We Start With a Line
The path to literacy spirals out in one magic moment—when a child’s lines become language..
They discover that lines form letters and the letters represent sounds. And when put together, they create words, which build into sentences. With each new skill, they unlock the endless possibilities of reading.
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Phonics instruction with the right blend of print and digital materials.
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Setting students up for success.
We lead young students to success through a pathway to early literacy that embraces the whole child. Students strengthen essential fine and gross motor skills through hands-on materials, learn through purposeful play, and explore language through connected text.
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To help students read, start with handwriting.
Handwriting is a foundational skill that leads students to automatic word recognition. Through time-tested methods of letter formation, students embark on the pathway to reading and writing excellence while connecting letters to sound and fortifying the alphabetic principle.
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Connecting Sounds and Letters
When students make connections between sounds and letters, the pathway to reading unfolds before them. We nurture these connections sequentially and systematically, based on the science of reading, helping students acquire the range of skills they need to become proficient readers.
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Inspire, Empower, and Thrive
Learning Without Tears helps every educator find joy in teaching by building confidence and ensuring competence. Our professional learning is designed to INSPIRE teachers to try something new, EMPOWER their growth, and fuel them and the students they serve to THRIVE.
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We Start With a Line
See how we begin the path to literacy with a line through programs that build on each other—one foundational skill at a time.
- Readiness : Purposeful play, and explore language Learn More
- Handwriting : The pathway to reading and writing excellence Learn More
- Phonics : Helping students become proficient readers Learn More
- Professional Learning : Helping educators find joy in teaching Learn More
"The intertwined connections to real world, real life and all the learning modalities facilitate learner success."
Vanessa Brown, B.A., M.Ed. Retired Assistant Principal and ELA Coordinator
"With the implementation of the teacher’s guide, activity books and manipulatives, Pre-K teachers have the tools they need to successfully prepare young children for kindergarten."
Schronda McKnight-Burns M. Ed. Assistant Director of Early Childhood Education
"The active teaching really brings the workbook to life by adding in different interactive learning strategies and activities on each page."
Lanor Payne, Ph.D Director of Early Childhood
"Our students have used Keyboarding Without Tears for years. This program goes beyond nurturing students' typing skills. It gives them the confidence with technology they need to truly succeed today."
Mary Toomey Assistant Superintendent
National Handwriting Association
Charity promoting good practice in handwriting
Learning Without Tears
Learning Without Tears’ mission is to ensure that the path to student success remains simple and fun. We provide child-friendly, hands-on, innovative instruction for early learning, handwriting, keyboarding, and writing strategies, reaching more than 31 million students in Pre-K through fifth grade.
Handwriting matters. For children to be successful readers, writers, and communicators, they need a strong foundation. Practicing handwriting helps children focus, enhances writing fluency, improves memory functions, and can lead to greater academic performance.
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.
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.
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Telephone: +44 (0)7749 416 604 Email: [email protected]
The National Handwriting Association is registered as a charity Registered Charity Number: 1051157
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Handwriting Without Tears: Kindergarten Teacher's Guide Paperback – April 1, 1998
- Paperback $11.95 12 Used from $3.51
There is a newer edition of this item:
- Print length 81 pages
- Language English
- Publisher Handwriting Without Tears
- Publication date April 1, 1998
- Dimensions 0.5 x 8.5 x 10.75 inches
- ISBN-10 1891627074
- ISBN-13 978-1891627071
- See all details
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- Publisher : Handwriting Without Tears; 7th Rev edition (April 1, 1998)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 81 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1891627074
- ISBN-13 : 978-1891627071
- Item Weight : 9 ounces
- Dimensions : 0.5 x 8.5 x 10.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #352,708 in Books ( See Top 100 in Books )
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Handwriting Without Tears
Handwriting Without Tears Books and Products
Handwriting Without Tears Essentials (49)
Handwriting without Tears Teacher's Resources (19)
Handwriting Without Tears Workbooks (33)
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Support for Irish families using the Classical and Charlotte Mason approach to Home School
Learning Handwriting using Handwriting Without Tears
Both my children loved learning to write using the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. I think this is a fantastic curriculum for learning print handwriting, and it is available here in Ireland from Sensational Kids in Naas and Thinking Toys in Co. Clare.
The aim of the program is for children to learn to write legibly and quickly. It is used by many home educators right from the start, and it is also used remedially with older children both by parents and by occupational therapists.
With home educating we have the significant advantage of being able to teach at our child’s pace and to teach for mastery.
Some curricula tie reading and writing together. As is usual in education, there are differing opinions. I think it is better to separate these very different skills.
The Handwriting Without Tears program starts with learning all the capital letters first, as they are easier to write and recognise; for example, they are all the same height.
It is a very fun, multi-sensory experience. There is a CD of songs, so your child is singing and having fun while learning. For example, singing about learning to start her capital letters at the top, while pointing up, or finding the top, middle and bottom of her body with a song before writing the letter E. The child is introduced to the wooden pieces before starting to create the letters. Another song encourages them to find the small curve, large curve, etc, and then tap them together or hold them above their head.
The process for learning to write a letter with Handwriting Without Tears
Here are the steps for learning to make a letter. Of course, you are not doing all those steps in one day. That is just the process.
Take the little blue mat and make the letter using the wooden pieces, of which there are four types – small and large lines, small and large curves. Having made the letter your child would trace the wooden letter with their finger. The tracing is similar to the Montessori sandpaper letters, which you could add in if you have them.
Have your child makes the letter using playdough. This is optional but fun, and good for their motor skills.
