a curriculum provider or educational company, Handwriting Without Tears has been developed by occupational therapists and teaches in a way that takes into account the development path and needs of kids. 

Consequently, the program isn’t just based on best practices, it’s also not as frustrating for kids, particularly for those who struggle with learning to write by hand, as some other programs might be.

Short lessons

Lessons in Handwriting Without Tears are pretty short, usually under 15 minutes or so depending on the student. As a result, they aren’t as overwhelming for students to sit through and can be easy to fit into just about any homeschool schedule. 

Very multisensory and activity-rich

Handwriting Without Tears isn’t just a worksheet and copywork based program, but rather involves a variety of multisensory activities that can fit different learning preferences.

There are, for example, a variety of manipulatives and games that can suit tactile learners, songs and videos to suit auditory and visual learners and get and and go activities to suit those who enjoy more kinesthetic learning. 

Easy to teach

With clear, step-by-step, fully-scripted and illustrated lessons, Handwriting Without Tears is easy for parents to teach and for students to understand. 

Very guided approach helps build good habits from the start

Handwriting Without Tears takes a very systematic and rules-based approach to teaching handwriting, guiding students through a deliberate and consistent step-by-step approach to writing out letters. 

Combined with its strong emphasis on practice and review, it can more easily get them in the habit of creating properly sized, spaced and drawn letters from the start. 

Embedded links to digital resources

Rather than inserting printed URLs or webpage names, the program’s lesson guides include readily-scannable QR codes that link to a variety of helpful digital resources, making it a lot easier and faster for parents to include these in their lessons. 

Flexible and scalable to suit homeschool needs

Although it offers a lot of activities, teaching suggestions and enrichment ideas, by and large Handwriting Without Tears leaves the decision of what to use up to the parent and relies on a fairly lightweight core of workbooks exercises and quick, step by step lessons. 

Its teaching can easily therefore be as comprehensively scaled up or paired down as parents require or would prefer. 

Can have a few moving parts to keep track of

Parents who want to take full advantage of the program and its multitude of multisensory components and activities can find that, as with other hands-on learning programs, there can be a lot of things to buy and keep track of during lessons, such as slates, chalk, magnet boards, wooden shapes, apps, playdough, CDs and more. 

Can be a little different than how most parents learned handwriting

Handwriting Without Tears has a very definite way of teaching handwriting, as well as grouping and introducing letters, that can be very different from the more traditional ways parents have been taught to write. 

As a result, parents may need to spend some time, at least at first, reading about the program’s methodology and familiarizing themselves with its lesson structure. 

Who Is Handwriting Without Tears Ideal For?

Parents and students looking for a fun, activity-rich way of learning handwriting.

With its plethora of hands-on activities, digital resources and manipulatives use, Handwriting Without Tears can be a very engaging way of learning to write by hand, making it a lot more fun for parents and students to use than other programs.  

Students who have had a hard time with traditional copywork-style handwriting programs

Some students can learn handwriting by simply copying sentences and letter forms, but for a variety of reasons other students can have a hard time with this, finding it tedious and/or preferring to learn in other ways.

In addition to traditional workbook exercises, Handwriting Without Tears offers a variety of multisensory teaching activities that can be really effective for tactile, auditory and kinesthetic learners. 

Parents looking for an easy to teach, step by step handwriting program

Handwriting Without Tears teaches its material clearly and simply, with lots of helpful illustrations, a fully scripted dialogue, and easy to follow, step-by-step instructions for producing letters. 

Consequently, parents who are new to homeschooling or who are unsure of their ability to teach handwriting themselves will likely find it quite easy and effective to use. 

Students who do best with lots of practice and review

Some students have an easy time learning to write by hand, while others struggle with the fine motor control required. 

In addition to providing students with a consistent, step-by-step process for producing letters, Handwriting Without Tears also provides them with lots of opportunities for practice and review, both in their workbook and through engaging multisensory activities, which can help them hone their skills over time. 

Students who have a hard time sitting through longer lessons

Handwriting Without Tears lessons are usually pretty short, often taking less than 15 minutes to complete. Consequently, students tend to have an easier time going through them without losing focus or becoming bored. 

Who Is It Not Ideal For?

Students who are already somewhat proficient at handwriting.

Students who have made significant progress in another program and have developed strong habits in creating some of their letters may have a harder time adapting to the particular way of doing things outlined in Handwriting Without Tears, often needing to go back to earlier levels to relearn/undo certain habits, which can be frustrating.

Parents looking for a complete self-study program

Although students can use some of the materials more independently later in the series, by and large Handwriting Without Tears is designed to be taught to students and requires a fair amount of parental involvement and time. 

Parents and students who want a handwriting program that lets them develop more naturally 

Handwriting Without Tears is a very systematic program that teaches students how to create letters in a particular, step-by-step way. 

It will, for example, detail where to start with a first stroke, where to end, directionality and so on, rather than allowing students to find their own preferred and natural way of doing things. 

As a result, students who like to do things their own way and parents who want to take a more natural, student-led approach to teaching may not find this to be a good fit for them. 

Note: Prices correct as of writing. All prices are in USD. 

As mentioned previously, Handwriting Without Tears can involve a number of different books, but generally involves a level-specific teacher’s guide, student workbook and some manipulatives. 

Pricing for the books in the series can be dependent on the precise retailer involved, the edition involved and any sales or discounts that may apply. 

That said, student guides typically cost around $11.85, while teacher’s guides tend to cost around $24.99. 

In terms of manipulatives, again it varies between the specific physical product (and the company offers quite a few), but in general they can be picked up for around:

Slate chalkboard – $5.25

Stamp and See- $15.50

Double lined blackboard – $14.95

Wood pieces set for capitals – $32.95

As always, it is important to check for current pricing and any deals or offers that may be in effect. 

Is It Worth The Price?

Overall, we feel that Handwriting Without Tears can add a lot of value to homeschooling parents and students.

The books are well-designed, easy to teach and, most importantly, easy for students to learn from with clear, structured and step-by-step instructions, diagrams and a logically laid out, developmentally appropriate curriculum structure. 

More than that the series makes learning handwriting a lot more engaging for students, going beyond a traditional workbook methodology to help them learn to write by hand using song, movement and lots of different activities and manipulatives. 

In this way, Handwriting Without Tears can suit a wider variety of learning preferences and can make learning handwriting a lot more approachable for students who struggle with it. 

Finally, while there are all kinds of activities offered by the program, in the end it is a very flexible curriculum to use. 

Parents can choose to use all of the various manipulatives and provide their students with a complete multisensory experience, or choose to use none of them at all and work mainly through the illustrated workbook.

Bottom Line

Handwriting doesn’t have to be a nightmare for students…or their parents.

With an easy to use, structured format, activity-rich lessons and strong multisensory component, if you’re looking for an effective, engaging and even fun way to help a student learn to write by hand, Handwriting Without Tears might be just the solution you’re looking for.

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About the Author

Anne Miller is the editor of The Smarter Learning Guide and is a passionate advocate for education and educational technology. A mom of two, she majored in English Language and Literature and worked as a substitute teacher and tutor for several years. When not writing she continues to root for the Yankees and the Giants.

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Handwriting Without Tears ® : General Education Effectiveness Through a Consultative Approach

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Denise K. Donica; Handwriting Without Tears ® : General Education Effectiveness Through a Consultative Approach. Am J Occup Ther November/December 2015, Vol. 69(6), 6906180050p1–6906180050p8. doi:

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OBJECTIVE. This study explores the effectiveness of the Handwriting Without Tears ® (HWT) kindergarten printing curriculum in general education through a consultative approach with occupational therapy.

