About the Course
This course was developed as a free opportunity for parents, grandparents, caregivers and for anyone who may influence a young 4-year-old on their journey preparing for kindergarten. Sandra Wilborn is your course instructor and guide. You can read more about Ms. Wilborn, below, and learn more about the course as well! Let's get started!
While completing this course, Sandra Wilborn was the Coordinator for School Readiness at BRI. Before joining the Barksdale team, she served 28 years as an early childhood educator. She has worked as a school administrator in the Mississippi Delta, and is a National Board Certified Teacher.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Delta State University, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Mississippi, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Columbia University.
Sandra believes that parents are a child’s first teachers and vital to their child’s educational success. She is the mother of two grown sons, TJ (a travel nurse) and Cameron (an engineer).
The goal of this course is to ensure parents and caregivers understand what kindergarten readiness is, why it matters, what it looks like, and how to tell when their child is ready. This course should give parents and caregivers the tools to help their child build these essential readiness skills.
- Our audience is any stakeholder in a 4-year-old’s educational journey. These stakeholders can be parents, grandparents, guardians, as well as individuals from organizations that may influence this journey (such as Head Start, Excel By 5, or other Pre-K programs).
- Individuals from all walks of life and all levels of the educational and socioeconomic spectrums.
Online Course Structure
This course has eight modules as well as a course introduction. While there are many handouts and activities shared for parents and caregivers to do with their child, most modules are fairly short and the course is intended to take no more than 15 hours to complete, but this can happen over several months. The course is designed so that it is flexible with the schedule of the person taking the course; for example, it can be approached one module per day or per week or per month. Below is the course structure.
Module 1: Physical Development (Gross and Fine Motor Skills)
Module 2: Personal Life Skills
Module 3: Social and Emotional Skills
Module 4: Oral Language
Module 5: Letters and Sounds
Module 6: Written Communication
Module 7: Reading
Module 8: Math
Course Design and Success
- Personal Guide - Sandra Wilborn, your course instructor, will be your course guide and is present throughout the course in animations and through audio recordings.
- Illustrated Family Characters Throughout - Several families are illustrated and are seen throughout the course in various activities and handouts to help explain concepts.
- Audio of Text - All major text includes an audio recording with a button to click and listen to a narration. Choose which way you'd prefer to learn, or it can also be helpful for knowledge retention to both read and listen to text at the same time!
- Important Parenting Reminders -
Keep an eye out for special reminders that reoccur thoughout the course to emphasize important concepts. For example:
- Sticky notes with push pins throughout the course reiterate important phrases we hope you'll remember. Some examples are: Practice! Practice! Practice! and Remember: Take Time. Be Intentional.
- Repeated important phrases, such as “All children develop at different paces.”
- Browser types - For the best experience, we recommend you take this course using a web browser on a computer. It can be viewed on a phone or a tablet, however the handouts will not be viewable since most phones and tablets do not support viewing a PDF file.
- Approach to completing the course - We recommend you go through one module a month, practice those skills over and over. You and your child don’t have to continue until mastery, but it will give you both time to practice before moving onto new skills in the next module.
- Group Learning & Facilitator's Guide - This course can be taken as a group or cohort using our facilitation guide. Parents can get with a friend and their children and go through it, or a group of teachers or early grades professionals. If you would like to approach this course as a group, please download our Facilitator's Guide. It was designed to be completed by a single person, and that’s fine, too!
- PDF Viewer and Handouts - Many of the handouts in this course are presented as PDFs, making it easier for you to download. The PDF viewer will appear differently depending on which browser you use to take the course.
Course Introduction| Module 1 | Module 2 | Module 3
Module 4 | Module 5 | Module 6 | Module 7 | Module 8