Jan is an Occupational Therapist by training and a naturally warm, caring, and proactive person. Many years ago, she started the Handwriting Without Tears program in response to the tears of her son and his friends when they had to trudge through their writing assignments.
Over the decades, she has directly and indirectly helped thousands of children have positive learning experiences. In fact, her company has grown from Handwriting Without Tears to Learning Without Tears.
When I wrote #ResistanttoReading, it was my hope that Jan would agree to write a foreword for the book. I've had the honor of working with her and seen her in action and I hoped that she would consider my initiative to be worthy of her time and name.
Here is the foreword from Jan Olsen:
Years ago, my six year old came home crying
about handwriting. He wasn’t alone. His first grade
teacher had three others like him. Would I like to
come in to help them? I’m an occupational therapist
with a creative streak. Day by day, I figured out how
to teach them. In a few weeks, they had the best
writing in the room. It was just amazing. That was
the start of Handwriting Without Tears. Now,
millions of students around the country have learned
to write or have improved their handwriting with the
Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. We’re a
family company (now Learning Without Tears) and
we have a curriculum for Pre-K and for keyboarding
too. We believe in meeting children in the
developmentally appropriate place and helping them
grow to the next stage. As their skills grow solid, so
does their self esteem.
When I met Esther and saw her with her
students in her classroom, I knew we were kindred
spirits. We share the same philosophy. We know that
students can be engaged in their own learning and
growth through empowering activities. We believe
learning is joyful. We meet children where they are
and go from there. Resistant to Reading: Tricks and Tips
for Parents of Reluctant Readers does a wonderful job of
helping parents support their struggling readers with
age appropriate and enriching activities. Esther’s
book is a joy to read. Every page is filled with her
humanity, knowledge and support, not just for your
child but for you. I am sure you will enjoy the book
and it will make a happy difference as you read and
bond with your child.
Jan Z. Olsen, OTR
President, Learning Without Tears