METHOD. One cohort of students was the control ( n = 19), whereas two other cohorts were experimental groups learning printing through the HWT curriculum ( n = 20 each). The Test of Handwriting Skills–Revised (THS–R) was used to collect end-of-year legibility scores for all cohorts.

RESULTS. Both experimental groups individually and both experimental groups combined into one group outperformed the control group on all 10 of the THS–R subtests—scoring significantly higher ( p < .05 using analysis of covariance controlling for age and gender) on 6 of the subtests for the former and 7 for the latter—and on overall score. Large treatment effects were found for the standard score for each experimental group ( d = 0.81, 1.03, and 1.00).

CONCLUSION. This study supports the consultative role of occupational therapy with teachers in general education for handwriting curriculum implementation and the success of HWT for printing instruction.

The role of occupational therapy practitioners in the school system is evolving. The Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA; Pub. L. 108–446) broadened the scope of the original legislation ( Individuals With Disabilities Education Act of 1990 ; Pub. L. 101–476) to focus on improving student outcomes, preventing problems, and setting expectations for students with disabilities to achieve high standards ( Jackson, 2007 ). Preventive strategies in the school systems are addressed through mechanisms such as early intervening services (EIS) and response to intervention (RtI; American Occupational Therapy Association [ AOTA], 2011 ; Jackson, 2007 ). IDEA allows occupational therapy practitioners to consult with and sometimes provide direct services for students in general education, especially for students struggling with learning or behavior. This expanded role for practitioners fosters both a consultative and collaborative environment between practitioners and teachers ( AOTA, 2011 ).

  • Occupational Therapy in General Education

Within general education, occupational therapy practitioners may be involved in EIS and RtI. EIS is a provision that allows schools to use some of their federal IDEA funding to provide training for teachers or to fund services for general education students. For example, practitioners may provide consultation regarding education concerns observed in general education students or may be asked to recommend a multisensory handwriting instruction approach to implement schoolwide ( Jackson, 2007 ).

RtI, an example of EIS, is a process that monitors the success of instructional strategies and services that are being implemented individually, in small groups, or classwide ( Jackson, 2007 ). RtI, although implemented differently by state, is typically a three-tiered model in which the first and foundational tier is focused on the effectiveness of education for all students, thus requiring evidence-based curricula and high-quality instruction ( AOTA, 2014 ). Through the RtI model, occupational therapy practitioners may be involved at any level of implementation ( AOTA, 2012 ). Because the importance of handwriting instruction and handwriting skills continues to be documented ( Puranik & Alotaiba, 2012 ), it is an important area of concern for school teachers and administrators that is often addressed by occupational therapy ( Asher, 2006 ; Case-Smith, 2002 ; Hoy, Egan, & Feder, 2011 ). Examples of the practitioner’s involvement in general education at Tier 1 include providing training for school personnel on handwriting strategies, assisting with handwriting screening, and suggesting research-based handwriting curricula ( AOTA, 2011 , 2012 , 2014 ).

When exploring current advancements in the roles of occupational therapy within an RtI model, a recent study of 276 school-based occupational therapists indicated that more than half had been involved in problem-solving teams, coaching and consultation, and one-on-one intervention. Other methods of involvement in RtI included identification of students needing extra support, in-services, progress monitoring, data collection, universal screening, program and curriculum development, and leadership or coleadership of groups ( Cahill, McGuire, Krumdick, & Lee, 2014 ). Occupational therapy practitioners also advocate for occupational therapy services to enhance student education under IDEA provisions ( AOTA, 2011 ).

  • Evidence-Based Practice in General Education

The implementation of EIS and RtI requires evidence to be used in decision making regarding educational practices and curriculum selections. Therefore, successful steps have been taken to ensure that school-based occupational therapy practitioners are equipped to use evidence-based practice in the school setting ( Cahill, Egan, Wallingford, Huber-Lee, & Dess-McGuire, 2015 ). Recent research includes studies that have involved the implementation of occupational therapy–based approaches aligning with RtI in general education. Although this area of research is in its infancy, studies have been published supporting the consultative and collaborative efforts of practitioners and teachers to address student skills in general education ( Howe, Roston, Sheu, & Hinojosa, 2013 ; Ohl et al., 2013 ). In addition, the Write Start program is a recent example of a coteaching model for handwriting skills involving a general education teacher and an occupational therapy practitioner. Multiple studies have documented the effectiveness of this model ( Case-Smith, Holland, & Bishop, 2011 ; Case-Smith, Holland, Lane, & White, 2012 ; Case-Smith, Weaver, & Holland, 2014 ).

Handwriting Without Tears ® (HWT), used in this study, is an established handwriting curriculum historically used by occupational therapy practitioners in traditional one-on-one service delivery but also designed for full-classroom implementation and instruction ( Olsen & Knapton, 2008 ). The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of HWT in general education kindergarten classrooms through teacher-led implementation supported by occupational therapist consultation.

  • Handwriting Without Tears Evidence

Recognizing and incorporating evidence-based interventions are important not only to occupational therapy practitioners but also to other school personnel. Therefore, it is important to review existing evidence for HWT. Most of the published studies support its use in a variety of contexts. Studies have been done on HWT implementation in general education through full-class instruction or with students who have identified disabilities through individual or small-group instruction.

At the preschool level, the full preschool HWT curriculum was supported through full-class implementation with at-risk students in inclusion classrooms at a rural Head Start ( Donica, Goins, & Wagner, 2013 ; Lust & Donica, 2011 ). In addition, specific HWT techniques were supported for name writing and capital letter writing in full-class, small-group, and individual settings with preschool-age students ( Carlson, McLaughlin, Derby, & Blecher, 2009 ; Griffith, McLaughlin, Donica, Neyman, & Robison, 2013 ; LeBrun, McLaughlin, Derby, & McKenzie, 2012 ). Studies have also supported the use of HWT in general education first-grade classrooms ( Hape et al., 2014 ; Roberts, Derkach-Ferguson, Siever, & Rose, 2014 ; Salls, Benson, Hansen, Cole, & Pielielek, 2013 ). However, studies reviewing the use of HWT at the critical developmental grade of kindergarten are limited. Therefore, this study addresses this gap by asking the research question, Will students instructed using the kindergarten HWT curriculum at a private half-day kindergarten program have better end-of-year handwriting legibility scores than students in the same setting taught with teacher-developed lessons using the D’Nealian style of writing?

Research Design

This pilot study used a static group comparison. Because the elementary school administrative decision to implement HWT in the kindergarten classrooms was made near the end of an academic year, a control group was identified as the current students who had been receiving teacher-led handwriting instruction during that year. Therefore, a traditional pretest–posttest design could not be used. Additionally, the instrument used was not standardized for children under age 6 yr, so standard scores could not be calculated for a pretest–posttest comparison because the children were not yet 6 yr old during the pretest. Likewise, because the school administration decided to implement the HWT curriculum schoolwide, a traditional control versus experimental classroom approach was not possible. Instead, the control group was identified as the group of students in kindergarten the year before HWT implementation. The research study was approved by the head of the school and the university institutional review board. Parent permission was received for all study participants.


