Handwriting Without Tears ~ Review

Handwriting without Tears is a curriculum that was developed to make the writing process appealing to young children.  Jan Olsen, the developer of Handwriting Without Tears, is an occupational therapist.  She has worked hard over the years to develop a curriculum that will work with the child and for the child.  You can find out why her approach to handwriting works by clicking here.  This curriculum is to be used with children from pre-k all the way to 5th grade.

Here was my scenario every day since my 2nd grade daughter started school in August:
“Do I have to do all of my writing today?”
“After you finish your writing, you are done with your school work.”
“Why do I have to do ALL of it?”

As you can see, I was struggling to get my daughter to do her handwriting every single day.  I jumped at the chance to be able to review this curriculum.  Since ‘without tears’ is in the name of the curriculum, it has to be good, right?  We used the 2nd grade books.  The 2nd grade curriculum consists of:
~the teachers guide ~ $9.25
~printing power ~ $8.25
~or printing power plus ~ $10.25
The difference between printing power and printing power plus is the ‘plus’ comes with an introductory cursive book.


When I first received the materials, the teachers guide was confusing when just looking at it without actually reading it.  It has multiple pages of introduction and foundation skills (activities) before actually starting with the lesson plans.  Had I read the table of contents first, I would have realized this and not been confused.  There are also guidelines at the back of the book to help you with teaching your child each week throughout the year.  The lesson plans for the kick start cursive can be found online.  It was very easy to set up an account.

The printing power book teaches the child how to print capital letters, lower case letters, and numbers.  When teaching some of the capital letters, there is a magic bunny that helps guide the child with their writing.  You can see him in the photo below.

The kick start cursive book teaches the child the lower case letters with an introduction to capital letters at the end of the book.  Magic bunny makes a return in the cursive book too!


The handwriting lessons are short lessons.  The lessons only take about 15 minutes a day.  Each lesson also includes an activity that is to be done to introduce the letter.  Some of the activities are drawing the letter in the air, a hand activity, or singing a song. There are several videos available on the website for some of the activities.  There are also recommended items that can be purchased to use with the curriculum, such as the Rock, Rap, Tap, and Learn CD.

My opinion (and my daughter’s too)~
I was surprised at how easy the lessons were to teach.  The lessons were short and simple.  My daughter said she enjoyed this program because it was fun and easy.  I loved the activities that we did before the actual writing.  My daughter loved to copy the letters and words in the book after doing the activities.  I think the activities made the actual writing part a fun experience.  I was surprised that the cursive taught not to slant the paper.  They want to make writing as enjoyable and fun as possible.  The scenario from above has definitely changed since using this product.  My daughter looks forward to her writing lessons and wants to continue with this until the end of our school year (and I am going to let her).  I did not like arguing with her everyday just to get her to do handwriting.  This product has made teaching her writing so much more enjoyable!

Disclaimer: I received  a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed your review. I also used the second grade curriculum with my son and he liked it.




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