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Handwriting Without Tears Letter Order

Victoria wood otr/l.

  • by Victoria Wood OTR/L
  • November 2, 2023

In this blog post, we’re covering Handwriting Without Tears letter order, or the specific order to teach letter formation based on the handwriting curriculum, Handwriting Without Tears (Learning Without Tears). We’ve previously covered the cursive HWT order so this is a nice resource to have on hand.

Have you noticed most teachers teach letters in alphabetical order? The first thing they teach is name writing, then writing the alphabet. This seems like a logical progression, but is not the most effective or efficient method. There are several different handwriting programs out there to address this important skill. Many of them do not teach letters in order.

handwriting without tears alphabet

One program specifically is; Handwriting without Tears (now called Learning without Tears). The Handwriting without Tears letter order is vastly different than writing letters in sequential order.

handwriting without tears letter order

The Handwriting without Tears program is popular among therapists for good reasons:

  • It’s a research-backed curriculum
  • The program is designed to be easy to teach and easy to learn
  • Developmentally appropriate sequence
  • It uses explicit instruction combined with guided practice
  • Promotes handwriting automaticity
  • Multisensory learning to support a variety of learning styles, including kinesthetic learners , visual learners, and auditory learners
  • Uses hands-on tools and activities in handwriting lessons
  • Uses intuitive lesson booklets to promote learning

According to the folks at Learning without Tears, “Pre-K–5 students move through a developmentally appropriate teaching order from capital, to lowercase, and cursive letters. This design helps children master handwriting skills in the easiest, most efficient way. Instead of teaching 52 letter symbols with a mishmash of different sizes, positions, and confusing starting places, we divide and conquer.”

what is handwriting without tears letter order?

If you have used the HWT program, you may have noticed the letters are not in sequential order . In other words, the Handwriting Without Tears program does not teach letter formation in order from A-Z.

This sounds counter intuitive, as students are generally taught letters in order. Child development skills , as found in the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales , demonstrates the visual motor progression of fine motor skills . We cover some of this in our post on drawing milestones .

When developing writing skills, pre-writing lines emerge. This begins when the stages start at scribbling, vertical and horizontal lines, then circular forms. After these are mastered, more difficult designs such as a cross, square, and triangle are developed.

Learners who are still mastering the basics of writing lines, do not have the necessary skills to form more complex designs such as the letter A which relies on diagonal lines, or B which requires semicircles. Students often get stuck at this stage if they are unable to form these letters.

The Handwriting without Tears letter order promotes success, focusing on letters that use the preliminary pre-writing strokes. This is why letters with straight lines are taught first and in a group, known as letter families .

HWT Letter Order Groups

The Handwriting Without Tears letter order progresses like this:

  • L, F, E, H, T, I
  • U, C, O, Q, G, S, J, D, P, B, R
  • K, A, N, M, V, W, X, Y, Z

Handwriting Without Tears Straight Line Letters

The first letters are L, F, E, H, T, I. Notice all of these letters require only vertical and horizontal lines.

This is the first developmental skill mastered. Imagine the success of learning six letters right away, rather than struggling on A and B!

handwriting without tears Circular Letters

The second set of letters are circular: U, C, O, Q, G, S, J, D, P, B, R. The letters within each section progress in level of difficulty from U to R.

Notice that letter B is 16th on the list! This is vastly different than the traditional method of teaching it as letter number two.

While R, is a circular letter, it also contains a diagonal, which segues into the third uppercase letter formation group.

Grab our Letter B Worksheet for sensory motor practice to form the semicircles that make up this circular letter.

We also have a Letter C Worksheet for improving the circular motion of the pencil which carries over to other letters (Also known as magic c and is helpful for forming the lowercase letter counterparts).

Further down the list is letter D, and you can use our Letter D Worksheet to work on the straight line followed by a rotated semicircular motion that then carries over to the remaining letters with the same motor pattern: P, B, and R.

handwriting without tears Diagonal Letters

The third and final set of letters are the diagonals. Copying a triangle is one of the last basic shapes to learn as a developmental progression.

Forming diagonals is tricky. Not only are students crossing midline , they are doing so in a top to bottom fashion.

The letters in this series are: K, A, N, M, V, W, X, Y, Z. A is number 18 on the list. Now you can see why students struggle to learn the very first letters of the alphabet. They are not developmentally ready for this skill at the time we are insisting on teaching it.

Try using our Letter A Worksheet for sensory motor practice to form the diagonals and starting the letter in the middle.

Starting Position for handwriting without tears letters

An additional method HWT uses to group uppercase letters is their starting position. This is not my personal method of teaching, as I prefer the developmental sequence.

When focusing on the starting point for letters, Handwriting Without Tears groups the upper case letters into three catagories, depending on where the pencil starts:

  • Frog Jump Capital Letters – F, E, D, P, B, R, N, M
  • Corner Starting Capital Letters – H, K, L, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
  • Center Starting Capital Letters – C, O, Q, G, S, A, I, T, J

Take a look at the Frog Jump Capitals that start at the left corner (F, E, D, P, B, R, N, M). Notice several of these letters are more complex with diagonal lines. This can be a challenge for some students that struggle with the pre-writing lines, specifically diagonals. Additionally, this grouping of letters includes several different pencil stroke patterns, which can also be a challenge for some students.

Their second grouping is the starting corner capitals (H, K, L, U, V, W, X, Y, Z). This grouping of letters also includes a mix of straight line letters, diagonals, and curves.