The participants were half-day kindergarten students in a private school (kindergarten to 8th grade) in rural eastern North Carolina. Although the school did not specifically use the RtI model, the consultative approach of the occupational therapist with the teachers mirrors a commonly identified expanded role of occupational therapy practice with general education students. All students enrolled in kindergarten during the last month of school were invited to participate in the study as the control cohort. Control students subsequently learned handwriting using HWT in first grade the year after they participated in the study. Likewise, all students in the first-year experimental group (HWT 1) and the second-year experimental group (HWT 2) were invited to participate, but students were not included if they did not have parent permission, withdrew from the school or joined the school during the academic year, or were under age 6 yr at the time of data collection. Therefore, the sample sizes were n = 19 (out of 25) for the control group, n = 20 (out of 29) for HWT 1, and n = 20 (out of 39) for HWT 2. Student demographics are presented in Table 1 .

Data collection occurred consecutively over 3 yr and included data from the control group and HWT 1 and 2. Data collection was completed using the Test of Handwriting Skills–Revised (THS–R; Milone, 2007 ), which was designed to assess a child’s neurosensory integration skill and is implemented to gather data on either manuscript (print) or cursive writing. For this study, the manuscript assessment was used. The test is standardized for children ages 6 yr 0 mo to 18 yr 11 mo and consists of 10 separate subtests. The activities in these subtests are described in Table 2 . The THS–R was administered to one class at a time and took about an hour per class.

The THS–R was selected to measure differences in handwriting skills because it is standardized and allows for a variety of scores to be used for analysis. The overall standard score, scaled subtest scores for each of the 10 subtests, and subsequent percentile scores were determined. Scaled scores have a mean ( M ) of 10 and a standard deviation ( SD ) of 3, whereas standard scores have an M of 100 and an SD of 15. The test–retest reliability was .82 for the total test score, with interrater reliability ranging from .75 to .90 based on the authors of the assessment ( Milone, 2007 ). Unfortunately, no standardized handwriting assessments exist with standard scores for students under age 6 yr, which limits the ability to collect standard scores from the beginning of the kindergarten year. Because the use of standard scores is ideal for data analysis, students younger than age 6 yr (72 mo) at the time of data collection (end of the school year) were excluded from data analysis.


Throughout the kindergarten year, the control group received teacher-developed instruction using the D’Nealian style of writing, and HWT 1 and 2 learned printing through the use of kindergarten HWT. At the end of the kindergarten year, the students completed the THS–R to determine the quality of their handwriting skills. The end-of-year scores for the control group were compared with the end-of-year scores for HWT 1 and 2 and with both experimental groups combined (HWT combined).

Intervention Description.

HWT 1 and 2 were instructed by their classroom teachers, who followed the lesson plans in the HWT Kindergarten Teacher’s Guide ( Olsen & Knapton, 2008 ). The kindergarten HWT curriculum included the following materials: wood pieces for capital letters with mat; slate chalkboards (one classroom used the stamp-and-see screens with similar teaching techniques as the slates because of the teacher’s aversion to chalk); Roll a Dough set; Rock, Rap, Tap, and Learn CD; and Letters and Numbers for Me student workbook ( Olsen, 2008 ).

The lesson plans ( Olsen & Knapton, 2008 ) required approximately 15 min per day of teacher instructional time, which was typically adhered to throughout the 2 yr. Each lesson was taught to the full class and typically began with a gross motor activity coordinated with a handwriting-related song on the Rock, Rap, Tap, and Learn CD. Next, the teaching guidelines ( Olsen & Knapton, 2008 ) were followed to implement a learning activity, which was either forming specific letters with multisensory manipulatives or writing in the Letters and Numbers for Me workbook ( Olsen, 2008 ). In addition to the formal handwriting instruction time, an occasional review activity, often using the manipulatives, was used as an independent morning work activity. A classroom assistant helped with materials in all classrooms throughout the 2 yr.

As part of the consultative role for this intervention, a registered occupational therapist (the author) or two occupational therapy graduate students were present in the classrooms during the handwriting lesson one time per week. This presence allowed the occupational therapy personnel to answer questions about the implementation of the curriculum and to provide occasional assistance to struggling writers. Lessons were implemented similarly for both HWT 1 and 2. Consultation by an occupational therapy practitioner with the teachers did not occur with the control group.


Three kindergarten teachers were involved in the study. Two teachers with 17 yr and 4 yr of teaching experience at the beginning of HWT 1 intervention participated in all three cohorts. The same two teachers who taught HWT 1 also taught the control group. After the control year, these two teachers attended a full-day printing and cursive training workshop on the HWT curriculum, which is recommended but not required of the program. The teachers worked together to develop their lesson plans based on the HWT Kindergarten Teacher’s Guide ( Olsen & Knapton, 2008 ).

After HWT 1 completed kindergarten, an additional kindergarten teacher with approximately 6 yr of experience was added. The new teacher attended the same HWT training as the other two teachers, but this training occurred after HWT 2's school year had started. She collaborated with the former teachers to create her lesson plans and understand the materials.

Intervention Fidelity.

To address fidelity to instruction, approximately one lesson per week of HWT 1 was observed by the author. The author consulted with the teachers and provided feedback on the teaching strategies, checked for proper use of handwriting activities and verbal cuing, and assisted as needed to address handwriting needs of specific students. This process helped establish consistency in instruction for both HWT 1 and 2. Weekly visits from the occupational therapist were unnecessary during the second year because the teachers indicated they understood how to implement the program, but the author did periodically check in with the teachers to answer questions if they arose.

Data Collection

The THS–R assessments were coded and scored semiblindly. Handwriting assessments for the three cohorts (control, HWT 1, and HWT 2) were scored by trained occupational therapy graduate students at different times, so the scorers were not blind to the cohort. However, this kindergarten study was part of a larger study that included first-grade THS–R assessments and two additional administrations of the THS–R throughout the year (approximately 4 mo apart) for the experimental groups. Therefore, even though the scorers were aware of which cohort assessments they were scoring, they were blind to the grade level and when during the academic year the assessment occurred. Scorers were trained by the author and by the DVD included in the THS–R assessment. They scored four sample handwriting assessments and discussed their differences in scoring for consistency before scoring the participants’ assessments, and they were randomly assigned assessments to score. However, interrater reliability was not established formally.

Data Analysis

The scaled scores, standard scores, and percentile scores of the THS–R were used for data analysis. Data analysis was completed using IBM SPSS Statistics (Version 22; IBM Corp., Armonk, NY). Descriptive statistics were calculated to determine the M scores and SD for each group on each of the subtests to identify specific skills and on the overall standard score for legibility. In addition, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to make statistical comparisons, controlling for age and gender because of documented differences in handwriting skills between boys and girls ( Graham, Berninger, Weintraub, & Schafer, 1998 ). Using ANCOVA, we compared the control group with HWT 1, HWT 2, and HWT combined. Treatment effect (Cohen’s d ) was calculated for each subtest comparison and for the overall score of the THS–R. This calculation serves as a frame of reference for the effect of the intervention on the outcomes and is valuable because of the small sample size. The effect size is considered small if 0.20 ≤ d ≤ 0.49, medium if 0.50 ≤ d ≤ 0.79, and large if d ≥ 0.80 ( Cohen, 1992 ; Thalheimer & Cook, 2002 ).

This study sought to determine whether students who completed kindergarten having learned handwriting skills from the HWT kindergarten printing curriculum would outperform students who learned printing from teacher-developed methods in D’Nealian-style writing in handwriting legibility skills. Table 2 includes the mean end-of-year THS–R scores for the control group compared with such scores for HWT 1, HWT 2, and HWT combined.

