Handwriting Without Tears


Handwriting Without Tears is an evidence-based, widely used handwriting program created by an Occupational Therapist.  It focuses on the use of using consistent and simple language, multi sensory learning and consistent teaching methodology so that it is accessible to students of all abilities.  Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, I have implemented this program into all of the Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms.  Through pushing into these classrooms on a weekly basis, I am able to both support the teaching staff with this new program as well as observe and attempt to remediate any potential handwriting difficulties for our younger students.

Within this program, letters are taught in groups based on their starting points and formation.  Emphasis is placed on starting all letters at the top in order to instill efficient writing habits.  Upper-case letters are all “tall” letters.  Lower case, with the exception of d, g, q, h, p, f, k, l and t (see below) are “short”.  Letter Groups are as follows:


Frog Jump: F E P B R D M N

Magic c: C O Q G S

Center Starters: A I J T

Corner Starters: H K X Y L U V W Z

Lower Case

Magic c: c a d o g s q

Diver: h b r n m p

Pick-up: f i j k t x y

Other: u l e v w z

In their HWT workbooks, the students practice forming letters inside boxes using start dots to insure correct directionality, formation and sizing.  This can easily be replicated at home when practicing handwriting with your child.  Additionally the children practice writing words and sentences on “double lines”.  With this method the top line is eliminated and the students use the double lines to fit their “short” letters.  As the students become more adept at sizing and forming their letters appropriately, 3 lined paper is then introduced.

Students also spend time using multi sensory materials to reinforce good letter formation such as forming letters with wood pieces, using mini chalkboards for “Wet, Dry, Try” as well as magnet boards for forming and tracing letters.  There is also a “Wet, Dry, Try” app that can be used at home for further reinforcement.  The app “Letter School” also has a Handwriting Without Tears setting to practice forming letters the way they are taught in this program.

If your child is struggling with handwriting, it would be beneficial to familiarize yourself with the HWT program so you can use the language and methodology at home.

You can also visit www.lwtears.com for more information.