Part 1 of 3: Learning Without Tears – Get Set for School

From Lauren B., Lead Teacher, Sharon Cooperative School, Room 12

The Cooperative Learning Community’s child-driven curriculum has adopted the Learning Without Tears- Get Set For School writing curriculum. This curriculum compliments our hands-on learning experiences and is integrated into the classroom environments, which will be shared with families on ParentSquare.

“When will my child write?” is a common question asked at home-school conferences.  Here are a few ways that you can help at home to start the writing process. Strengthening the hands and fingers is an important first step.

  • Do finger plays
  • Cut or tear pictures out of magazines and newspapers
  • Hide objects in play dough and have children find them
  • Draw, color, paint, write on vertical or slanted surfaces (put paper on easels, mirrors, windows, walls and refrigerators)– When a child’s arms and hands are positioned upward, working against gravity, they are building strength in their shoulders and arms.  Also, a child’s wrist is forced into a neutral position that is used when the child begins to write.
  • Bring them to the playground– The climbing equipment there helps children develop the strength and coordination required for fine motor skills.
  • Provide toys that require them to use hand skills to move pieces, manipulate parts, or snap things together (small Legos, Light Bright, K’Nex, etc. )

Doing these activities will help strengthen your child’s motor development and hand skills, which will prepare them for writing.  For more information and resources about Learning Without Tears, please visit

Author: Gail Ader

Early childhood education is my passion and I have worked in this field since 1998, first as a teacher and then as an administrator. Child centered learning in a supportive and developmentally appropriate setting is the key to high quality programs. As the Executive Director at the Cooperative Learning Community my focus is on supporting my team so that they can focus on their children and families.