The experimental groups outscored the control group in all THS–R subtests and on overall score. ANCOVA showed that in 6 of the 10 subtests, both HWT 1 and HWT 2 scored significantly higher than the control group ( p < .05). In addition, ANCOVA showed that in 7 of the 10 subtests, HWT combined scored significantly higher than the control group ( p < .05). Figure 1 illustrates that the control group scored below the mean in 9 of the 10 subtests while almost all of the subtests for the experimental groups were above the mean (28 of 30). The control group performed at mean 36.63 percentile, whereas HWT 1 performed at mean 61.85 percentile and HWT 2 at mean 68.10 percentile. Refer to Table 2 for the specific results for scaled and standard scores.

Treatment effect (Cohen’s d) was calculated for each comparison. For all experimental groups (i.e., HWT 1, HWT 2, and HWT combined), a large treatment effect was found for 5–7 subtests and a medium treatment effect was found for 1–2 subtests. For HWT 2 and HWT combined, a small treatment effect was found for 2 subtests. In addition, for all experimental groups, a very large treatment effect was found for the overall standard score ( d = 0.81 for HWT 1, 1.03 for HWT 2, and 1.00 for HWT combined). The treatment effects for each subtest and overall standard scores are included in Table 2 .

The results from this pilot study show that the students who received handwriting instruction with HWT outperformed the control group consistently and across all skill areas. For uppercase letters, students in the HWT groups demonstrated a large treatment effect for printing the uppercase alphabet from memory (airplane), uppercase from dictation (butterfly), and copying selected uppercase letters (tree). These results are not surprising because the HWT curriculum begins with the students learning all uppercase letters before lowercase ones. The curriculum is diligent in instructing each uppercase letter individually in a developmental sequence through multiple multisensory mediums and in the workbook Letters and Numbers for Me ( Olsen, 2008 ).

Lowercase letters are taught in the HWT curriculum after all of the uppercase letters because of their complexity in line placement, stroke, and sequence. Each letter is instructed through multisensory techniques in a developmental sequence. The students in the HWT groups showed the largest treatment effects for printing lowercase from memory (bus). The experimental groups also demonstrated small to medium treatment effects for copying selected lowercase letters (horse) and medium to large treatment effects for copying words from a model (truck). Printing lowercase letters from dictation (frog) was not statistically significant but did demonstrate small treatment effects with the HWT 2 and HWT combined groups.

The formation of numbers from memory was also included in the THS–R (bicycle). Although the experimental groups demonstrated higher scores, differences were not statistically significant. The students began learning number formation early in the year through their math curriculum, which varied somewhat from the HWT number formations. Therefore, their introduction to this skill was not initially through the HWT curriculum.

The results for the skill level comparisons between individual upper- and lowercase letters were expected. However, large treatment effects were consistently seen for copying two sentences (book), and medium to large treatment effects were seen for writing words from dictation (lion). These effects were higher than expected because these skills are more complex than printing individual letters and are typically not well established at the end of kindergarten. Anecdotal teacher feedback supported these results, and teachers were pleased with the skills of the experimental groups.

Research supports the effectiveness of HWT in a full-class general education classroom ( Hape et al., 2014 ; LeBrun et al., 2012 ; Roberts et al., 2014 ; Salls et al., 2013 ); however, there is a gap in the literature for HWT use in kindergarten classrooms. This study was done in an effort to help bridge that gap while demonstrating how occupational therapy practitioners may serve as consultants to teachers in general education as supported by the current legislation.

  • Limitations and Future Research

Although this study has produced some important results, it has limitations that must be considered when interpreting its usefulness in evidence-based practice. First, because of the way the school administration chose to implement the curriculum, it was impossible to do a pretest–posttest comparison for each of the groups. However, pretests were done on each of the HWT groups to ensure that their scores at the beginning of the treatment year were not higher than those of the control group at the end of kindergarten. In addition, a confounding variable is that the THS–R was completed 3 times by each experimental group but only one time by the control group. However, approximately 4 mo passed between administrations to minimize learning effects.

Limitations also exist because interrater reliability was not formally established, and although some level of blinding occurred, it was not complete across all three data collection points. Lack of formal intervention fidelity monitoring is somewhat of a limitation. However, this study was designed to see whether the curriculum instructed by a teacher with collaboration from occupational therapy was effective. Therefore, it was important to let the teachers implement the curriculum as they saw fit using the guidelines provided by the curriculum as a guide.

Further research should include more involvement of occupational therapy practitioners, not only with individual students but also at the classroom and system level. To establish more evidence regarding best practices in handwriting instruction, further research should be done at the kindergarten level. However, before that research, the development of a psychometrically sound tool to measure handwriting legibility skills for the kindergarten population should be considered.

  • Implications for Occupational Therapy Practice

This study supports collaborative efforts between teachers and occupational therapy practitioners in teaching handwriting skills and gives occupational therapy practitioners more evidence on which to base recommendations in school problem-based teams and curriculum committees. The results have the following implications for occupational therapy practice:

Occupational therapy practitioners must continue to advocate for their involvement in general education problem-solving teams at the school level, which may include providing recommendations for handwriting curriculum.

Occupational therapy practitioner consultation with teachers can be successful in implementing handwriting curricula.

HWT is an evidence-based curriculum that can be recommended by occupational therapy practitioners for effective printing instruction at the classroom or institutional level.

  • Acknowledgments

The author thanks the students and teachers who were involved in this study and the East Carolina University master of science in occupational therapy graduates who assisted with data collection: Simone Barnes, Kristen Gibbs, Anne Thomas, and Caitlin Zawistowicz. In addition, Suzanne Hudson, associate professor at East Carolina University, consulted on the statistical analysis. The author also thanks HWT, which provided discounted trainings for the teachers and graduate students involved in the study.

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Data & Figures

Figure 1. Mean scaled scores on end-of-year Test of Handwriting Skills–Revised subtests. / Note. Dark horizontal line indicates mean scaled score of 10. HWT = Handwriting Without Tears.

Mean scaled scores on end-of-year Test of Handwriting Skills–Revised subtests.

Note . Dark horizontal line indicates mean scaled score of 10. HWT = Handwriting Without Tears.

Participant Demographic Characteristics ( N = 59)

Note. HWT = Handwriting Without Tears; M = mean; SD = standard deviation.

Comparison of THS–R Mean Scaled Scores Between Control and Experimental Groups

Note. For all results, p < .05 is significant. p values were calculated while controlling for age and gender. HWT = Handwriting Without Tears; LC = lowercase; M = mean; SD = standard deviation; THS–R = Test of Handwriting Skills–Revised; UC = uppercase.


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Our award-winning Handwriting Without Tears program helps educators reinforce this crucial life skill in K–5 students. We use fun, engaging, instructional methods to help children master handwriting as an automatic and comfortable skill. The Handwriting Without Tears® curriculum draws from years of innovation and research to provide developmentally appropriate, multisensory strategies for early writing. The program follows the research on how children learn best and includes materials that address all styles of learning. Children move, touch, feel, and manipulate real objects as they learn habits and skills essential for writing.

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The new Handwriting Without Tears solution brings our print and digital materials together, enabling educators to teach handwriting successfully whether they are remote, hybrid, or in class. Now, even when they can’t look over their students’ shoulders, educators can ensure that handwriting instruction remains simple, engaging, and fun.

Handwriting before and after showing great improvement


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Handwriting Without Tears Letter Order

  • by victoria3515
  • November 2, 2023

Amazon affiliate links may be included in this blog post. As an Amazon Influencer, I earn from qualifying purchases.