Lastly, the center starters (C, O, Q, G, S, A, I, T, J) are addressed. Again, this group of letters includes more curved lines, but again, a mix of straight lines, curved lines, and diagonals. Notice how many of the last letters are commonly used letters. This is another reason why this particular HWT letter order might be a challenge for some.

uppercase or lowercase letter order first?

There has been some discussion on whether it is better to teach upper or lowercase letter formation first. We cover the developmental reasons in our linked blog post.

The research has been inconclusive, as there are benefits to both.

  • While lowercase letters are everywhere, capital letters are the first introduced in toddler books and puzzles.
  • Lowercase letters will be used much more than capital, but uppercase letters are much easier to form due to the simple straight lines.
  • There is no retracing or letters that sit below the line in uppercase letters
  • B/D are not as confusing as lowercase b and d when writing capital letters
  • When reading, many agree that teaching letter sounds is more important than their names, therefore teaching lowercase letter sounds first, may be more beneficial than teaching the letter names
  • Consider the age of your learners – preschooler should write uppercase first, as that is their developmental progression stage. Kindergarten and later students may be able to start in alphabetical order, however for delayed students, this can cause frustration

handwriting without tears lowercase letter order

For the same reason we teach uppercase letters in a progressive order, Handwriting without Tears lowercase letter order is important also. These letters are formed in developmental progression as with the uppercase.

  • Just like their capital letters – c, o, s, v, w, t (just like uppercase only lower cross)
  • Magic C – these high frequency letters (a, g, d) start with a magic “c”. This helps differentiate between b and d. While “q” is a “magic c” letter, it is taught later to avoid confusion with g
  • The rest of the vowels – u, i, e
  • Familiar from capitals – l, k, y, j
  • Diving letters – these letters dive down (p, r, n, m, h, b)
  • Tricky leftovers – f has a tricky start, letter q is taught here to avoid confusion with g, x and z are familiar but infrequently used
  • Once these are learned, I add another group: the drop down letters. These are the most difficult to write correctly as all of the other letters sit on the line. When I am teaching correct letter formation, j, g, p, q, y are stressed as their own group, after the others have been learned

cursive handwriting letter order

As with upper and lowercase letter formation, cursive letters are formed in groups. While HWT has their way of presenting the cursive letters, I prefer (Amazon affiliate link) “ Loops and other Groups “.

This system groups the letters into the way they are formed. There are the clock climbers, kite strings, loop groups, then hills and valleys. Capital letters are taught last, as they are tricky and not used as frequently.

Here is an interesting post from the OT Toolbox about teaching cursive writing .

How to Teach Cursive Writing is another great resource.

resources to support handwriting without tears letter order

  • Learning Without Tears letter strategies uses a multisensory approach to learning letters , which includes creating letters out of clay or wooden blocks, singing songs about letters, to drawing on tiny chalkboards.
  • Cursive writing letter order teaches more specifics about writing in letter groups

Everyone is different, as are their learning styles. Ultimately the goal is success. Whether that means using the Handwriting Without Tears Letter Order, or another teaching method, whatever helps and motivates your student is the correct choice. Nothing we teach is one size fits all. That is what makes our job so exciting and dynamic!

handwriting without tears alphabet

Victoria Wood, OTR/L is a contributor to The OT Toolbox and has been providing Occupational Therapy treatment in pediatrics for more than 25 years. She has practiced in hospital settings (inpatient, outpatient, NICU, PICU), school systems, and outpatient clinics in several states. She has treated hundreds of children with various sensory processing dysfunction in the areas of behavior, gross/fine motor skills, social skills and self-care. Ms. Wood has also been a featured speaker at seminars, webinars, and school staff development training. She is the author of Seeing your Home and Community with Sensory Eyes.

The Letters Fine Motor Kit is a supplement to any handwriting curriculum and uses hands-on, multisensory strategies to support letter formation.

Want printable handwriting and sensory motor activities to target the visual motor skills needed for letter writing? Grab a copy of our Letters! Fine Motor Kit . The printable PDF contains 100 pages of hands-on letter writing practice for multisensory handwriting!

Letters Fine Motor Kit

Inside the Letters Fine Motor Kit , you’ll find:

  • A-Z Multisensory Writing Pages:  Roll a ball of dough letters, ASL sign language letters, gross motor movement, small-scale letter box writing task, finger isolation letter trace, and writing practice area
  • Alphabet Fine Motor Clip Cards – Clip clothespins or paper clips to match letters with various fonts to strengthen the hands and focusing on eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, visual processing skills, and more.
  • Cut and place Fine Motor Mazes – Cut out the letter pieces and trace the maze with a finger to work on eye-hand coordination and finger isolation. Place a small letter on the letter spots to address in-hand manipulation and dexterity skills.
  • A-Z Cotton Swab Cards – Includes upper case and lower case letters. Dot the cards using a cotton swab or laminate the cards and use them over and over again.
  • A-Z Pattern Block Cards – These cards include a section for tracing with a finger tip for separation of the sides of the hand, eye-hand coordination, and finger isolation during letter formation. There is also a space to “finger write” the letter using the fingertip. This multisensory letter formation activity can be a great brain break during handwriting or literacy tasks. Learners can then form the letter using parquetry blocks.
  • Fine Motor Letter Geo-Cards – These geo board cards include A-Z in upper case forms. Users can copy the letter forms in a variety of multi-sensory strategies.
  • A-Z Color and Cut Letter Memory Cards – These upper case and lower case letter cards can be used to color for letter formation. Then use them in fine motor matching tasks or in sensory bins.
  • Color By Size Sheets – Help learners discriminate between tall letters, small letters, and tail letters. This visual perception activity invites learners to color small areas, using hand muscles for strengthening and handwriting endurance.
  • A-Z Building Block Cards – These LEGO block cards invite users to copy the cards to form letters using small building blocks. Users can place the blocks on the cards or copy the letter to address visual shift and visual memory. This activity set comes in upper case and lowercase letter forms.
  • A-Z Play Dough Letter Formation Cards – Print off these cards and laminate them to create play dough mats. Learners can form the letters using the arrows to correctly form letters with play dough while strengthening their hands and visual motor skills. Each card includes a space for practicing the letter formation, using a dry erase marker if the cards are laminated.
  • Graded Lines Box Writing Sheets – Users can trace and form letters in boxes to work on formation of letters, line awareness, starting points, and letter size.
  • Alphabet Roll and Write Sheets – Roll a dice and form the letter associated with the number of dots on the dice. This is a great way to work on letter formation skills using motivation. Which letter will reach the top first? This activity is easily integrated with a rainbow writing task to increase number or repetitions for letter practice.
  • Pencil Control Letter Scan – Use the letter bubble tracks to scan for letters. Users can fill in the letters of the alphabet to work on pencil control skills.
  • Color and Cut Puzzles – Color the pictures to work on hand strength and letter formation skills. Then cut out the puzzles and build visual perceptual skills.

