Kindergarten & Beyond

Homeschooling kindergarten should be a fun and exciting time for your family. Your precious child is about to set forth on their academic journey and it’s important to start off on the right foot. Doing so will help ensure that your child has a positive experience, enjoys the learning process, and develops a love of learning that will last a lifetime.

To start homeschooling, I recommend following the steps below:

  • Find out what the legalities of homeschooling are in South Africa; consider joining the Pestalozzi Trust for your peace of mind.
  • Join your local homeschool community, they usally connect on social media, like a WhatsApp group or Facebook groups.
  • Educate yourself on how to homeschool – this is a process. Be kind to yourself, we all had to start with the first step. You are also learning a whole new skill-set.
  • Find your homeschool philosophy.
  • Research the different curricula options and the different matric pathways available to homeschoolers in South Africa.
  • Be sure to consider your child’s Learning Styles and Personality Profile.
  • If you have a neurodivergent or special needs child find out how to best support their needs and what accommodations they will need to thrive.
  • Calculate your homeschooling costs based on your budget. Your local library is a great resource for free living books and there are also great free online resources available for homeschoolers. The most expensive product isn’t necessarily the best one. Join 2nd hand homeschool buy and sell groups.
  • Plan your homeschool day and schedule – but keep it flexible, child-centered and self-paced so that your curriculum fits your child, and not the other way around.
  • Remember to include fun in your schedule like games, field trips, hands-on activities, art and crafts, music, and lots of unstructured indoor and outdoor free play.

How to Homeschool Kindergarten

Starting kindergarten is an exciting milestone for both you and your child. It is a year of new experiences. Many children begin kindergarten (grade R in South Africa) in the year they turn five. However, there is more to consider than just the child’s age when determining whether or not your child is ready for kindergarten. 

According to The Good and the Beautiful parents generally have these common questions: 

1. Is my child ready for kindergarten?

It is common to think age and academic skills determine a child’s readiness for kindergarten, but there are other things to consider as well, such as the child’s interest.

A child’s desire to learn and experience new things is a good sign that your child is ready. Does your child ask questions, make observations, and express interest in the world around him or her?  Along with an eagerness to learn is a readiness to listen to others and focus on a task. Kindergarteners commonly have shorter attention spans than older children. This is normal and acceptable. They learn best through hands-on experiences like building, experimenting, storytelling, moving, and playing. 

Kindergarteners are new to “sit-down work” and do best with brief, focused lessons. As your kindergartener’s year progresses, his or her attention span will increase, but every child is unique and develops at his or her own pace. Stay positive and patient with your child to help him or her enjoy learning as they grow in maturity! 

2. What skills should my child know before kindergarten?

Children entering kindergarten should have some experience with the following six skill areas:  

  • Language and Communication
  • Reading and Writing
  • Math and Reasoning
  • Social and Emotional
  • Fine and Gross Motor
  • Independence

Download this Kindergarten Readiness Checklist to help you decide if your child is ready. Children do not need to master all the items on the checklist before entering kindergarten. Rather, use this list as a guide to evaluate your child’s exposure and growth in each of the categories. 

3. How can I help my child get ready for kindergarten?

One of the beauties of homeschooling is that the transition from preschool to kindergarten is pretty smooth! The Good and the Beautiful compiled a list of activities you can do to help your child prepare for kindergarten.

Activities to develop fine motor skills
(finger and hand coordination, as well as strength for writing)

  • Make instant pudding, sand, paint, or mud. Spread on a cookie sheet and practice writing and drawing.
  • Draw with chalk on the sidewalk or driveway.
  • Make collages using junk mail by cutting up and pasting the images on paper.  
  • Cut letters out of sandpaper for your child to feel with his or her fingers. Lay paper over the top and rub the side of a crayon over the paper. Watch the letters appear!
  • Make a “writing tool box.” Fill it with paper, crayons, pencils, pens, markers, scissors, glue, stamps, stickers, and more.
  • Use Doodles and Pre-Writing for Littles to practice writing strokes.
  • Cook and bake with your child, letting him or her stir, crush, and mash ingredients.
  • Set up a “building tool box.” Fill it with small tools for screws, nuts, and bolts.
  • Use your child’s own clothes or dolls to practice buttoning, zipping, tying, and snapping.
  • Build with small, connecting blocks.
  • Create with beads, string, stamps, paint, dough, scissors, glue, and more.
  • Find more craft ideas on our blog.
  • Put together puzzles.

Activities to develop social skills
(positive relationships with others)

  • Provide small and large playgroup opportunities with other children so they experience meeting and interacting with new kids. Ideas: local story-times, neighborhood playgroups, cooperatives, etc.
  • Provide one-on-one playtime with a friend.
  • If there is a disagreement between children, give them time to see if they can solve the problem in a positive way before stepping in. If they need your assistance, be careful not to embarrass any of the children. Demonstrate and explain appropriate behavior, as well as why it’s a more effective way to work out their differences.
  • Praise your child for pleasant behavior towards others as often as possible. It encourages your child to do it even more!
  • Make a habit of using manners in your home. Use words and phrases such as please, thank you, you’re welcome, can I help you, excuse me, may I use your ___, and I’m sorry. 
  • Teach your child how to share things with others. A child learns from example.
  • Play board games as a family to teach proper behavior for winning and losing.
  • Make and use puppets or pretend play different situations