In this blog post, we’re covering Handwriting Without Tears letter order, or the specific order to teach letter formation based on the handwriting curriculum, Handwriting Without Tears (Learning Without Tears). We’ve previously covered the cursive HWT order so this is a nice resource to have on hand.

Have you noticed most teachers teach letters in alphabetical order? The first thing they teach is name writing, then writing the alphabet. This seems like a logical progression, but is not the most effective or efficient method. There are several different handwriting programs out there to address this important skill. Many of them do not teach letters in order.

handwriting without tears course

One program specifically is; Handwriting without Tears (now called Learning without Tears). The Handwriting without Tears letter order is vastly different than writing letters in sequential order.

handwriting without tears letter order

The Handwriting without Tears program is popular among therapists for good reasons:

  • It’s a research-backed curriculum
  • The program is designed to be easy to teach and easy to learn
  • Developmentally appropriate sequence
  • It uses explicit instruction combined with guided practice
  • Promotes handwriting automaticity
  • Multisensory learning to support a variety of learning styles, including kinesthetic learners , visual learners, and auditory learners
  • Uses hands-on tools and activities in handwriting lessons
  • Uses intuitive lesson booklets to promote learning

According to the folks at Learning without Tears, “Pre-K–5 students move through a developmentally appropriate teaching order from capital, to lowercase, and cursive letters. This design helps children master handwriting skills in the easiest, most efficient way. Instead of teaching 52 letter symbols with a mishmash of different sizes, positions, and confusing starting places, we divide and conquer.”

what is handwriting without tears letter order?

If you have used the HWT program, you may have noticed the letters are not in sequential order . In other words, the Handwriting Without Tears program does not teach letter formation in order from A-Z.

This sounds counter intuitive, as students are generally taught letters in order. Child development skills , as found in the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales , demonstrates the visual motor progression of fine motor skills . We cover some of this in our post on drawing milestones .

When developing writing skills, pre-writing lines emerge. This begins when the stages start at scribbling, vertical and horizontal lines, then circular forms. After these are mastered, more difficult designs such as a cross, square, and triangle are developed.

Learners who are still mastering the basics of writing lines, do not have the necessary skills to form more complex designs such as the letter A which relies on diagonal lines, or B which requires semicircles. Students often get stuck at this stage if they are unable to form these letters.

The Handwriting without Tears letter order promotes success, focusing on letters that use the preliminary pre-writing strokes. This is why letters with straight lines are taught first and in a group, known as letter families .

HWT Letter Order Groups

The Handwriting Without Tears letter order progresses like this:

  • L, F, E, H, T, I
  • U, C, O, Q, G, S, J, D, P, B, R
  • K, A, N, M, V, W, X, Y, Z

Handwriting Without Tears Straight Line Letters

The first letters are L, F, E, H, T, I. Notice all of these letters require only vertical and horizontal lines.

This is the first developmental skill mastered. Imagine the success of learning six letters right away, rather than struggling on A and B!

handwriting without tears Circular Letters

The second set of letters are circular: U, C, O, Q, G, S, J, D, P, B, R. The letters within each section progress in level of difficulty from U to R.

Notice that letter B is 16th on the list! This is vastly different than the traditional method of teaching it as letter number two.

While R, is a circular letter, it also contains a diagonal, which segues into the third uppercase letter formation group.

Grab our Letter B Worksheet for sensory motor practice to form the semicircles that make up this circular letter.

We also have a Letter C Worksheet for improving the circular motion of the pencil which carries over to other letters (Also known as magic c and is helpful for forming the lowercase letter counterparts).

Further down the list is letter D, and you can use our Letter D Worksheet to work on the straight line followed by a rotated semicircular motion that then carries over to the remaining letters with the same motor pattern: P, B, and R.

handwriting without tears Diagonal Letters

The third and final set of letters are the diagonals. Copying a triangle is one of the last basic shapes to learn as a developmental progression.

Forming diagonals is tricky. Not only are students crossing midline , they are doing so in a top to bottom fashion.

The letters in this series are: K, A, N, M, V, W, X, Y, Z. A is number 18 on the list. Now you can see why students struggle to learn the very first letters of the alphabet. They are not developmentally ready for this skill at the time we are insisting on teaching it.

Try using our Letter A Worksheet for sensory motor practice to form the diagonals and starting the letter in the middle.

Starting Position for handwriting without tears letters

An additional method HWT uses to group uppercase letters is their starting position. This is not my personal method of teaching, as I prefer the developmental sequence.

When focusing on the starting point for letters, Handwriting Without Tears groups the upper case letters into three catagories, depending on where the pencil starts:

  • Frog Jump Capital Letters – F, E, D, P, B, R, N, M
  • Corner Starting Capital Letters – H, K, L, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
  • Center Starting Capital Letters – C, O, Q, G, S, A, I, T, J

Take a look at the Frog Jump Capitals that start at the left corner (F, E, D, P, B, R, N, M). Notice several of these letters are more complex with diagonal lines. This can be a challenge for some students that struggle with the pre-writing lines, specifically diagonals. Additionally, this grouping of letters includes several different pencil stroke patterns, which can also be a challenge for some students.

Their second grouping is the starting corner capitals (H, K, L, U, V, W, X, Y, Z). This grouping of letters also includes a mix of straight line letters, diagonals, and curves.

Lastly, the center starters (C, O, Q, G, S, A, I, T, J) are addressed. Again, this group of letters includes more curved lines, but again, a mix of straight lines, curved lines, and diagonals. Notice how many of the last letters are commonly used letters. This is another reason why this particular HWT letter order might be a challenge for some.

uppercase or lowercase letter order first?

There has been some discussion on whether it is better to teach upper or lowercase letter formation first. We cover the developmental reasons in our linked blog post.

The research has been inconclusive, as there are benefits to both.

  • While lowercase letters are everywhere, capital letters are the first introduced in toddler books and puzzles.
  • Lowercase letters will be used much more than capital, but uppercase letters are much easier to form due to the simple straight lines.
  • There is no retracing or letters that sit below the line in uppercase letters
  • B/D are not as confusing as lowercase b and d when writing capital letters
  • When reading, many agree that teaching letter sounds is more important than their names, therefore teaching lowercase letter sounds first, may be more beneficial than teaching the letter names
  • Consider the age of your learners – preschooler should write uppercase first, as that is their developmental progression stage. Kindergarten and later students may be able to start in alphabetical order, however for delayed students, this can cause frustration

handwriting without tears lowercase letter order

For the same reason we teach uppercase letters in a progressive order, Handwriting without Tears lowercase letter order is important also. These letters are formed in developmental progression as with the uppercase.

  • Just like their capital letters – c, o, s, v, w, t (just like uppercase only lower cross)
  • Magic C – these high frequency letters (a, g, d) start with a magic “c”. This helps differentiate between b and d. While “q” is a “magic c” letter, it is taught later to avoid confusion with g
  • The rest of the vowels – u, i, e
  • Familiar from capitals – l, k, y, j
  • Diving letters – these letters dive down (p, r, n, m, h, b)
  • Tricky leftovers – f has a tricky start, letter q is taught here to avoid confusion with g, x and z are familiar but infrequently used
  • Once these are learned, I add another group: the drop down letters. These are the most difficult to write correctly as all of the other letters sit on the line. When I am teaching correct letter formation, j, g, p, q, y are stressed as their own group, after the others have been learned

cursive handwriting letter order

As with upper and lowercase letter formation, cursive letters are formed in groups. While HWT has their way of presenting the cursive letters, I prefer (Amazon affiliate link) “ Loops and other Groups “.