Get your copy of the Letters Fine Motor Kit today!

"Handwriting Without Tears letter order" with letter K on a chalkboard and a small piece of chalk

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Handwriting Without Tears Worksheets 2024

The Handwriting Without Tears program teaches your child the skills he or she needs to be successful with handwriting in school. Handwriting Without Tears is a developmentally based program created by Jan Olsen, an occupational therapist, that aims to improve a child's fine motor skills as well as visual skills through fun and interactive activities. The Center for Independence at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh provides the program. Occupational Therapy professionals will work with the children in this program.

Who should take part in handwriting without tears?

Children aged three to eleven who require assistance with developmentally appropriate handwriting skills.

Our handwriting without tears worksheets pdf assists in all of these areas while also serving as an excellent resource for overall penmanship improvement. We provide tracing handwriting practice sheets in both print and cursive for all 26 letters of the alphabet, as well as themed pages with attractive, colorful designs that encourage children to practice.

Aside from our handwriting without tears worksheets , parents can get their children to jot down the next store list (in cursive!), make a homemade birthday card for a sibling, write a thank you letter to their teacher, or even write a letter to their future self.

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Learning Without Tears Mat Man and The Great Alphabet Parade - Handwriting Without Tears, Alphabet - for School or Home Use

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About this item

  • This fun-filled read-aloud book is a starting point for the letter learning journey. The delightful alphabet parade helps children conceptualize the alphabet as a collection of letters that represent sounds and make words.
  • -You can use the cover and the word list on the inside front cover to help explain the order of the alphabet
  • Celebrate the joy of learning the alphabet and unlock access to words in this vibrant read-aloud book for teachers
  • This book launches learning in both foundational and language skills as it provides a good intro to the Student Letter Books

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For children to be successful readers, writers, and ultimately, communicators, they need a strong foundation.

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Learning Without Tears

In 1977, Jan Olsen set out on a mission to make handwriting easier to learn for her son John. Responding to John’s tears over handwriting in first grade, Jan used her occupational therapy training & background to develop strategies to facilitate his handwriting skills. John’s teacher noticed his progress & asked Jan to help other students in the class. Her ideas became the basis for the first therapist’s guide, Handwriting Without Tears.

MISSION & CORE VALUES

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Manufacturer ‎Learning Without Tears
Brand ‎Handwriting Without Tears
Item Weight ‎9.6 ounces
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Date First Available July 7, 2022

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Coordinates with the A-Z for Mat Man and Me Individual Reader Set! By using the same exemplar words for both the Student Letter Books and the read-aloud books, children will begin to associate sounds letters, while they build oral language and word knowledge. -The exemplar words from each letter book are integrated throughout the parade, offering a glimpse of the other stories.

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Homeschooling 4 Him

Handwriting Without Tears Practice Sheets (Free PDF for Homeschool)

My family loves using the Handwriting Without Tears program in our homeschool. But, we have found that we need more practice than the books provide. I started writing out additional words for my son to practice on handwriting paper, but I was constantly wishing for something better. So, here are some free Handwriting Without Tears practice sheets in PDF format that you can download to use in your homeschool- and tips for how to use them!

Handwriting without tears practice sheets free pdf for homeschool

I only recommend products that I use and that we love. This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission for purchases made through those links.

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Why Practicing Handwriting is Important

Handwriting is a crucial skill for all students to learn. However, practicing handwriting has gone out of favor in education recently. Here are some reasons why it is important for your child to learn to write with good handwriting, even in a tech-focused world.

Handwriting Practice Helps Kids Communicate

The reality is that no matter how much technology our world has, it is still helpful to be able to communicate in writing from time to time. Children need to know how to be able to write themselves a note. A handwritten thank-you note is still a great follow-up to a job interview, or a present from a relative.

By practicing handwriting with copywork , children are exposed to great works of literature. This can help to improve writing skills as well, as kids copy the style of famous authors.

Good Handwriting is Helpful for Spelling and Reading

Kids who can read what they have written will have an easier time knowing if they spelled the words correctly. This means that handwriting practice, when done correctly, can also help reinforce spelling for kids.

In addition, when children are using correct spelling they will begin to see connections between the letters that they are writing and the sounds that those letters make within the word. This can help with reading skills as well.

