Course Introduction

Welcome to Parent Academy!

The Barksdale Reading Institute developed this online course to equip parents or any caregiver of rising kindergarteners with the knowledge to work on kindergarten readiness skills with their child before they start school.

It is a self-paced course and is broken into eight small hands-on modules. Each module will cover a few kindergarten readiness skills and provide some simple hands-on activities and suggested materials that parents or caregivers can use to support their child’s development and prepare them for kindergarten.

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Course Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes are often included in a course to inform learners what they will be learning in the course or a given module and what they should know or be able to do at the end of the course. They are also important for writing quiz questions, because they inform the instructor what their learners should know and be able to do, too! Take some time to read over the learning outcomes below and at the start of each module in this course. While there will be a quiz at the end of each module and at the end of this course, these are not graded, they are just for you to check your own understanding of course material.

By the end of this course learners will be able to:

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Download the above Course Roadmap infographic.


Understand the importance of adult-child interactions

Learning requires lots of practice with monitoring and support. Interactions between children and adults provide lots of learning opportunities and benefits.

You might say, “I’m not a teacher!” but the first relationships children establish are with their parents. Before entering school, children can learn and practice many skills they will need at school and later in life.

Children learn to trust, to become more confident, to develop strong language skills, and how to communicate and show respect for others by interacting with their parents. The more children communicate with adults, the stronger their vocabulary and comprehension become. Parents, and the family as a whole, are the most important parts of a child’s preparation for kindergarten.

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Parent Academy Families

A family is a group of people related by birth, marriage, or adoption. Any person related to you is considered a member of your family. Families can look very different, but all family members usually love and care for each other very much.

Throughout the course, you will meet several families. Some of these families may not look like what you typically think of when you hear the word family. However, we understand that families come in all shapes and sizes. These families will help us explain concepts and share how they are getting their children “ready” for kindergarten.

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Module Structure and Icons

Throughout this course, you will see several ICONS used over and over. Let’s look at them so that you can be familiar with them.

You will see the “What does it look like?” ICON at the beginning of modules or sections. It gives you a list of things that your child will be able to do when that skill is mastered.

Sometimes you will see the “Supplies” ICON at the beginning of an activity description. You will find the list of materials needed to complete the activity.

When you this ICON you can click this, and I will read the text for you or give further instructions.

When you see a note with a push pin like this , there will be a phrase or sentence that we want you to remember.

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Have Fun Remember to Be Safe!

The activities in these modules are fun and can help you support your child’s development. Remember that they are designed to be done WITH your child under your supervision. Some of the activities can pose safety issues if your child is left alone. For example, the beading activity in Module 1 contains small beads, and the Cup Game uses small objects. Because 3 and 4-year-old children sometimes tend to put things in their mouths, these activities can be a choking hazard if your child is doing this activity unattended. Therefore, it is very important that you do these activities with your child and put them out of reach when you are not using them.
Another fun activity that can be unsafe if your child is left alone is cutting with scissors. Children need to learn to use scissors correctly but they should be used with caution. Teach the proper way to use them and make sure you never leave your child unattended when they are doing a cutting activity.

Here are a few tips:

One last thing, have fun and be safe!

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A Note on Printing Handouts

There are numerous handouts throughout this course and you will be able to download and save all of them for reference. If you would like to print them out, be sure and select in your printing dialog box to "fit to page" so it doesn't cut the content off at the edges. All printers have at least a 1/4 inch border around the paper where it cannot print ink. This is where the "grabbers" in the printer hold the paper to move it along through the printer.


All children develop at different paces, so if your child isn’t where their siblings were at this age, or isn’t where a friend’s child is—be patient. However, if there are some major red flags, or you think there is a problem, feel free to consult with your child’s pediatrician and they can help you find the right resources.

Remember, learning occurs long before your child enters a school building. You are your child’s first teacher, and our Parent Academy will provide you with content and equip you with activities to support your child’s development and get “ready” for kindergarten. So, let’s get started and get your child kindergarten ready!

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Instructions < > Module 1

Course Introduction| Module 1 | Module 2 | Module 3

Module 4 | Module 5 | Module 6 | Module 7 | Module 8