Next, use a little chalkboard. The chalkboard and the blue mat have a little smiley face in the top left, where most letters start, and the chalkboard uses the idea of “Wet, Dry, Try”. Mom or Dad writes the letter correctly with the chalk, then the child, using a little sponge, wipes away mom/dad’s letter – while actually “writing” the letter without realising! Then the child writes the letter with chalk, following the wet lines.
Next, your child uses little crayons to follow the large grey letters in the first workbook, colouring in a picture to go with the letter if desired.
In the final step, your child is writing a lovely capital letter using their pencil in their notebook.
What do you need?
You start with My First School Book which teaches capital letters and numbers. Sample here . Available from Sensational Kids and Thinking Toys .
The next book is Letters and Numbers for Me which reviews the capital letters before working through the lowercase letters and writing words. ( Sensational Kids , Thinking Toys )
My Printing Book is next, practising upper case, lowercase letters, words and sentences, on narrower lines. Most pages still have pictures to colour in. For both my children I paused partway through this book as it was using a lot of sight words and I used a phonics reading program – All About Reading. For a while, I wrote out words and short sentences from their readers for them to copy using the line width from this book because I wanted them to be able to read phonetically what they were writing. ( Sensational Kids , Thinking Toys )
Then comes Printing Power, which includes a variety of sentences and a little bit about punctuation. ( Sensational Kids , Thinking Toys )
Then we moved to the blank lined notebooks, called Writing Journals by Handwriting Without Tears, and started Charlotte Mason copywork, mostly using Cottage Press Primers ( Amazon UK Teacher guide , Amazon UK Student book ). The notebooks come in different line widths, so you pick the width that is the right for your child.
The wooden pieces are a little expensive, but you could make some out of thick cardboard if you prefer. My children enjoyed the songs involving selecting and tapping their wooden pieces before creating the letters. The official set has a soft foam blue mat with a smiley face in the top right to remind them where to start their letters. You will need some sort of A4 page with a smiley face. ( Mat at Sensational Kids , Wooden pieces at Thinking Toys , Mat at Thinking Toys ) More information on using the wooden pieces is here .
I don’t own Montessori sandpaper letter cards, but I do have these inexpensive, small books for lowercase letters ( Amazon UK , Book Depo ) and numbers ( Amazon UK , Book Depo ). Given the wooden pieces are only for capitals, I was glad to have these, bringing in this tactile sense.
Next, you need little chalkboard, some little pieces of chalk and a square of sponge. Mine was cut from the washing sponge. The chalkboard is about A5 (half of A4 size) if you are looking in the Euro store. ( Sensational Kids , Thinking Toys )
I assume any playdough would work for making letters. We used to make our own. The base plate for creating the playdough letters on is about A5 size. ( Thinking Toys )
The CD with the Rock, Rap, Tap & Learn CD really adds to the fun. I want my children to enjoy learning, so this was worth it to me. ( Sensational Kids , Thinking Toys )
The teacher guide for the first level is really helpful and worth having. If you have the teacher guide for the first level and you are home educating, I feel the workbooks are enough for the subsequent levels. You are working one on one with your child, not trying to keep the attention of a classroom. Some sample pages from the teacher’s guide are available here . ( Sensational Kids , Thinking Toys )
Details of how all the capital letters and numbers are formed are here .
Handwriting Without Tears has a significant number of materials. Some overlap and having seen them in person, I feel many would be overkill in a home. The above is all you need in normal circumstances. If your child has additional needs you will need to consider those.
I would not recommend the cursive curriculum from Handwriting Without Tears for use in Ireland, because some of the letters are different from how we write in Ireland. I will discuss cursive in a future post.
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Handwriting Without Tears Letter Formation A-Z Printable Tracing Practice Worksheet Paper Instant Download Digital Format for Kids
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Handwriting Without Tears: The “Write” Way to Learn Handwriting
A primer on the Handwriting Without Tears ® program
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.
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.
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 :
Issues forming words correctly
Difficulty playing games or learning nursery rhymes
Reading well below the expected reading level for their age
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
Visual perceptual skills
Social and peer interaction skills
Self-regulation and attention
Strength and coordination
Early development for infants
Aside from Occupational Therapy, we provide other comprehensive therapy services , including:
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.
Lumiere Children's Therapy 1500 N CLYBOURN Suite C-105 Chicago, IL 60610
Fax: (888) 972-7531
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday: 7:00am - 6:00pm Saturdays: 9:00am - 3:00pm
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By combining time-tested instructional methods with unparalleled interactive tools, you can extend learning beyond the classroom, engaging Pre-K-5 students
Students practice the formation of capitals, numbers, and lowercase letters in simple, step-by-step sequences. · Based on the award-winning Handwriting Without
Handwriting is a foundational skill that leads students to automatic word recognition. Through time-tested methods of letter formation, students embark on the
The Handwriting Without Tears® curriculum draws from years of innovation and research to provide developmentally appropriate, multisensory strategies for early
Handwriting Without Tears: Kindergarten Teacher's Guide [Janice Z. Olsen] on Amazon.com. ... Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 12, 2015.
Handwriting Without Tears Workbooks (33). Load More. SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER. Keep up to date with all the news
The Handwriting Without Tears program starts with learning all the capital letters first, as they are easier to write and recognise; for example, they are all
This Learning & School item by KidsSelected has 56 favorites from Etsy shoppers. Ships from United States. Listed on 01 Mar, 2023.
Handwriting Without Tears® helps children learn to write letters. The program addresses all types of learners, including auditory, visual, and
Learning Without Tears provides multi-sensory literacy resources that help Pre-K–5 students ... Handwriting Without Tears | Using a cursive workbook at home.