Practicing Handwriting Helps with Learning in Other Subjects

Research shows that having good handwriting is helpful for learning in almost every other subject area. Kids who can write quickly and easily will have a much easier time taking notes on what they are learning or completing written assignments.

Good handwriting can even be helpful in a subject like math that doesn’t use words. Kids who can write numbers neatly and organize them in rows and columns will have a much easier time completing complicated math problems.

Lack of Handwriting Skill can be Frustrating

One of the biggest reasons to use handwriting practice sheets in your homeschool is that struggles with handwriting are often contagious, leading to frustration in other subjects and with school in general.

Kids who struggle with handwriting often get frustrated when they know the answers but can’t communicate what they know through their writing. This can lead to resistance from kids and homeschool burnout for families.

Kids who struggle with handwriting will also have a hard time working independently in any subject area. They may need an adult to sit with them and write down the answers to questions they can solve on their own.

At What Age Should a Child Use Handwriting Practice Sheets?

Handwriting is an important skill for students, even at a young age, so it is ok for kids to begin practicing when they are young.

Most kids should be able to hold a pencil with the correct pencil grip sometime between age 4 and 6. This means that it is especially important for younger kids to develop their fine motor muscles with activities like playdough, cutting and gluing, stringing beads, or playing with blocks. This will help them develop the muscles necessary to hold a pencil correctly.

Fun and age-appropriate practice sheets will help kids develop handwriting skills that will help them in learning other subjects, too. No matter what age your child is, it is important to make handwriting practice fun and attainable for your child’s age and maturity level.

Handwriting without tears practice sheets free pdf for homeschool

Which Handwriting Skills Should My Child Practice?

Good handwriting is made up of several components. Kids should work through each of these components in order as they are learning handwriting.

1. Pencil Grip

The foundation of good handwriting is the correct pencil grip . By age 6, kids should be holding their pencil with a tripod, or three finger, pencil grasp. If your child is not using the correct pencil grip, this is the first thing to correct when practicing handwriting.

2. Letter Formation

It is critical that children learn to form their letters correctly. This means that they are writing with the correct strokes, in the right direction, and in the right order.

Many handwriting practice sheets will include arrows, numbers, or other hints to help kids remember how to form the letters. However, it is important to watch your child forming their letters and make sure that they are following the correct letter formation.

3. Writing Legibly: Pencil Control

Once kids learn how to form their letters, the next step is to give them a lot of practice. This will help them learn to control their pencil and make their letters consistent.

This step takes time and practice to develop. Extra handwriting practice sheets can help to reinforce what students are learning in their handwriting curriculum.

4. Letter Sizing

It is important that children pay attention to where their letters fall on the lines. Are the tall letters touching, but not crossing, the top line? Are the tails of the letters hanging down below the bottom line?

The Handwriting Without Tears program is unique in that is only uses 2 lines, instead of the usual 3. This can make it easier for kids who struggle with the number of lines on traditional handwriting paper. However, students who are used to using Handwriting Without Tears paper should use handwriting practice sheets that have 2-line paper as well.

handwriting without tears alphabet

You can learn more about the Handwriting Without Tears program in my Handwriting Without Tears Preschool Curriculum Review .

5. Letter Spacing

Another important consideration for writing legibly is the spacing between letters and words. Kids need practice to learn how to space the letters in a word close together, but not touching.

Children also need to learn how to leave space between words. This is usually not intuitive for kids when they first learn to write. It can help to teach them to put a finger on their paper where they need to leave a space. This can help them judge how much space to leave between words.

6. Efficiency

Over time, as children continue to practice handwriting, they will learn to write more quickly and easily. This efficiency will help them be able to use their handwriting skills when learning a variety of different subjects.

If you are struggling to teach any of these skills in your homeschool, check out my post on how to improve handwriting for children for more advice and tips.

Handwriting without tears practice sheets free pdf for homeschool

What to Look for in Handwriting Practice Sheets

Choosing the right handwriting practice sheets is important to make handwriting practice helpful and fun. Here are some things to look for when choosing handwriting practice sheets for your child.

Capital or Lowercase, Printing or Cursive?

First, it is important to look for printables that focus on the kind of letters your child is learning. Most kids learn to print capital letters first, then lowercase letters, and finally to write in cursive. Kids usually spend a year or two working on each of these skills before moving on to the next one.

Make sure the handwriting practice sheets that you choose focus on the kinds of letters, and even the specific letters that your child is learning.

What Kind of Lines?

Handwriting practice sheets should include guide lines so children know where to put their letters. Traditional handwriting programs usually use a 3-line system to show where the top, middle, and bottom of each letter should be.

The Handwriting Without Tears program uses a 2-line system that eliminates the top line to make it easier for kids to see where letters should go.

Your handwriting practice sheets should use the same kind of lines that your child is used to seeing in their handwriting curriculum. Consistency will help kids practice without getting confused or frustrated.

Reinforcement for Forming Letters Correctly

It is important that when kids are practicing handwriting, they are forming their letters correctly each time they write them. Practice is only helpful if kids are practicing correctly.

The common saying is that “practice makes perfect,” but a better saying is that “perfect practice makes progress.” Practicing forming letters incorrectly won’t help your child. In fact, it will cement bad habits and make it harder for your child to learn to write correctly.

Look for handwriting practice sheets that reinforce how to form new letters with arrows, numbers, or other helpful hints.

It is also important to make sure that handwriting practice is fun for your child. Kids will be more likely to want to practice if they enjoy doing so. Look for themed practice sheets or worksheets with fun facts to copy. This will help kids enjoy their handwriting practice more.