This system groups the letters into the way they are formed. There are the clock climbers, kite strings, loop groups, then hills and valleys. Capital letters are taught last, as they are tricky and not used as frequently.

Here is an interesting post from the OT Toolbox about teaching cursive writing .

How to Teach Cursive Writing is another great resource.

resources to support handwriting without tears letter order

  • Learning Without Tears letter strategies uses a multisensory approach to learning letters , which includes creating letters out of clay or wooden blocks, singing songs about letters, to drawing on tiny chalkboards.
  • Cursive writing letter order teaches more specifics about writing in letter groups

Everyone is different, as are their learning styles. Ultimately the goal is success. Whether that means using the Handwriting Without Tears Letter Order, or another teaching method, whatever helps and motivates your student is the correct choice. Nothing we teach is one size fits all. That is what makes our job so exciting and dynamic!

handwriting without tears course

Victoria Wood, OTR/L is a contributor to The OT Toolbox and has been providing Occupational Therapy treatment in pediatrics for more than 25 years. She has practiced in hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, NICU, PICU), school systems, and outpatient clinics in several states. She has treated hundreds of children with various sensory processing dysfunction in the areas of behavior, gross/fine motor skills, social skills and self-care. Ms. Wood has also been a featured speaker at seminars, webinars, and school staff development training. She is the author of Seeing your Home and Community with Sensory Eyes.

The Letters Fine Motor Kit is a supplement to any handwriting curriculum and uses hands-on, multisensory strategies to support letter formation.

Want printable handwriting and sensory motor activities to target the visual motor skills needed for letter writing? Grab a copy of our Letters! Fine Motor Kit . The printable PDF contains 100 pages of hands-on letter writing practice for multisensory handwriting!

Letters Fine Motor Kit

Inside the Letters Fine Motor Kit , you’ll find:

  • A-Z Multisensory Writing Pages:  Roll a ball of dough letters, ASL sign language letters, gross motor movement, small-scale letter box writing task, finger isolation letter trace, and writing practice area
  • Alphabet Fine Motor Clip Cards – Clip clothespins or paper clips to match letters with various fonts to strengthen the hands and focusing on eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, visual processing skills, and more.
  • Cut and place Fine Motor Mazes – Cut out the letter pieces and trace the maze with a finger to work on eye-hand coordination and finger isolation. Place a small letter on the letter spots to address in-hand manipulation and dexterity skills.
  • A-Z Cotton Swab Cards – Includes upper case and lower case letters. Dot the cards using a cotton swab or laminate the cards and use them over and over again.
  • A-Z Pattern Block Cards – These cards include a section for tracing with a finger tip for separation of the sides of the hand, eye-hand coordination, and finger isolation during letter formation. There is also a space to “finger write” the letter using the fingertip. This multisensory letter formation activity can be a great brain break during handwriting or literacy tasks. Learners can then form the letter using parquetry blocks.
  • Fine Motor Letter Geo-Cards – These geo board cards include A-Z in upper case forms. Users can copy the letter forms in a variety of multi-sensory strategies.
  • A-Z Color and Cut Letter Memory Cards – These upper case and lower case letter cards can be used to color for letter formation. Then use them in fine motor matching tasks or in sensory bins.
  • Color By Size Sheets – Help learners discriminate between tall letters, small letters, and tail letters. This visual perception activity invites learners to color small areas, using hand muscles for strengthening and handwriting endurance.
  • A-Z Building Block Cards – These LEGO block cards invite users to copy the cards to form letters using small building blocks. Users can place the blocks on the cards or copy the letter to address visual shift and visual memory. This activity set comes in upper case and lowercase letter forms.
  • A-Z Play Dough Letter Formation Cards – Print off these cards and laminate them to create play dough mats. Learners can form the letters using the arrows to correctly form letters with play dough while strengthening their hands and visual motor skills. Each card includes a space for practicing the letter formation, using a dry erase marker if the cards are laminated.
  • Graded Lines Box Writing Sheets – Users can trace and form letters in boxes to work on formation of letters, line awareness, starting points, and letter size.
  • Alphabet Roll and Write Sheets – Roll a dice and form the letter associated with the number of dots on the dice. This is a great way to work on letter formation skills using motivation. Which letter will reach the top first? This activity is easily integrated with a rainbow writing task to increase number or repetitions for letter practice.
  • Pencil Control Letter Scan – Use the letter bubble tracks to scan for letters. Users can fill in the letters of the alphabet to work on pencil control skills.
  • Color and Cut Puzzles – Color the pictures to work on hand strength and letter formation skills. Then cut out the puzzles and build visual perceptual skills.

Get your copy of the Letters Fine Motor Kit today!

"Handwriting Without Tears letter order" with letter K on a chalkboard and a small piece of chalk

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Sensational Kids

Handwriting Without Tears Online Workshop June 2024

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About The Handwriting Without Tears Workshop

Friday 21st June 2024

If you are not able to attend for the live training on this date, you can still book and watch online for up to 60 days afterwards.

A must-do one-day online course for parents, teachers and healthcare professionals working with children to enhance writing skills. The online workshop provides you with the knowledge, skills and materials needed to effectively teach handwriting. Our comprehensive, easy-to-use curriculum applies engaging multisensory techniques and research-based methods to make handwriting a natural and automatic skill for children of all ages and abilities.

Get top tips and simple strategies, to immediately implement in your classroom for teaching handwriting

Thousands of teachers, occupational therapists, educational specialists, and parents rely on our Handwriting Without Tears Workshops for the strategies and tools they need to help students succeed. Now it’s your turn.

Providing you with the knowledge, skills and materials needed to effectively teach handwriting,  our comprehensive, easy-to-use curriculum uses engaging multisensory techniques and research-based methods to make handwriting a natural and automatic skill for children of all ages and abilities. We use a fun hands-on approach to develop good skills and teach correct letter formation.

This Handwriting Virtual Workshop provides dynamic instruction in the teaching methodology from writing readiness and foundations at preschool stages through to writing in print.

By attending this virtual Handwriting Without Tears Workshop you will learn to: 

  • Plan your instruction based on the stages of writing readiness
  • Model essential foundation skills prior to pencil and paper
  • Use Hands-On Letter Play to build beginning habits for letter & number formations
  • Learn the developmental progression from colouring, tracing, to writing letters, words, and sentences
  • Implement, teach and remediate handwriting
  • Navigate the PreK and Handwriting Interactive Teaching Tool™
  • Promote independent writing skills beyond workbook instruction

About the Presenter 

handwriting without tears course

Tania Ferrandino, OTR/L

Licensed Occupational Therapist, International Presenter & Content Specialist with Handwriting Without Tears

Tania Ferrandino received her diploma in Occupational therapy from St. Loye’s school of Occupational Therapy in Exeter, England. She has over 15 years of experience providing services in psychiatry, rehabilitation, home health and the school setting.

For the past 10 years Tania has worked extensively with children. She has successfully written three educational grants for district handwriting curriculum comparison. Tania is currently a Workshop Presenter for Handwriting Without Tears® throughout the USA and internationally.

Handwriting Without Tears

Virtual workshop schedule.

10.30 – 13:00 Writing & Readiness Virtual Learning Session

13:00 – 14:00 Break

14:00 – 16:30 Print Virtual Learning Session

We will also provide regular 5-minute “stretch” breaks to help keep you focused!

