• Handwriting Without Tears
    Development of Handwriting Without Tears:
    • Jan Olsen is an occupational therapist and the author of HWT.  She began developing the program in the mid 1970's when her own son was having trouble with handwriting in first grade.
    • Taking a developmental approach, she kept what worked, threw away what didn't, and created HWT.  She spent many years working with children who had difficulty with handwriting.  Since that time, HWT has grown.  The curriculum covers preschool readiness through 5th grade cursive. 
     The Purpose of HWT:
    • To teach students handwriting techniques that will make handwriting an automatic and natural skill.  Students who know how to write, want to write! 
    • It is a fun method of teaching handwriting that truly takes away the tears!
    • Students of all abilities are successful with handwriting when using HWT.
    HWT Program:
    HWT techniques are taught like piano lessons: students build on lessons they have already mastered.
    • The program is divided into three sections:
                          1. Readiness
                          2. Printing
                          3. Cursive Writing
    • All techniques are developmentally based; letters are taught in groups of similar strokes; diagonal lines (the most difficult) are taught last.

    Capital Teaching Order

    Developmentally, capitals are easier so we teach them first. The capital teaching order helps teach correct formation and orientation while eliminating reversals. Learning capitals first makes it easy to transition to lowercase letters.

    Frog Jump Capitals: FEDPBRNM, Starting Corner Capitals: HKLUVWXYZ, Center Starters: COQGSAITJ

    Lowercase Teaching Order

    We teach lowercase c, o, s, v, and w first because they are exactly the same as their capital partners, only smaller. By teaching capitals first, we have prepared children for nearly half of the lowercase letters that are similar in formation.

    Lowercase Cursive Teaching Order

    In cursive, we teach lowercase letters first to help children learn cursive skills in the easiest, most efficient way. It’s also developmentally planned to start with letters that are familiar from printing, making an easier transition from print to cursive. Children learn their lowercase letters first, and then transition to capitals.

    Lowercase cursive teaching order: cadg htp elf uyij krs owbv mn xzq

    Capital Cursive Teaching Order

    Capitals are taught after lowercase letters because of their infrequent use and complex formations. Children usually learn capitals very quickly. The simple letter style and teaching order makes cursive capitals easy to learn. 

    Cursive Capitals Teaching Order: ACOU VWXYZ PBRNM HK TF IJ DL GS EQ               

    • Multisensory teaching techniques are used.  Students learn to use posture and balance, control and movement, perception and memory, and coordination correctly to develop good handwriting habits from the very beginning.
                                  Multisensory Lessons
         Stages of Learning
       For Parents and Caregivers (get the most out of the HWT Program:
      Click below to access letter formation charts Pre-K through 5th 
      1. Print Capital Letters
      2. Print Lowercase Letters
      3. Numbers
      4. Cursive Capital Letters
      5. Cursive Lowercase Letters
      6. All Formation Charts