Handwriting without tears practice sheets free pdf for homeschool

How to Use Handwriting Practice Sheets

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your PDF Handwriting Practice Sheets!

Use a Laminator

The best way to get the most out of your printables is to laminate the pages. Pages that are laminated will hold up better to repeated use by multiple kids. In addition, your child can write on laminated pages with a dry erase marker.

If you don’t have one yet, a single sheet laminator is a fantastic investment for your homeschool. You will save the money that you spend on a laminator many times over as it will allow you to re-use consumable resources!

If you don’t want to invest in a laminator, you can also slip individual practice sheets into a plastic page protector sleeve to get the same result.

Focus on Quality over Quantity

When kids are using handwriting practice sheets, it is important to focus on quality over quantity. Make sure that your child is doing only as much handwriting as they can do carefully and well. If that’s only one page, or even part of a page, it is better to practice less with correct letter formation.

Sometimes, when kids have too much to do, they get overwhelmed and just try to “get it done” rather than doing their best work. Avoid this by asking your child to do less.

Free PDF Download: Handwriting Without Tears Practice Sheets for Your Homeschool!

This bug-themed multi-level handwriting practice sheet pack includes both 3-line and 2-line Handwriting Without Tears style practice pages for both capital and lowercase letters. Enjoy handwriting practice with your kids this spring with this fun resource!

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Handwriting Without Tears – Handmade Alphabet Letter Pieces

This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy for details.

When my son was in preschool he had an 18 month fine motor skills delay, which means writing letters, or even the ability to draw a straight line was pretty non-existent for him by preschool! He spent a lot of time with an occupation therapist and used the  Handwriting Without Tears curriculum

handwriting without tears alphabet

Being the mom of two EXTREMELY rambunctious boys I was VERY very impressed with the HWT method! If you have kids or boys anything like my own, handwriting is certainly not on their top priority list! But Handwriting Without Tears makes it fun!

In fact after chatting with you guys on Facebook I know many of you have used it as well and gave me some fantastic ideas on how to make my own pieces of the curriculum without purchasing everything at full price. (thanks!!!)

This is a VERY good curriculum for kids with fine motor delay, and kids (especially boys!) who do not like to practice handwriting because it is boring or simply just too hard for them to bother trying. Although we have quite a few free printables that you can use too! ( Numbers 1-50 Worksheets ,  Alphabet Letters Mini Book , and  even more here !)

Basic Handwriting Without Tears Method:

The basic idea is that  all 26 letters of the alphabet are made by using a combination of just 4 shapes . Once you learn these 4 shapes you can write any letter of the alphabet!

Those 4 shapes are:

Large Curves

Small curves, large sticks, small sticks.

Simple right? They sell a wooden letters kit which have all of these pieces in it for about $30 but I wanted to make it cheaper. (Since posting this article Learning Resources has also come out with a similar  plastic set of letters for around $30 here .)

So I turned to you guys on Facebook to help me out – and I got some great ideas!! I checked out Michaels and the Dollar Tree, but ultimately ended up buying an Elmer’s foam board at Walmart. It cost $2.97 and came in a variety of colors.

The small sticks picture wouldn’t load right but it looks exactly like the large sticks, just half the size. I was able to find a template for the large curves (which is why the look nice) but not for the small curves (so they’re a bit odd and crooked!). However when we go to therapy next week I am going to trace the small curves on a piece of paper for a template and re-do them!

So ALL of the letters can be made by using these four shapes. There is much more to the curriculum than just these four shapes though. Letters are grouped together to be taught a certain way but for sake of time and cost we are starting with this.

So we started with the letter “P”. We used one large stick and one small curve as you see below.

*NOTE*- many children are taught to make a P with a circle and a stick – this does NOT teach them that way.

Drawing a circle for many children, and especially children with a fine motor delay is extremely difficult. Teaching them to simply learn to draw a curve makes the writing much more legible and less frustrating.

To make the letter “R” you just take the same shapes as your “P” but add a small stick at the bottom!

OR instead of the short stick you can add another small curve to make the letter “B”. Notice again that they are not made with circles but with two small curves.

Get the idea? Pretty simple when you look at it this way isn’t it? Below you can see a lowercase “a” – with a curve instead of a circle.

And of course, the letter “D”.

I had never thought of learning letters and handwriting this way but it makes complete sense! Handwriting with Tears also sells  practice workbooks  for different age groups as well as teacher guides throughout the elementary grades. They also sell a menagerie of  tools and kits  that you can use which are very very nice to have but not a necessity. You can easily replicate a similar thing at home.

 In my son’s OT he also uses a small chalkboard to practice writing these letters in this fashion, and then will take a small corner piece of a sponge and trace back over those letters to erase them which increases work on his fine motor skill. Lastly they also sell a special  two lined paper  that correlates with this curriculum as well.

If your kids went through the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum I’d love to hear how they did! If you haven’t heard of this way before but thought it was pretty simple and awesome like I did let me know! Below are some more FREE resources that I have created to help with fine motor skills practice!

Fine Motor Skills Activities & Resources:

Share with your friends!

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Love this idea! When I went through a handwriting selection committee, we decided on Itchy Alphabet instead of Handwriting Without Tears. I taught third grade then and now, but in between I taught K-2 basic skills. I really see how HWT is friendlier for the younger kids, especially those with sensorimotor issues!

Miss B, Busy Bee

Thanks for the idea, I have the HWT book and was going to start my 1st grader with it. This will be a fun craft activity for him to do with me (I think we will use cardstock and clear contact paper though.. I'm seeing the contact paper as a bonus so we can actually write the letter once it is built.