Activities to develop independent living skills
(daily self-help and responsibility skills)

Teach your child self-care skills: 

  • Dressing and undressing
  • Showering or bathing
  • Hand washing and nose blowing
  • Dental care
  • Hair care
  • Teach your child how to do simple chores:
  • Setting and clearing the dinner table
  • Emptying and filling the dishwasher
  • Sweeping and vacuuming
  • Wiping spills
  • Dusting
  • Taking out the trash
  • Caring for pets
  • Picking up toys
  • Folding clothes
  • Making bed

Activities to develop language skills
(listening, understanding, and responding)

  • Use a large, descriptive vocabulary to talk about the things your child sees and does.
  • Encourage your child to ask questions, and then help him or her discover the answers. 
  • Ask your child about his or her feelings, and share your feelings too.
  • Give your child directions to follow. Start with two-step directions.
  • Read, read, and read together! Books build vocabulary, experience, comprehension, attention span, and relationships. It is precious time spent with your child.
  • Play guessing games like “I Spy” to practice reasoning and problem-solving skills. 
  • Read poetry and sing songs with your child to expose your child to rhyme and rhythm. Check out these poetry blog posts for more ideas and free downloads.
  • Play an imitation game where the child does or says what you do or say. 
  • Listen to your child with the same attentiveness that you expect from him or her. 
  • Have your child retell a story you have read to him or her.
  • Sequence 3–5 pictures in order of events.
  • Host a poetry party using Poetry Parties for Littles.
  • Play any kind of memory game.
  • Talk about daily tasks in detail as you do them.

4. Should I wait a year for my child to begin kindergarten?

In some instances, waiting a year is the best answer. A child who is newly five may not have the attention or maturity needed for kindergarten. Waiting a year allows a child to gain confidence, social maturity, and academic skills. 

High school graduation is another thing to consider when thinking about an early or late start to kindergarten. Think about the age your child will be when he or she graduates high school. 

I hope this eases your worries and helps you learn how to prepare your child for kindergarten, using The Good and the Beautiful’s kindergarten readiness checklist! Learn more about The Good and the Beautiful’s Preschool and Kindergarten Prep courses. These colorful, exciting courses are easy to teach and keep a child’s interest with bright images and fun games. Children learn letters and their sounds, shapes, numbers, how to hold a pencil, and much more. 

YouTube Flip Through of Kindergarten Prep:

This beautiful course filled with engaging, vibrant graphics and activities helps children get ready for kindergarten. Kindergarten Prep requires minimal preparation and takes the guesswork out of how to prep your child for kindergarten!

  • 30 beautiful, interactive lessons teach letter sound mastery, introduction to word families, reading two-letter and three-letter words, and more.
  • 64 pages plus 15 punch-out activity pages.
  • Full colour.
  • Wire bound; 8.5”x11”.
  • The Kindergarten Prep Course Book is the only component of the Course Set and the only item needed to complete this course. Available as PDF download.

5. Pre-school & Kindergarten Curricula

  1. The Good and the Beautiful Pre-school and FREE level K (grade R) and FREE Math grade K Also see Handwriting for pre-K and K
  2. Khan Academy Kids
  3. ABC Fun & 1-2-3: Footprints on our Land Preschool Homeschool Curriculum
  4. ABC Jesus Loves Me
  5. Ambleside Online grade K
  6. Easy-Peasy All-in-One Homeschool Preschool
  7. Power Homeschool Kindergarten
  8. Starfall Kindergarten
  9. Kindergarten Educational Resources
  10. Reading Eggs and
  11. Blue Manor Academy
  12. ABC Mouse
  13. Five in a Row Kindergarten
  14. Gather ‘Round Letters & Numbers
  15. HEEP Hands-on Energetic Easy Preschool Curriculum
  16. KinderTown from DemmeLearning
  17. Cambridge grade R books from Prestantia
  18. Cambridge Cambrilearn Learning to Read and Write

6. Afrikaanse CAPS kurrikula beskikbaar vir Graad R

  1. Impaq graad R
  2. Think Digital Academy graad R
  3. Saving Grace Online Preschool and online grade R
  4. My Afrikaanse Avontuur Voorskools

7. What Resources do we Need?

It may seem simplistic, but the primary resource you need is a willingness to devote your time and attention to your child’s education!

Secondly, of course, you will need to choose a curriculum to cover the basics and provide structure to your homeschool year.

Other homeschooling resources vary by family. You’ll need the basic school supplies like paper, writing utensils, crayons, math manipulatives, a calculator, books, art supplies, a home computer, and access to a good library. Don’t worry about accumulating everything at once! Many items acquired and used by one child can be used by the whole family or younger children as they move up in grades.


1. How many hours should we homeschool a week?

For Kindergarten you should do around 1-2 hours 3-5 days a week of formal learning and the rest should be informal educational play activities. Remember your child is always learning as they play and interact with the world around them.

2. What subjects should we do?

This will depend on your curriculum but usually it is your First Language, Math and some Life Skills. The 3 R’s are usually covered: Reading, wRiting and aRithmatic.

3. What curriculum is the best?

The best curriculum is the one that is the best fit for your child and your family. Most curricula have the same outcomes and content (scope and sequence) per subject per year. Take your long term goal and school exit into account to decide if you want to use a CAPS, US (GED or AHSD) or UK (Cambridge) curriculum.

Happy Homeschooling!