Homeschool Life – Learning Without Tears Review


Learning Without Tears has created what many proclaim to as the best homeschool curricula for preschool and elementary handwriting and writing. They are the developers of the award-winning Handwriting Without Tears, Get Set for School, and Building Writers! Its mission is to make learning and teaching easy, simple, & fun.

What makes theirs so great is their unique style of handwriting coupled with a hands-on, fun, multi-sensory approach so it is wonderful to use with your repetitive and kinesthetic learners, but also easy-to-use for all learning styles!

Let’s start with Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. I love that this concept came from a Mom

Jan Olsen, who was tutoring her son in 1977 who was struggling with his handwriting. She began using what

she knew as an Occupational Therapist and applying it to teaching him letters of the alphabet while incorporating body language, touch, music, and games. Her son’s handwriting quickly became legible, his teacher noticed, and asked Jan to tutor other students.

Eventually, she began tutoring kids in her area, and then later on created and published the grades K-4 HWT courses!


Some other distinctions between HWT and other handwriting homeschool programs include:

  • Kids learn all of the uppercase ABCs first and then learn the lowercase letters.
  • Similar shape groups are taught together. For example, they have the same starting point, or all loops up, etc.
  • Letters are not slanted for manuscript or cursive. Great for left-handers!
  • Examples are shown as a gray crayon stroke that kids trace to make it “disappear.”
  • No triple-line guidelines so there is extra space to use to practice letter formations.
  • Three sizes of special notebook paper are available with only the double guidelines.
  • Engaging Mat Man character theme
  • Children play, build, use manipulatives, sing songs, have storytelling, and more.

All of these concepts are research-based and each step is taught at developmentally appropriate times for your child’s skill level abilities. Kids will learn to form letters, write words and sentences, and use proper punctuation. Plus, there are supplemental workbooks available for your kids that need extra practice, even for fifth graders.

The teacher guides are very detailed so you know exactly what to do. And workshops are available along with other resources to assist you if you choose.

Building Writers is for grades K-4 to use alongside your HWT curriculum.

This language arts course introduces your students to the Narrative, Informative, and Opinion styles of writing to give your students another form of handwriting practice and uses cross-curricular topics for interest and real-life application.


Each pair of teacher and student workbooks for each grade level have matching bright colored covers, that also match the HWT covers for each grade. This makes it easy for you and your kids to know which books to use together!


Get Set for School is the preschool course.


Your pre-kindergartners will learn how to hold and use a crayon or fat pencil. Your early learners will develop fine motor skills as they learn to draw different shapes, color, count, and trace in a variety of hands-on activities plus there is social-emotional participation too. offers you many resources including free activities, downloads, manipulatives, and blog articles. All help you and your family have fun and success teaching and learning legible handwriting!

I hope that this review helps guide you in your choice for your family’s homeschool language arts!

Please let me know what you and your family enjoy most, or share your experience, if you are using Learning Without Tears!

Be sure to check out additional homeschool articles on our blog at and for more information watch our videos on our Mardel YouTube and Mardel Facebook too!

Enjoy your #HomeschoolLife!


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