I stumbled across your blog while researching Handwriting without tears. I think I am also going to make my own shapes. Just curious did you ever find a template for the small curve? Also did you make your own supplies for any of the other supplemental tools and kits? Thanks for your help.

No I didn’t – my son was in OT at the time so we didn’t use the entire curriculum – only parts of it. I decided to just freehand the small curve for our purposes and it worked out great!

I did find the template for all the shapes. Its on page 86 of this sample lesson: http://www.hwtears.com/files/Wood%20Pieces%20Set%20for%20Capital%20Letters(1) .pdf

you can also use foam sheets to make wood pieces also.

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  • Handwriting Without Tears

Handwriting Without Tears (HWT)  teaches handwriting for children in kindergarten through fourth grade. Some distinctives of this program are:

  • uppercase letters are taught before lowercase
  • groups of letters that have similar strokes or the same starting points are taught together
  • letters are not slanted for either printing or cursive
  • multi-sensory learning methods are used for instruction

HWT’s style is simpler than traditional cursive, but it differs from most of the other “simplified cursive” forms in that there is no slant and some of the letters such as “e”, “f”, and “k” change form from printing to cursive. This style of handwriting might be more successful with left-handed writers than others.

I mentioned multi-sensory learning methods in the list of distinctive features. Kindergartners can use the 4” x 6” slate chalkboard to write individual letters. They might also use the 10” x 17” blackboard with double lines as they learn to write words. Auditory learners can listen to the Rock, Rap, Tap & Learn CD.

There are a teacher's guide and student workbook for each level.

Letters and Numbers for Me teaches kindergartners both capital and lowercase letters and numbers. It also covers beginning handwriting instruction in such skills as paper placement. My Printing Book for first grade introduces the correct use of either lowercase or uppercase letters in sentences along with punctuation as students continue to practice letter and word formation.

Up through first grade, students learn to print on double-line pages. This approach differs from the traditional triple-line format normally used. It eliminates the top line but leaves more space between lines. Children then focus more on formation within the double lines with extensions going above and below. In second grade, students begin to write on single lines.

The second grade book, Printing Power , reviews basic formation of letters and continues with word and sentence writing. Second graders ready to transition to cursive might use the Printing Power Plus set which includes both Printing Power and Kick Start Cursive , a small book that introduces some cursive forms.

Cursive Handwriting , the third grade workbook, teaches cursive writing. Like Printing Power Plus , it begins with the letters requiring the simplest joins to make the transition easy. Cursive Success provides fourth graders plenty of practice to develop fluency in cursive.

All of the student workbooks for kindergarten through fourth grade are also available in Spanish and French.

HWT offers a number of other items as supplements or resources for older students. Can-Do Print and Can-Do Cursive are books that might be used by students fifth grade or above who still need additional work in either area. There are no teacher's guides for either of these books. Students originally taught another handwriting system but who need remediation might need to start in one of the lower level books.

Additional items you might want are wall cards, desk strips, HWT double line paper (in wide, regular, and narrow line widths), and "Big Sheet Draw and Write Paper" (large 11” x 17” pages with lines on the bottom half). Parents of struggling printers might find the packet of "Gray Block Paper" useful. The packet includes 26 pages each of four different styles of blocks that help children form letters and numbers correctly.

Lessons are designed to be presented by the parent or teacher although most work can be done independently once children have learned the basic forms.

HWT is a great choice for homeschoolers since the instruction is very child-friendly. There’s a reasonable amount of practice, but not so much that children feel overwhelmed. Also, the cost of the books is very low. The other items provide more multi-sensory learning but are not essential for every child.

HWT includes some broader language arts skills within its handwriting lessons, but other language arts coverage is very limited in scope. However, they have also introduced an additional resource for kindergarten called Sentence School , which is to be used alongside HWT . Sentence School is a 248-page, spiral-bound teacher's guide that comes with a set of 215 laminated word cards. It teaches spelling, grammar, composition, vocabulary, and reading comprehension (at levels appropriate for kindergartners) through brief, multi-sensory lessons.

Pricing Information

When comparison prices appear, please keep in mind that they are subject to change. Click on links where available to verify price accuracy.

Letters and Numbers for Me

  • $13.86 at Amazon.com
  • $9.80 Used at Amazon.com Marketplace

Printing Power

  • $17.49 at Amazon.com
  • $3.80 Used at Amazon.com Marketplace

Handwriting Without Tears 1st Grade Printing Teacher's Guide

  • $6.30 at Amazon.com
  • $2.79 Used at Amazon.com Marketplace

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Handwriting Without Tears Style Alphabet Printing Practice

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Handwriting Without Tears Learn to Print Lowercase Letters - With an OT

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Write with an ot: words handwriting club for young learners, 1-on-1 print and cursive handwriting tutoring and private lessons, handwriting helpers: learning to form letters correctly.

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1-on-1 print or cursive handwriting tutoring lessons (3-8), 1-on-1 print or cursive handwriting tutoring lessons (ages 9-18), 1-on-1 learn to write letters a to z.

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Handwriting Without Tears: Print Alphabet Desk Strips

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Handwriting Without Tears Free Printable

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Handwriting Without Tears Worksheets Free Printable Free Printable

Handwriting Without Tears Worksheets Free Printable Free Printable

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Handwriting Without TEARS Practice Book

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Your child is ready to improve handwriting skills! Get a free handwriting pack to help them progress to the next level. These downloadable Next Steps Packs for Pre-K–2 are loaded with fun activities proven to engage students. You'll get letter formation charts, printing practice materials, as well as cursive materials. Grab one for each grade!