Morning Readiness & Writing Session

Readiness & Writing Objectives:

Learn new ways to enhance children’s well-being and school readiness.

  • Plan your instruction based on developmental stages for writing readiness
  • Explore activities that develop important social-emotional skills, including body awareness, taking turns and sharing
  • Learn to teach size, shape, and position concepts for pre-writing, and sensory motor skills
  • Learn our unique approach to effectively teaching colouring skills
  • Develop alphabet knowledge with music and hands-on play
  • Use Hands-On Letter Play to build beginning habits for letter and number formation
  • Understand how to use developmental strategies to help children progress from tracing their letters and numbers to writing their names

Afternoon Print Virtual Session

Printing Objectives:

Provide the knowledge, skills and materials needed to effectively teach print.

  • Understand the handwriting process
  • Incorporate foundation skills prior to paper and pencil
  • Combine developmental and multisensory teaching strategies to teach print
  • Identify handwriting assessments
  • Apply simple, yet effective remediation strategies
  • Share the importance of handwriting with research

Who Should Attend?

Handwriting Without Tears Online Workshop

This virtual Handwriting without Tears workshop is suitable for education professionals, allied health professionals and parents. The Handwriting Without Tears Workshop will be of interest to

  • Occupational Therapists
  • School Principals
  • Resource Teachers
  • Special Needs Assistants
  • Educational Psychologists
  • Anybody interested in learning how to teach handwriting to children of all abilities

Handwriting Without Tears Online Workshop Rates

All rates include the items listed below in your workshop pack:

  • Regular Booking Rate €299 includes all the items listed below
  • Late Booking Rate €324 from 10th June 2024

Places on this this live workshop are LIMITED so please book early to secure your place.

Included In The Course Cost:

  • An Attendance Certificate
  • High Quality Online Training with an experienced international trainer & Occupational Therapist
  • One-year access to the Virtual Professional Development Hub (VPDH)
  • 60-day access to our Interactive Teaching Tools for Pre-K and Handwriting.
  • You will also receive a Workshop Pack containing over €200 worth of  Handwriting Without Tears Materials, which will be delivered to you by courier before the workshop. Just make sure to book your place by 3rd June to ensure delivery. 

Your Workshop Materials Pack Contains:

Handwriting Without Tears

  • 1 x Wood Pieces Set for Capital Letters
  • 2 x Mat for Wood Pieces
  • 2 x Slate Chalkboard
  • 1 x Blackboard with Double Lines
  • 1 x Magnetic Lowercase & Blackboard Set
  • 1 x Little Chalk Bits
  • 1 x Little Sponge Cubes
  • 1 x Get Set for School Sing Along music album CD
  • 1 x Rock, Rap, Tap & Learn music album CD
  • Delivery of workshop packs to locations outside of the Republic of Ireland will incur an additional delivery charge. Please email [email protected]  or phone +353 45 520900 to find out more about delivery rates to locations outside of Ireland.

What Others Say about our Handwriting Without Tears Workshops in Ireland

“Excellent content, excellent teacher, everything broken down and easy to understand. Have learned so much today”  L. Gleeson “Very happy with the workshop, and I’m looking forward to implementing it with my son” M. Siewierska “Excellent Course. Lots of very good information” A. Hughes “It was very worthwhile. A lot of information delivered in a very explanatory manner – also very practical” H.O’Connor “Very enjoyable and lots of learning” S.Hallahan “Very informative and enjoyable, and plenty of resources, Thank you” B. Belton “Presenter was excellent!”  W O’Donoghue “Doing this course helps me to see it’s possible for anyone to learn to write easily” M. Caulfield “Workshop, really, really worthwhile. Tania has super presentation/teaching skills and has experience” A. Donagher “I thought the speaker explained things well, kept everyone engaged and taught you how to teach. It was very practical as a teacher”  Anon “Excellent speaker and workshop. I know so much going home after this wonderful workshop with Tania” O. Kilcane “Very practical workshop, Looking forward to putting it into practice. Great resource packs. Wonderful facilitator” E Ni Chatasaigh

Phone Sensational Kids 045 520900 for queries and information

We cannot guarantee delivery of the workshop pack before the course date for bookings made after 3rd June 2024.

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Handwriting Without Tears ®

To enhance children's writing skills through the use of multi-sensory strategies in line with their developmental stages.

Even with the advent of modern technology, which provides children with a wider range of learning media, children still rely heavily on writing for their learning and schoolwork in the classroom. Writing not only revitalizes the child's brain and enhances their learning-related skills such as listening, speaking, reading and critical thinking, but also promotes effective communication.

Many children in the clinical setting have an incorrect grip on the pen due to poor stability of the tiger's mouth, hand arches and front joints, such as a wrong grip with the thumb wrapped around the index finger, which will take more effort and time for the child and further affect their motivation to learn. Moreover, the pen becomes so straight when the thumb wraps around the index finger that the child has to tilt his head to see what he is writing.   An incorrect pencil grip can lead to poor body posture, which in the long run may result in scoliosis, shoulder height difference, cervical spine and neck and back muscle imbalance.

To this end, KickStart has introduced a writing therapy program that employs a fun, entertaining and developmentally appropriate approach that integrates multi-sensory activities to help children of all ages to improve their writing skills and increase their learning motivation, starting from the basics. This program has been incorporated into the formal writing curriculum by the US Department of Education in many states.

handwriting without tears course

Kickstart stands to identify and inspire children’s potential and to help parents understand the needs of your child’s sensory integration development and how to address them. Kickstart emphasizes the wholistic development of the children, thus enriching the quality of life for children, parents, and the whole family.


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handwriting without tears course

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handwriting without tears course


"The intertwined connections to real world, real life and all the learning modalities facilitate learner success."

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Moscow Facts & Worksheets

Moscow, russian moskva, is the capital and most populated city of russia, situated in the westward part of the country., search for worksheets, download the moscow facts & worksheets.

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Table of Contents

Moscow , Russian Moskva, is the capital and most populated city of Russia , situated in the westward part of the country. Moscow is not just the political capital city of Russia but also the industrial, cultural, scientific, and educational capital. For more than 600 years, Moscow also has been the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church.

See the fact file below for more information on the Moscow or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Moscow worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.

