In this post, you will learn more about one of our favorite homeschool curriculum choices called Handwriting Without Tears. You will also see what Handwriting Without Tears workshops are like and see my thoughts on the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. This curriculum can be used in a school setting, for remediation and in private tutoring sessions.
Wondering if it is possible to go from bad handwriting to good handwriting? The answer is YES!! All you need is some good handwriting books and you are good to go! Learning Without Tears, also known as Handwriting Without Tears makes handwriting for kids so much more fun with multi-sensory activities that encourage a child to learn through a multitude of ways.
I created a YouTube video that explains everything, check it out below:
Can you read what he was writing? I actually noticed it because we started journaling together. Clearly, he needed some handwriting practice, or let’s be honest, a handwriting intervention.
I began to stress out about his bad handwriting.
I did some research online (my favorite past time!) searching for how to improve bad handwriting. I had seen a lot about Handwriting Without Tears online and I am so glad that I found it. I had to determine which handwriting book would be most appropriate for a child his age. He couldn’t work with something too easy, he needed something that would remediate his bad handwriting and that would give him enough practice to improve his handwriting. After looking through some books, I purchased a copy of the Letters And Numbers For Me book. Learning Without Tears has reformulated their books, so if purchasing in and after 2018 the equivalent to this book is the Kick Start Kindergarten book. This is my FAVORITE book. It had the right combination of alphabet letter practice and then moved into writing words. I didn’t use the teacher’s manual and chose to just apply the concepts from the handwriting book. I also purchased their lined paper so that I could incorporate handwriting practice into our other activities. We worked on handwriting for 15-20 minutes each day.
Do you want to see what one week of doing handwriting practice using the Handwriting Without Tears workbook did to my son’s writing?
Can you believe it? I was in absolute shock. He said that the reason he began to write messy at school was because he felt they were often rushing through lessons and he needed to write quickly. To keep up, his handwriting suffered. It was obvious he just needed more practice to help him write quickly, but still neatly.
Was cursive to blame?
I’ve also noticed amongst my children that their handwriting was wonderful up until cursive was introduced to them. Thereafter, their handwriting changed a lot. Maybe he just needed a refresher and to keep practicing.
If my son does not practice with his writing, his writing doesn’t look as good as the above picture. It still is legible though. Now, since we have the Kick Start Kindergarten book, I try to make him refresh his handwriting skills every so often.
I place page protectors onto each sheet. This makes the workbook re-usable. I have seen some Occupational Therapists do this and I think it’s a great way to refresh working on a particular book.
I do not do this with my 4-year-old daughter. I want to be able to see her handwriting growth within her workbook. Page 1 should look different from Page 70. Since we love the Kick Start Kindergarten book and it’s our favorite way to refresh our skills.. I will be keeping one of those books clean for them to all to use and practice with.
I am incorporating the lined paper into my children’s other lessons, for example here in our All About Spelling lessons.
I was shocked beyond belief by the results.
What my must haves are:
If starting with a child, I recommend you use the Kick Start Kindergarten book with the teacher’s guide.
For an older child I would recommend the following:
- Skill appropriate book – depending on which skill you are trying to work on.
- The matching Teacher’s Guide.
- HITT – Handwriting Interactive Teaching Tool (this is optional)
For a preschooler my MUST haves:
- Wood pieces
- Slate chalkboard (get one for the teacher AND for each student you are working with.)
- Blue mat
- Get Set For School Sing-Along CD
- Mini sponges
- HWOT pencils
- HWOT crayons
- Appropriate workbook. For a 4 year old I’d get the Kick Start Kindergarten. For a younger child, you can use the Get Set For School Workbook
- The matching Teacher’s Guide.
- The laminated letters are optional.
Handwriting Without Tears Workshops
Handwriting Without Tears makes handwriting practice exciting with multi-sensory materials. This means that children are learning through more repetition and visual, auditory and tactile learners are being taught through ways that they learn best.