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List of ebooks and manuels about

Tears.pdf

Print lowercase formation chart.pdf - Reprinted with permission of ®www.hwtears.com © 2008 © 2008 Jan Z. Olsen Tears® My Printing ...

44522-sample.pdf - Our HWT 1-A titles feature a traditional style manuscript font, ... provided as ... from the child’s ...

| A Complete.pdf

Print capital formation chart.pdf - ® Pre-K Teacher’s Guide 134 © 2008 Jan Z. Olsen A B C D E F G H i J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.hw Big line

44665-sample.pdf - Our HWT 1-A titles features a wide manuscript font with two-line spacing ... keeping with ... Child's Garden of ...

Tears.pdf

Print capital formation chart.pdf - ® Pre-K Teacher’s Guide 134 © 2008 Jan Z. Olsen A B C D E F G H i J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.hwtears.com Big line

July_2012.pdf - ... program or the ... a child's has progressed through the years. You can access the free font at ...

Hwt_alphabet.pdf - Tears® Cursive Alphabet ...

Efa632_9ae9117b0220e3636fb46a8a7a92b32a.docx?dn=kindergarten+korner+10-24.docx - o How the Birds Got Their Colors. o I Went Walking. ... We will continue in our workbooks and activities that go along with our tears.

.pdf

Matmanbooks.pdf - Sample from MAT MAN ON THE GO • Tears® • www.hwtears.com In the mountains, Soaring across the light blue sky, he watches birds

Tears.pdf

Bb.pdf - Tears® Blackboard with Double Lines Activities In addition to doing the Wet-Dry-Try activity with a single lower case letter, you can help

A Complete Handwriting.pdf

K_hl_numbers practice.pdf - Home Links may only be distributed to students for whom an individual 2013 Letters and Numbers for Me has been purchased. Referenced on page 170 of

Daneneparksfavoriteotappshandout01-22-13.pdf - Can choose font ( Tears) ... • Not using a stylus allows the child to practice letter formation worrying ... practicing on ...

Tears.pdf

Hwt curriculum flyer kindergarten.pdf - Kindergarten Tears® | 8001 MacArthur Blvd. | Cabin John, MD 20818 | 301.263.2700 | www.hwtears.com Helpful Online Resources

Crossing_midline.pdf - Teaching to your Child ... Use Comic Sans font for the correct “a” formation. ... Tears, ...

printables - Design Your .pdf

Years2-3-dotted-lined-printable.pdf - Title: Microsoft Word - Dotted Lined printables.doc Author: Marianne Vanderkolk Created Date: 11/7/2008 6:36:17 PM

| A Complete.pdf

Hwt curriculum flyer grade 4.pdf - that tie cursive practice to other language arts lessons. ... • Student self-check for letters, words, and sentences • Left-hand friendly design

Handwriting without tears.pdf - Dear Parents, We are excited about the Kindergarten program we are using this school year. Tears® (HWT) is a simple, developmentally ...

Curriculum2009-2010.pdf - 2009 - 2010 BSBA Curriculum K: Bible: ACSI Handwriting: Language Arts: Harcourt Math: ABEKA Science:.

Tears.pdf

Hwt curriculum flyer grade 3.pdf - cursive practice to other language arts lessons. ... • Student self-checks for letters, words, and sentences • Child-friendly consistent language

printables - Design Your .pdf

Preschool-dotted-line-printable.pdf - Title: Microsoft Word - Dotted Lined printables.doc Author: Marianne Vanderkolk Created Date: 11/7/2008 6:34:26 PM

Download our used handwriting without tears homeschool eBooks for free and learn more about used handwriting without tears homeschool . These books contain exercises and tutorials to improve your practical skills, at all levels!

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Handwriting Without Tears Worksheets Pdf Free

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Handwriting Without Tears Worksheets Free Printable | Free Printable

Handwriting Without Tears Worksheets Free Printable | Free Printable

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16 Best Images of Handwriting Without Tears Cursive Worksheets

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Cursive Alphabet Handwriting Without Tears – Download Printable Cursive

Handwriting Without Tears - The Little Years School, Inc.

Handwriting Without Tears - The Little Years School, Inc.

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IMAGES

  1. Handwriting Without Tears Practice Sheets

    handwriting without tears alphabet

  2. Handwriting Without Tears Printables

    handwriting without tears alphabet

  3. Alphabet Wall Cards Handwriting Without Tears Style Font

    handwriting without tears alphabet

  4. Handwriting Without Tears Cursive Alphabet Desk Strips, 4 Strips per Sheet

    handwriting without tears alphabet

  5. Handwriting Without Tears Letter Formation A-Z Printable

    handwriting without tears alphabet

  6. Handwriting Without Tears Lowercase Letters

    handwriting without tears alphabet

VIDEO

  1. Handwriting Without Tears Stamp N See Capital Letter Q

  2. Handwriting Without Tears Print Letter D Page 17

  3. Handwriting without tears Letter S

  4. Handwriting Without Tears Stamp N See Capital Letter Y

  5. Learn to write Lower Case a

  6. Capital Letter I for LEFT Hand Handwriting Without Tears Lines and Curves

COMMENTS

  1. Handwriting Without Tears®

    Handwriting Without Tears is a proven program for teaching handwriting to children. Developed by OTs, it uses multisensory techniques to make writing fun.

  2. Handwriting Without Tears Letter Order

    In this blog post, we're covering Handwriting Without Tears letter order, or the specific order to teach letter formation based on the handwriting curriculum, Handwriting Without Tears (Learning Without Tears). We've previously covered the cursive HWT order so this is a nice resource to have on hand.

