Handwriting Without Tears

If there was an award for false advertising, I’d give it to this web app that claims to teach kids how to write with pure ease.

Handwriting Without Tears was one of the tools that was part of T’s junior kindergarten virtual schooling last Spring.

Cute lessons and activities allowed kids to practice handwriting by tracing letters and numbers on a touchscreen.

As we joked with T’s teacher last year, the daily activities were anything but without tears.

T always lifted his finger off the screen before the app signaled the letter or number was traced. So it did not recognize T as having completed the task. Then asked him to repeat it again.

Cue the ocean of tears and deep valley of sorrow.

It got to the point where I refused to do the daily exercises with T and told the hubby he had to do them or one of us was going to end up dead.

Like many kids with similar prognosis, T’s fine motor skills are a work in progress.

He never showed much interest, focus or care to write or draw.

We know it’s an important skill to develop as he heads into Grade 1 next year, so we made it a goal to work on it this school year.

His Child and Youth Worker provided great tips and resources, which we’ve applied.

We practice writing and drawing with a crayon or marker, because they are thicker than a pencil and so they’re easier for him to grip.

I sometimes write out words in pencil or pen and have him trace over them.

The hubby got him this fantastic Fisher Price handwriting toy for Christmas which we practice with on weekends.

His amazing Child and Youth Worker bought him this handwriting book, with laminated pages that T can practice repeatedly with using dry erase markers. We similarly practice with this.

We also got him sheets of paper with guided lines so T can get support around writing upper and lower case letters to proportion.

Most importantly, we try to have fun and give him time to have freeform drawing – with zero expectations, zero pressure and zero tears.

He really enjoyed the weekly art classes during the recent six weeks of virtual schooling!

We got a nice message from the school this week!

So T is back in school this week – and I could not have shoved him out the front door any faster on Tuesday morning!

Jokes aside, the first three days have been good so far. Fingers crossed we end the week off on a high note tomorrow!

On Wednesday, I heard my phone ping repeatedly with message notifications from T’s child and youth worker while I was on a work call.

I felt a bit anxious, because why would she be messaging me during the day.

Thankfully, it was good news!

She was excited to share that T did a great job on practicing drawing and writing on his whiteboard.

She wanted to share the news with the hubby and I because it was some of the best drawing they’ve seen from him, he was focused and they noticed an improvement in his work.

And this just truly made our day. I paused everything I was doing with work and went downstairs to share the news with the hubby.

It was handwriting tear-worthy moment but this time, they were near tears of joy.

His handwriting and drawing skills still need lots of work but it was a nice boost to our morale that T seems to be headed in the right direction.

14 thoughts on “Handwriting Without Tears

    1. He’s going to day camp in the summer. 🤣 But kidding aside, I can’t wait till the summer. Already dreaming about and planning a Roadtrip; it’ll be within our province again given the pandemic but it’ll still be something to look so forward to!

  1. Thanks for sharing T’s world to us. Love the Art works. His determination to write and learn is an inspiration. Takes me back to a time when T is my son’s age. I miss it. Lately, he’s into chess & mom & dad need to learn quick. Have a great weekend my friend & regards to your family.

    1. Thank you! Determination is thankfully one thing he is not lacking in. 😊 Chess is a great game and a fun one to play with a kid. Enjoy those moments! Have a great weekend too. Trying to let the caffeine kick in before I can do anything. :🤣 Take care and stay safe to you and your family too! 👍

    1. Yes, the irony! 🙂 It’s been going well so far and I hope it stays this way!

      Enjoy your snowy day today and this weekend! Looks like a nice day for a scenic nature walk!!!

  2. Oh my goodness, I can relate to the program Handwriting Without Tears. Declan’s OT when he was 2 brought in a chalkboard and chalk and I totally appreciated her goal for D with the program, but he was not having it and she was not taking “no” for an answer. I love the tools you are using with T for him to build his fine motor skills. I believe D did something similar at school, and at 9, is still a little all over the place when it comes to the highs and lows of letters and their placement on the line but he is still trying and everyone congratulates his efforts instead of criticizing his mistakes. I believe that totally helps the kids to keep their effort instead of just giving up!

    1. Hahaha. Thanks Robyn. We had some OT referrals as well over the years and like you, very well intentioned but the tactics were not resonating with T. Thankfully, it seems to be on the right path now. I imagine T will have similar all over the placeness as D but celebrate every victory and not sweat the small details and mistakes.

      Lots of snow over here today but no snow day. 🙄 Boo. Enjoy your weekend!

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