The term REDSHIRT comes from athletics. College athletes are redshirted to extend eligibility in sports by providing an additional year for growth and maturation. They train with the team but do not compete on the field.
With redshirting for kindergarten, instead of starting kindergarten at age 5, a child starts at 6 years old and possibly bigger, older and more mature than their 5 year old self and peers.
Redshirting seems to be on the rise. It’s a popular topic of discussion in LA.
Aside from athletics, here are a few reasons I’ve heard parents considering holding a child back a year from starting kindergarten:
*With severe competition amongst private school admissions, some parents opt to retain a child in hopes of giving them an extra edge against the “competition”.
*Some parents feel their child isn’t socially or emotionally ready for a kindergarten environment.
*Peer pressure…it’s the “in” thing to do.
It’s been said kindergarten is the new 1st grade. Years ago kinder was about snacks, coloring, and naptime. Now there’s reading, math, HOMEWORK, and in some states standardized testing.
This thought has many parents second guessing if their child is ready for this at the age of 5.
It seems like a domino effect because once a group of parents holds their kids back it causes different dynamics and age gaps in the classroom.
The decision to redshirt is a totally personal one. I can’t see a right or wrong answer.
Each child is different.
What’s right for one may not work for someone else, so you really need to consider what is best for you and your family. If your child is in preschool, discuss with his teacher how he performs in class and their thoughts on Little JJ’s possible kindergarten performance.
Mo has a late May birthday so he was one of the youngest in his kindergarten class. After 3 years of preschool, I felt he was armed with the adequate social skills to thrive in kindergarten. However, he was emotional and kept to himself. Fortunately he got a very nurturing teacher who helped him to grow and gain confidence. I saw a big difference in him after a year.
No one can say if that difference comes from growing a year or if it’s the skills he acquired while attending kindergarten that taught him.
Now that he’s in 3rd grade the playing field seems to have leveled out.
The other day I asked him how he feels being the youngest in class. He responded, “I love it. Being around older kids makes me work harder and want to be better. I like the competition. When I’m around kids my age I know I’m better and can beat them at pretty much everything.”
Yes, he is a cocky little something but being the youngest and smallest has taught him to work harder. He never settles and is always up for a challenge. I understand all kids don’t have this mentality so again, you must look at this as a child by child decision.
For the 2013 school year, the California cutoff date will move from December 2 to September 1. This means your child should be age 5 by September to start kinder.
B has an early June birthday so he will also be one of the younger kids in his class. I feel he is ready. He has spent 3 years in preschool and his whole life under the tutelage of big brother Mo. I feel he is ready for a more challenging environment. He’s a good listener, follows directions, has manners, and is academically curious.
Learning is at an all time high when a child is 5 and 6 years old regardless if you redshirt or not. I feel a kinder environment will be the right place for his growth and brain development.
I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer concerning redshirting. When I grew up you went to kinder when you were 5. There was no discussion or thought process, it’s just how it worked.
I understand kids who have special needs or circumstances and giving them an extra year for growth on all levels.
As for my kids I feel the same way about this as I do most other kid issues. Kids are resilient and learn to adapt. I feel Mo and B will do well in life whether they’re a year older or younger. Had I held them back a year, I’m sure they’d do fine too.
Starting them at 5 years old for kindergarten works for our family.
It seems the only sure fire way to address this problem is that adults stop having sex in August, September and October. This will avoid Summer babies/birthdays.
Redshirting problem solved!
However, if you were getting it on in those months and want to hear what some of the experts have to say about redshirting for kindergarten, check out these articles:
Redshirting: Holding Kids Back From Kindergarten-60 Minutes/CBS
Kindergarten Redshirting: Smart Strategy Or Education Quackery?– Huffington Post
Kindergarten Redshirting Is Popular, But Is It Necessary?– Harvard Health Publications
When Should Kids Start Kindergarten?– GreatSchools.org
Pros and Cons Of Redshirting Kids– What To Expect
Parents Taking New Look On Holding Kids Back From Kindergarten: Redshirting– Mainline Media News
Delay Kindergarten At Your Child’s Peril– NY Times
Should Children Redshirt Kindergarten?– Newsweek