For those who are not yet independent readers. This group is appropriate for all students who are beginning to have an interest in learning. The focus of gathering/class time is to develop values and the skills of reading and writing. This Developmental Level can be used in a parent focused class to empower their teaching of young children, a parent/child class where patterns of instruction are practiced together, or a class for independent students who are ready to learn how to read and write, and who are mature enough to attend on their own.

The skills learned at the Foundations Developmental level are to:

Recognize, spell and write –

  • first and last name
  • upper and lowercase letters
  • different sentence types
  • numbers with correct formation

Also to –

  • Identify oral and written phonograms
  • Recognize and orally count by ones
  • Meaning and use of numbers
  • Sort by color size and shape
  • Build fine motor skills through cutting, pasting, and other games and activities
  • Build Cognitive skills through lessons with problem solving activities
  • Understand the meaning of songs and stories they hear and read
  • (and of course) Confidently read

Focused on younger kids who are not yet confident, independent readers. This group is appropriate for all students who are beginning to have an interest in basic academics, who are ready to learn how to read and write, and who are mature enough to attend on their own. Academic skills are learned as the group time is also focused on developing character, empathy, and heart. We do this by combining classic children’s literature with the Bible. Most students learn how to read and write in a one year of this program. Games and tools are sent home to be practiced when a child needs more time with a principle. Parents are encouraged to attend with their children whenever they can. We recognize that the best place for very young children is with their parents, therefore his group has a customizable schedule in order to ensure that children are not spending too much time away from home or doing their most important work, play.

Printable Resources


Heart Mind Might Strength
AQ – Adversity Quotient IQ – Intelligence Quotient EQ – Emotional Quotient WQ – Will Quotient
strong moral character and relationship with family a lifelong love of learning and academic proficiency confidence in talents needed to reach one’s full potential self-government and personal responsibility
Learning about family and nature. Building trust with and learning from parents. Learn to read & to write.

Numbers, counting & patterns – basic math. Learning colors and shapes

Learning how to clearly communicate ideas and use proper manners.

Arts & crafts using fine motor skills.

Learning to work with my family.

Learning to take care of my body through good food and being safe.

This first stage has been identified by the majority of leaders47 in the field of child development and education as either the Developmental Stage, Heart Phase or Core Phase. This stage encompasses about the first eight years when the child is developing their foundation of how they view the world, their relationships with other people and with how they view themselves. This time is precious and passes quickly as the child’s understanding and knowledge increase at a rapid pace. Proportionately, they also physically grow at the fastest rate of their life. These first few years are vital and by design, children at this first stage need the people who love them the most to be the strongest influence in their lives.


Children are especially susceptible to the influence of their environment as they are developing their intellectual capacity and curiosity and cultivating self-image.


These formative years are the time when these children need to learn that they are sons or daughters of God and receive a solid foundation for future learning. Parents are their protectors, comforters, teachers, and companions. Children learn by example to serve and work. The focus of teaching should only be on things of greatest importance like who they are, how to communicate and how to work or serve.


Children at the beginning of this stage are not yet independent readers, nor do they have the need or the maturity to be in a group focused on academic pursuits for any extended period of time. Meeting together as a group during this stage of development can serve two main purposes. First students can meet together to play as they develop talents,  character, empathy, and a foundation for learning as a group. Second, a parent, with their child, can attend a workshop style setting where parents learn as a group from mentors and from each other about parenting and teaching their young children. This group is not meant to replace any compulsory education program, it is an alternative that focuses on giving support to parents with helpful tools, practice with structured group activities and practice with foundational skills. Time spent as a group in the early part of this stage  should always be minimal time away from the home and be focused on tools, concepts and patterns that parents can practice with the group and also implement at home as they see fit. With this foundation, students will be able to apply future moral learning in their lives. The goal is to help children have fun and enjoy this early learning in a nurturing and safe environment. The main focus is on supporting the parents.


The areas of focus for the Foundations developmental level are:

Heart – Learn about family and nature. Learn the simplest principles of your faith. Build trust with my parents.

Mind – Learn to read, communicate my ideas, and to write. This includes numbers, counting and patterns.

Might – Do arts and crafts using fine motor skills, colors, and shapes. Help family members with their projects. Learn manners.

Strength – Learn to work with my family. Learn to take care of my body through good food and being safe.

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