Monday, June 20, 2011

Handwriting Without Tears

"Where do we start our letters?  At the TOP!"  If you've ever found yourself humming this song throughout the day, then you know about the Handwriting Without Tears program!  I was first introduced to the Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) program about 13 years ago and have used it with lots and lots of kids over the years.  It was started by Jan Olsen, an occupational therapist who just happened to be a MOM trying to help her own 1st grade son.  When her son's teacher told her that he was struggling with handwriting, Jan used some of what she had learned about child development to try to help her son improve his skills.  As his skills steadily improved, his teacher of course said "Well, I've got 3 other kids who could use some help too...." so Jan volunteered in the class to help them as well.  It wasn't long before neighbors started to inquire and soon Jan found herself being the local handwriting tutor.  She took a leap of faith and printed up some workbooks and then joked that the books would make some great decor in her living room when nobody buys them.  Much to her surprise, she sold ALL of the books and then some.  The HWT program has expanded greatly over the years and now is designed for early childhood up to 5th grade.  The books are not labeled by grade level but rather by developmental level so you choose the printing or cursive program that matches the child's developmental needs. 
Check out the website at !  There is a wealth of information on the site and I'll likely be sharing lots of ideas I've learned from this program on my blog, so keep checking back!

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