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      Handwriting Without Tears

      Learning how to write is a frustrating process, and "Handwriting Without Tears" is a program that tries to ease a child's nerves.

      Teachers from around the U.P. gathered together Friday for a presentation from the Handwriting Without Tears organization. They focus on giving preschool students the writing readiness for kindergarten and stress the importance of starting early.

      "If we don't have a good, solid foundation of skill, we find that we develop a lot of very bad habits--a lot of bottom-up formations, a lot of reversals--things that are very common errors in children's writing, which eventually become bigger problems as they're expected to write more and more in the lower elementary levels," said Handwriting Without Tears Representative Paula Heinricher.

      They want to build a child's foundation for writing by utilizing all the senses which is why all of their methods are hands on.

      "This is a really nice opportunity for us to learn about reading without tears. This is a wonderful way, it's so much fun when we talk to children about how to learn, how to read and write by singing songs and participating in readiness activities," said Head Start teacher Jan Olson.

      The key to the whole writing process is patience.

      "Don't expect too much too soon from your preschoolers. This is a time of exploration and understanding all about the letters. Helping kids to recognize the letters before you were to expect them to be able to write them is very important. They will get there," Heinricher says.

      To learn more about the Handwriting Without Tears mentality, click here .