Key Facts & Information


  • The city area is about 30 km in diameter and the population reaches to almost 10 million people.
  • Moscow was first mentioned in the chronicles of 1147, where it played an important role in Russian history.
  • The people of Moscow are known as Muscovites.
  • Moscow is famous for its architecture, especially its historical buildings such as Saint Basil’s Cathedral .
  • Moscow is a city with the most money in Russia and the third biggest budget in the world.
  • Moscow began as a medieval city and developed into what was known as the Grand Duchy of Moscow, an administrative region ruled by a prince.
  • Moscow is where all Russia’s tensions and inequalities meet to coexist, producing a unique feeling of a city that looks European but feels somewhat Asian in its mood and intensity.
  • In 1147 Moscow was called Moskov, which sounds closer to its current name. Moscow was derived from the Moskva river, on which the city is located. The Finno-Ugric tribes, who originally inhabited the territory, named the river Mustajoki, in English: Black River, which was presumably how the name of the city originated.
  • Several theories were proposed on the origin of the name of the river however linguists cannot come to any agreement and those theories haven’t been proven yet.
  • The first known reference to Moscow dates from 1147 as a meeting place of Yuri Dolgoruky and Sviatoslav Olgovich. Muscovites today consider Prince Yury Dolgoruky their city’s founding father, but it was only recorded that he dined with friends in the town.
  • In 1156, led by Knjaz Yury Dolgoruky, the town was barricaded with a timber fence and a moat. In the course of the Mongol invasion of Rus, the Mongols under Batu Khan burned the city to the ground and killed its inhabitants.
  • Nevertheless, Moscow was restored and became more important. Yet the Mongols came back in 1382 and burned Moscow City again.
  • Still, Moscow shortly recovered and In the 15th century, it probably gained a population of about 50,000. But, unfortunately, in 1571 the Crimean Tatars burned Moscow again.
  • By 1712, Tsar Peter the Great decided to move his capital to St. Petersburg from Moscow. With this, Moscow began a period of dissolution. In the 1770s Moscow suffered an outbreak of the bubonic plague. But still, Moscow University was successfully founded in 1755 and at the beginning of the 19th century, Moscow was prospering again.
  • Arbat Street at that time was also established. But then, Napoleon invaded Russia. The Muscovites, the retreating party, set their own city on fire by 1812 and it was rebuilt completely at the beginning of the 19th century.
  • During 1917 the Communists started a revolution in which they imposed a totalitarian government in Russia. By 1918, Lenin transferred his administration to Moscow.
  • After Lenin, the tyrant Josef Stalin governed the city. Under his regime, several historic buildings in the city were destroyed. Nevertheless, the first line of the Metro opened in 1935.
  • By June 1941, the Germans had invaded Russia and had arrived on the outskirts of Moscow by December. As they arrived, they suddenly  turned back.
  • After the Second World War , Moscow continued prospering even though many nations boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980.
  • Fortunately, Communism collapsed in Russia in 1991 and in 1997 Moscow celebrated its 850th anniversary.
  • Moscow is situated on the banks of the Moskva River, which flows through the East European Plain in central Russia. Teplostanskaya highland is the city’s highest point at 255 meters (837 feet). The width of Moscow city (not limiting MKAD) from west to east is 39.7 km (24.7 mi), and the length from north to south is 51.8 km (32.2 mi).
  • Moscow has a humid continental climate with long, cold winters usually lasting from mid-November through the end of March, and warm summers .
  • Moscow is the financial center of Russia and home to the country’s largest banks and many of its largest companies, such as natural gas giant Gazprom.
  • The Cherkizovsky marketplace was the largest marketplace in Europe , with a daily turnover of about thirty million dollars and about ten thousand venders from different countries including China and India .
  • Many new business centers and office buildings have been built in recent years, but Moscow still experiences shortages in office space.
  • With this, many former industrial and research facilities are being reconstructed to become suitable for office use.
  • In totality, economic stability has developed in recent years. But, crime and corruption still hinder business growth.
  • Saint Basil’s Cathedral is famed as the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed amongst the locals. It served as one of the crucial landmarks of Moscow.
  • Location: Krasnaya Square, 2, Moscow 109012, Russia
  • Moscow Kremlin serves as the home in which all these tourist sites reside. It encompasses almost all the famous sightseeing attractions such as the royal residence of the President of Russia.
  • Location: Moscow, Russia
  • Red Square separates the royal citadel of Kremlin from the ancient merchant quarter of Kitai-gorod, one of the most interesting places in Moscow. Bearing the weight of Russia’s history to a great extent, Red Square serves not just as an attraction but as the heart, soul, and symbol of the whole country.
  • Location: Krasnaya Ploshchad, Moscow, Russia

Moscow Worksheets

This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Moscow across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Moscow worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Moscow, Russian Moskva, which is the capital and most populated city of Russia, situated in the westward part of the country. Moscow is not just the political capital city of Russia but also the industrial, cultural, scientific, and educational capital. For more than 600 years, Moscow also has been the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Complete List Of Included Worksheets

  • Moscow Facts
  • Moscow Breaking News
  • Moscow Basic Info
  • Moscow’s Significant Events
  • Moscow Characteristics
  • Populous Cities
  • Sports Facts
  • Moscow Landmarks
  • Symbolization
  • Moscow Slogan

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CityGuide Book

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What does Moscow CityPass include

Moscow CityPass is a single electronic card for tourists, which include visits to the best museums and excursions, the best deals and discounts.



The Moscow Kremlin is citadel standing on a high bank of the Moscow River. Here was the residence of grand Russian Tsars and Emperors, now is the official residence of the President of the Russia.

St. Basil’s Cathedral (Pokrovsky Cathedral) on the Red Square is a great creation of Russian architects. The gorgeous temple is a gem of world architecture and a symbol of Moscow and Russia.

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts is a museum complex that is currently in possession of one of the largest world art collections from Ancient Egypt and Greece to our days. Today the holdings of the museum contain around 700 000 art works of different epochs.

Observation deck of the hotel Ukraine located on the 33rd floor of the historic Radisson Royal Hotel, known also as a legendary Stalin skyscraper, in the heart of Moscow. With the Moscow CityPass card free entry and one drink*.

A doubledeck bus trip indeed is the best way to see Moscow. Excursions are available in 10 languages. There exist three possible routes – the red one (#1), the green one (#2) and the orange one (#3). The tour is available for one day.

Unlike the other tourist vessels, these huge snow-white ships do not cease navigation in winter: they pierce the ice so smoothly that that the waiter can easily pour champagne in tall crystal glasses. A tour is available for visiting only by appointment*.


Hockey and ice skating are the national sports. That’s why the ice rink in the AVIAPARK shopping centre is one of the most popular spots for recreational activities for the north of Moscow. You can rent a pair of skates and enter the ice rink for free with the Moscow CityPass.

If you want to know what is the true Russian culture art is like, then you are WELCOME to the National Theater of Folk Music and Song 'Golden Ring'.

Restaurants and cafes

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"Cafe Pushkin" is the Legendary restaurant of the Maison Dellos. Famous restaurant in Moscow that serves traditional noble cuisine of Russia.

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"Turandot" is an incredible place filled with genuine things that keep memories of a different century. This is one of the main attractions of Moscow. "Turandot" serves the city's best dim sum, Peking duck and sea bass in honey and a croissant with foie gras.

Download free Gett application in AppStore or Google Play and get 500 rubles discount for your first ride, using promo code from the Moscow CityPass guidebook.

Anna Slavutina – is a famous Russian jewelry brand. Jewelry in Russian Style will be certainly the best memories about your journey to the capital. With the Moscow CityPass card you can get a 15% discount.

IZETA is an unrivalled fashion brand in luxury furs, couture gowns and the most exotic leathers. With the Moscow CityPass card you can get a 10% discount to the products that are included to the collaborative promotion.

Pick up points

Tourist Information Center

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Share #russiacitypass in social networks and get chance to win 4 Russia CityPass. We choose a winner every month!

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  21. How safe is Moscow? : r/Moscow

    Moscow is actually pretty safe. I visited for a month and one thing that stuck out to me was the amount of cops everywhere, like how every metro station has cops and metal detectors and most malls do too. 5. [deleted] • 4 yr. ago. Very. 6. kurudj • 4 yr. ago. Moscow is safe completely.

  22. Moscow Facts, Worksheets, Description & Etymology For Kids

    In 1156, led by Knjaz Yury Dolgoruky, the town was barricaded with a timber fence and a moat. In the course of the Mongol invasion of Rus, the Mongols under Batu Khan burned the city to the ground and killed its inhabitants. Nevertheless, Moscow was restored and became more important. Yet the Mongols came back in 1382 and burned Moscow City again.

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