I truly wish that ALL schools used Learning Without Tears workbooks to teach children how to write. With no formal writing practice being done in classrooms, children often have bad writing and in turn, hate writing. Learning Without Tears gives children’s the skills needed to LOVE handwriting. Now that I have a 4-year old, I jumped at the opportunity to attend a Learning Without Tears workshop. (Thank you to Learning Without Tears for sending me to their wonderful 3-day workshop
The room was filled with passionate teachers, occupational therapists and some parents, like myself, who are enthusiastic about teaching their children how to write.
I feel SO inspired.
The purpose of the workshop was to learn not only how to use Handwriting Without Tears, but also WHY. The workshop was taught by Suzanne Asherson and she was a wonderful workshop presenter.
The workshop I attended was the 2 Day Pre-K and K-5 Workshop. This includes 3 workshops:
- Two Pre-K workshops (The Pre-k readiness and writing workshop and the
- and the K-5 Handwriting workshop.
Can I tell you how much value there is in the handwriting without tears workshops? If you plan to start this writing curriculum I HIGHLY recommend that you attend the workshop. You receive hundreds of dollars worth of manipulatives and teaching tools that you likely would have purchased anyway to start the curriculum.
Here is what is included:
In the Pre-k Readiness and Writing Workshop we received $145 in free materials including:
- My First School Book
- Readiness & Writing Pre-K Teacher’s Guide
- Kick Start Kindergarten
- Kick Start Kindergarten Teacher’s Guide
- Roll-A-Dough Letters®
- Stamp and See Screen®
- Mat for Wood Pieces
- Wood Pieces Set for Capital Letters
- Slate Chalkboard
- 3-month access to Get Set for School music
- Canvas Bag
In the Pre-k Literacy and Math workshop portion, we received $110 in free materials including:
- Language & Literacy Pre-K Teacher’s Guide
- Numbers & Math Pre-K Teacher’s Guide
- A-B-C Touch & Flip® Cards
- 1-2-3 Touch & Flip® Cards
- My Book
- I Know My Numbers
- 3 months Access to Get Set for School music resources
- Get Set for School tote
We received 3 month music access to each album within the workshop.
In the K-5 Handwriting class, we received $1500 in supplies (yes, $1500!)
- Kick Start Kindergarten
- Letters and Numbers For Me
- My Printing Book
- Printing Power Plus (Printing Power and Kick Start Cursive)
- Cursive Handwriting
- Cursive Success
- Can-Do Cursive
- HITT (Handwriting Interactive Teaching Tool™) (TK and K–4 versions)
- Building Writers (K–5)
- Blackboard with Double Lines
- Access to Handwriting Without Tears music resources
It included everything we would need to take your child from start to finish through the curriculum. The only thing I felt was missing was the wonderful lined paper! The workbooks that you see above include K through 5th-grade workbooks.
For each workshop, we got a demonstration of how to use the materials. We were also given tips on how to best use the materials in different settings like classrooms, occupational therapy and we did many exercises to give us more hands-on practice.
They also had a wonderful spread of coffee and pastries for us.
One of my favorite freebies from the workshop is HIIT access. This is an online tool that allows you to go through each of the workbooks and Teacher’s Guides. You can then use their stories and activities to teach your class/child how to form letters, interesting letter stories and fun facts.
Here are some more materials that we got to see:
More about Handwriting Without Tears
It was created 15 years ago. They have released a new Transitional Kindergarten program called Kick Start Kindergarten. It includes a Teacher’s guide and workshop.
Handwriting Without tears can teach children how to hold a crayon correctly by teaching the correct grip.
The preschool Get Set For School curriculum is informal handwriting practice and includes a lot of learning through play, songs and fun materials.
The new HIIT – The Handwriting Interactive Tool is a GAME changer! You can learn more about it here. This teaching tool minimizes prep time and can be used on a laptop, interactive whiteboard and projector. It costs $225 a year, but if you are teaching in a classroom setting, you can get it for $25 a year with the purchase of 20 workbooks.
My thoughts on the Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum
I whole heartedly 100% believe in this handwriting curriculum. I am SO excited to start it with my daughter. I think the workshop was exactly what I needed to feel confident teaching this handwriting curriculum to my children. I wish more teachers’ would incorporate this curriculum into their classrooms.
I will post more about the preschool curriculum and give you updates on our progress in a few months.
Have you ever tried the Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum? What were your thoughts?
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