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The 4 Foundational Cornerstones needed to develop a Child’s Learning Readiness

This article provides information about the 4 Foundational Cornerstones of learning readiness. Integrated Learning Strategies (ILS) is a learning and academic center. As a reminder, ILS is not a health care provider. None of our materials or services provide a diagnosis or treatment of a specific condition or learning challenge you may see in your child or student. If you seek a diagnosis or treatment for your child or student, please contact a trained professional who can provide an evaluation of the child.

Many people believe a child is ready to learn if they know their ABCs or 123s. But, for us to truly know if a child is ready for learning we need to look at the overall child.

Every aspect of a child’s growth is important to a child’s learning readiness. From their developing milestones to attention span to completing simple tasks.

Instead of asking, “Does little Jimmy know how to read and write?”, let’s dig a little deeper. Ask yourself, “Did my child reach all of their major milestones?” “Does my child have good motor skills?” “How is my child developing socially and emotionally?”

The answers to these questions can help answer the real question we want to know. “Has my child established a strong foundation in all areas for learning development?”

If certain areas of the body or the brain are not ready, learning becomes more difficult and it does not become automatic. When many of these areas of development are strengthened overtime, it prepares the brain for learning and greater academic success.

To know and understand if your child is ready for learning, we can ask ourselves if they have begun to establish these 4 foundational cornerstones needed for learning readiness.


#1 – Neurological Readiness

If a child is neurologically ready for learning, they typically have good control over their body, can self-regulate their emotions and they have the potential for greater attention and focus.

While all of these skills are dependent on the age of the child, a parent or teacher can see the growth in these areas as the child gets older.

If the child is falling behind in some of these areas or seems to be delayed, it may be a sign the child is not neurologically ready for higher areas of learning.

#2 – Behavior and Attention

As a child gets older, you should see an increase in their attention and focus as they play with toys, participate in games and listen to others (maybe at the dinner table). Their emotions become more regulated and they know how to self-soothe themselves in stressful situations.

If your child has trouble self-regulating or has not shown improvements as they get older with behavior that is more age-appropriate, this is another red flag that the brain may not be ready for higher learning.

#3 – Motor Skills and Core Strength

Another good indicator of learning readiness is if a child has strong motor skills and core strength. Believe it or not, this is very important for higher learning in the classroom.

Kids need strong posture for sitting upright in their chair at school and they need good head and neck control for copying notes on the chalkboard. They also need strong arms, shoulders, wrists and fingers for handwriting and letter formation.

What many parents don’t know is strong motor skills are also needed for attention and focus, fidgeting, and following directions.

#4 – Academic

Depending on the child’s age, they may not yet be ready for story problems or fractions, but there are some skills that are needed before they can achieve greater academic success.

Ask yourself if your child can problem solve, stay on task, complete simple directions, process information and retain facts? All of these skills are preparatory for higher learning.

If your child is struggling or has not yet established a strong foundation in each of these areas, they may need additional support and direction.

Awaken the Brain Warm-up Activity Packet (FREE)

So what do kids need to establish a better foundation in these four areas? The answer is purposeful movement. Research shows purposeful movements or “Brain Breaks” can be essential for building the brain and supporting a child’s foundation.

If you want a greater understanding of how movement can help build these 4 Foundational Cornerstones, here is a FREE printable packet that may provide more insight and direction.

To get your free copy and get started with purposeful movement activities to “awaken” the brain for learning readiness, complete the form below.

Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning challenges achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs

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