  3. Teaching & Learning the Alphabet for Kids

    The Handwriting Without Tears developmental teaching order helps children master handwriting skills in the easiest, most efficient way. Instead of teaching 52 letter symbols with a mishmash of different sizes, positions, and confusing starting places, we divide and conquer.

  4. Letter & Number Formation Charts

    Letter and Number Formation Charts. These pages were created to support in-class and at-home handwriting practice. Included are child-friendly formation charts for practicing capital letters, lowercase letters, and numbers — so you'll know the language and stroke sequence to use. Help your students build a strong foundation or get ...

  5. Free Printable Handwriting Without Tears Worksheets PDF

    Our handwriting without tears worksheets pdf assists in all of these areas while also serving as an excellent resource for overall penmanship improvement. We provide tracing handwriting practice sheets in both print and cursive for all 26 letters of the alphabet, as well as themed pages with attractive, colorful designs that encourage children ...

  6. Amazon.com: Handwriting Without Tears Letters

    Find various products related to handwriting without tears letters, such as workbooks, wall cards, magnets, and pencils. Compare prices, ratings, and delivery options for different items and sellers.

  7. PDF Handwriting Without Tears Alphabet Chart (book)

    Handwriting Without Tears Alphabet Chart (book) Barbara Getty,Inga Dubay Forest School Adventure Dan Westall,Naomi Walmsley,2018-05-07 Young children will be immersed in imaginative, messy play and crafts, while older ones can work on more complex activities like stone tool making and sourcing water.

  8. Learning Without Tears Mat Man and The Great Alphabet Parade

    Buy Learning Without Tears Mat Man and The Great Alphabet Parade - Handwriting Without Tears, Alphabet - for School or Home Use: Toys & Games - Amazon.com FREE DELIVERY possible on eligible purchases

  9. Handwriting Without Tears Practice Sheets (Free PDF for Homeschool)

    The Handwriting Without Tears program is unique in that is only uses 2 lines, instead of the usual 3. This can make it easier for kids who struggle with the number of lines on traditional handwriting paper. However, students who are used to using Handwriting Without Tears paper should use handwriting practice sheets that have 2-line paper as ...

  10. Handwriting Without Tears

    Basic Handwriting Without Tears Method: The basic idea is that all 26 letters of the alphabet are made by using a combination of just 4 shapes. Once you learn these 4 shapes you can write any letter of the alphabet! Those 4 shapes are: Large Curves.

  11. Alphabet Desk Strips: Handwriting-Without-Tears Formation Style

    Description. Alphabet desk strips are used to promote phonics development, letter identification, and proper letter formation. Single stoke formations are modeled using these vertical manuscript letters. They are ideal for learning to print as letters start on easy to identify lines rather than in space. "Go dots" and arrows are provided so ...

  12. Handwriting Without Tears

    Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) teaches handwriting for children in kindergarten through fourth grade. Some distinctives of this program are: uppercase letters are taught before lowercase. groups of letters that have similar strokes or the same starting points are taught together. letters are not slanted for either printing or cursive.

  13. Handwriting Without Tears Style Alphabet Printing Practice

    Uppercase and lowercase alphabet printing practice! *Quick pre assessment *Quick post assessment *Easy center idea If you like this free product see the entire handwriting practice book in my store! Handwriting Without Tears Style Printing Practice...

  14. Handwriting Without Tears Learn to Print Lowercase Letters

    In this 1:1 tutoring class we will work on phonics skills for reading or we can use Handwriting Without Tears curriculum to learn to write the letters of the alphabet beginning with capital letters before moving onto lowercase letters.

  15. Handwriting Without Tears 2025

    Handwriting Without Tears 2025 embraces the science of reading and of handwriting with a dynamic offering that is intuitive and customizable to student and classroom needs. Our print and digital solution saves you time and cost in producing better student outcomes and success in school.

  16. Handwriting Without Tears: Print Alphabet Desk Strips

    A sheet of four 10.5 x 2" adhesive strips. Stick strips to desk to give students visual clues for print letter formation.

  17. Handwriting Without Tears Alphabet Chart

    Handwriting Without Tears Alphabet Chart 3 3 Writing Numbers and Number Words 1-10 Learn and practice writing numbers and words 1-10 Part 7: Writing simple sentences Connecting words to form an entire sentence. Kids can use a pencil, light color marker or highlighter to trace

  18. Handwriting Without Tears Free Printable

    Handwriting Without Tears Printable Printable Blank World Sun, 27 dec 2015 22:04:26 +0800 company : Double line spacing (handwriting without tears style) with alphabet guide at top. Web our handwriting without tears worksheets pdf assists in all of these areas while also.

  19. [PDF] Handwriting Without TEARS Practice Book

    Description Download Handwriting Without TEARS Practice Book Free in pdf format.

  20. Starter Pack Downloads

    Access our Starter Pack Downloads for a wealth of classroom resources. Elevate your teaching with engaging materials for a dynamic learning environment.

  21. Used handwriting without tears homeschool

    Used handwriting without tears homeschool. List of ebooks and manuels about Used handwriting without tears homeschool

  22. Handwriting Without Tears: search on Z-Library

    Handwriting Without Tears: search on Z-Library | Download books for free. Find books

  23. Handwriting Without Tears Worksheets Pdf Free

    Cursive alphabet handwriting without tears - download printable cursive Handwriting without tears worksheets free printable Sight word words sentences frequency sentence handwriting tears phonics passages myteachingstation starfall learningthealphabet spelling teacher.