Handwriting Without Tears

Handwriting Without Tears is a program that many OTs and teachers use. According to the program's website:

"The goal of Handwriting Without Tears® is to make legible and fluent handwriting an easy and automatic skill for all students. The unique and compelling curriculum design and teaching strategies facilitate this goal.

The curriculum uses multi-sensory techniques and consistent habits for letter formation to teach handwriting to all students—Pre-K through Cursive. In addition, HWT provides parents and teachers the instructional techniques and activities to help improve a child's self-confidence, pencil grip, body awareness, posture and so much more!

Handwriting Without Tears® uses fun, entertaining and educationally sound principles in its instructional methods. The lessons are well thought out and need minimal preparation time to be used. The curriculum has been successfully taught to millions of teachers, therapists and parents across the country. The end result is truly "Handwriting Without Tears" for the students, the parents the teachers and the administrators!

Handwriting Without Tears® costs about ½ the large publishers' programs. But schools and parents tell us that the real savings come from the success of the program. The curriculum is so effective that they do not have to spend time or money on evaluations, special education, and/or other extra resources. The best costs less." (http://www.hwtears.com)

Check it out....

Prewriting Practice

Prior to learning to write, a child must initiate the following strokes. These strokes are developmental and all are incorporated into letters. If your child cannot copy or independently draw these prewriting strokes, they may not be ready for writing letters. Prewriting strokes typically come before actual letter writing.

Imitate: looks at you do it and then tries it out
Copy: looks at written representation and draws shape
Independent: when asked "draw circle" can draw a circle without any cues

12 months Marks with pencil
18 months Scribbles spontaneously
24 months Imitates vertical line, horizontal line and circular stroke (not actual circle)
3 years Copies circle, imitates cross
4 years Copies cross, draws person with 2 body parts
4.5 Copies square, copy simple word
5 years Copies triangle, draws simple house, draws recognizable person with 6-7 parts
Copies first name
5.5 years Prints first name
6 years Prints frist and last name


To create worksheets for your students or children, try out this software.
I am not affiliated with this company, I just like this program....


Handwriting Styles

In different schools, different types of handwriting techniques are used. The technique taught to your child may not be the one that you learned!

Palmer Handwriting
There's a good chance that your grandparents learned to write using "the Palmer method." It was popularized by Austin Palmer in the early 1900s, and almost every handwriting program in existence today is a direct descendent of this style - either as an enhancement of the method, or as a reaction against it.

Zaner Bloser© Handwriting

The number one selling handwriting program in America. Based on the Palmer method with numerous improvements and enhancements. Zaner Bloser currently offers both their old style (traditional) alphabet, and a new, more contemporary version (simplified). More information on Zaner Bloser handwriting can be found at: http://www.zaner-bloser.com/

A Reason For® Handwriting
Using an alphabet very similar to Zaner Bloser's "simplified" style, this curriculum is based on content taken from Scripture verses. It also includes a strong outreach component, giving children a practical "reason" for using their very best handwriting. An informative, well-designed website with downloadable curriculum samples can be found at: http://www.areasonfor.com/

McDougal, Littell© Handwriting
Similar to Zaner Bloser with minor variations in style and teaching methodology.McDougal, Littell's website address is: http://www.mcdougallittell.com/
Harcourt Brace® HandwritingSimilar to Zaner Bloser with minor variations in style and teaching methodology. More information on Harcourt Brace handwriting can be found at: http://www.harcourtschool.com/

D'Nealian Handwriting

Developed in the 1960s by Don Neal Thurber (Don Neal = D'Nealian) in an effort to ease the transition from manuscript to cursive. It features a unique manuscript alphabet that reflects the cursive forms of each letter. More information on D'Nealian handwriting can be found at: http://www.scottforesman.com

Getty-Dubay Handwriting

A relative newcomer to italicized handwriting programs. Developed by Barbara Getty and Inga Dubay at Portland State University. While D'Nealian tends to make manuscript letters reflect cursive letters, Getty-Dubay tends to make the cursive alphabet reflect manuscript formation. Some reviewers have referred to Getty-Dubay as "calligraphy style" handwriting. More information on Getty-Dubay handwriting can be found at:

The following information was obtained from zanerbloser.com. :)


This is the first post on this blog designed to provide simple and easy solutions for improved handwriting.