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About

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A Mission to Make Handwriting Easier

Jan Olsen

Jan Olsen, Founder, Learning Without Tears

In 1977, Jan Olsen set out on a mission to make handwriting easier to learn for her son John. Responding to John’s tears over handwriting in first grade, Jan used her occupational therapy training and background to develop strategies to facilitate his handwriting skills. John’s teacher noticed his progress and asked Jan to help other students in the class. Soon, Jan became known in the area as the tutoring solution for handwriting, and her ideas became the basis for the first therapist’s guide, Handwriting Without Tears (HWT).

This guide expanded into a full, multisensory curriculum. Designed with children in mind, our developmentally appropriate, hands-on materials and instruction are simple and effective for all children. Today, Learning Without Tears has grown to make sure all children (over 30 million to date!) have all the tools they need to express their thoughts, step by step and letter by letter.

With all the challenges and learning loss over the past few years students need our support to ensure they have the foundational skills to support lifelong learning. Handwriting is one of these foundational skills that drives future success. Our mission is to make learning and teaching this critical skill easy and fun.

We are thrilled to now be offering virtual tutoring and small group classes. These offerings are taught by certified handwriting specialists. Learning Without Tears (HWT) Level 1 Certified handwriting specialists are occupational therapists, teachers, and educators who have specialized skills and experience using HWT’s award-winning curriculum. They are passionate about educating others about handwriting and seek to promote good handwriting habits for all children.