“My Printing Book”
Handwriting Without Tears is a handwriting program created by an occupational therapist. It is a 30 year program with proven success for thousands of students.
We started using HWT right from the beginning of when we started homeschooling. It has proven to be an excellent program in our home. The beauty of the curriculum is how simple it is for the child to learn! We started using the program at the 1st grade level. My daughter is a lefty and I knew I wanted a handwriting program that would help her to write beautifully.
Their unique writing paper is unlike any other handwriting program. The writing paper does not have the typical three lines with the middle line being a dotted line. HWT believes typical handwriting paper causes line confusion for many students. HWT created writing paper with only 2 lines. The bottom line keeps the child’s writing straight. The second line called the mid-line controls the size of the letters. HWT believes by having only 2 lines will cause less confusion for the child. HWT offers different levels of the paper. There is the wide double line, regular double line, and narrow double line. HWT also offer writing notebooks and journals. I love the notebooks. We use them for science, history, art, and more.
About the program: There are seven levels available starting in the pre-k level up to 5th grade. We did not use the pre-k level or the kindergarten levels since we were not homeschooling yet. The pre-k and kindergarten levels are a hands-on approach with various materials. I will tell you about the levels starting in 1st grade and up. Their products are not labeled by grade but HWT does recommend certain levels for each grade. As the parent you can decide when your child is ready for each level. That’s the beauty of homeschooling!
“My Printing Book” is recommended for 1st grade. In this book the student will be introduced to printing lowercase letters and reviewing capitals. The hands-on material is also suggested for this grade. There is the 4″x6″ slate chalkboard used to practice making letters. We did not use the slate chalkboards but I do think it is a wonderful way to reinforce your child’s handwriting skills.
“Cursive Writing” is recommended for 3rd grade. It is the first book that teaches cursive. At this level the student can continue to use the manipulatives to help practice his new cursive skills.
“Cursive Success” is recommended for 4th grade. The child continues his mastery of his cursive skills.
“Can-do-Cursive” is recommended for 5th grade. This is perfect for the child who needs another year to master their cursive writing skills.
What is a typical lesson like? It is a simple program to implement. My children do 1-2 pages for each lesson. Each new skill is clearly taught in the child’s book. HWT uses simple explanations for each new skill. In the lower grades, HWT uses “magic bunny” to show how to make new letters. In the older grades, HWT continues to use simple explanations and drawings that the child can easily understand. The lessons are short and can be done in 15 minutes or less! The teacher guides provides tips and activities for each lesson.
Handwriting Without Tears is a no-fuss program that is simple to use! It is very affordable. The student books and teacher guides are $6.95 each. The teacher guides are simple but do provide plenty of instructions, tips, activities, and lesson plans. As homeschool moms we often ask “Do I even need the teacher’s guide?” I do recommend using the TG to get the full benefit of the program. There are manipulatives available for all the grade levels. As the parent you can chose to incorporate the manipulatives or not. The manipulatives are wonderful for a tactile learner.
What are cons to Handwriting without Tears? Honestly, I can not think of one negative thing of this program. If you prefer the fancier handwriting then you may not like the style of HWT. It is a simple style that is meant to give the child a strong foundation as they learn their own style of handwriting.
The HWT website is very helpful if you would like more information. There are plenty of samples to view.
Written by Korey