If you have a child in preschool or who has already gone on to elementary school, you have probably already been faced with the decision as to whether or not to let your child go on to kindergarten at the age of 4 or a young 5. Many parents are turning to redshirting their child.
Redshirting is a term referring to the practice of holding a child back a year at the kindergarten level in order to give them an advantage. Parents are choosing to hold back their children for several reasons: educational advantage, athletic advantage (size) and maturity (developmentally).
SHORT TERM EFFECTS: As a group, redshirted kids do appear to have advantages in motor skills and size, and they are more confident than peers who began school young. However, when they are much bigger than classmates, they may feel somewhat alienated. Large spans in age and ability may also make it harder for teachers to manage a class.
Personally, I feel that unless a parent has a legitimate reason for redshirting a child, like a developmental delay or the child being extremely young for their age in size or maturity, then the parent should not hold their child back. It gives unfair advantages. The idea behind redshirting should be to give your children an equal chance to succeed, not a leg up on the other children.
If the consensus is that four and five year olds are too young to start kindergarten, then maybe it would be better to just change the start age to 6 in the first place so that the playing ground is level.
Honestly, the kids who are inclined to excel academically or physically eventually will do so, no matter how we try to stack the deck. I started Kindergarten at the age of 4 and was top of my class all throughout my education.
What do you think of the practice of redshirting?
Photo Source: JenniferSchwalm
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