Academic Redshirting: Parental Decisions (page 2)
Redshirting happens all the time in college, when athletes are benched for a year so they can "mature." But is it necessary for a four- or five-year-old? Find out what you need to know about redshirting.
What You Need to Know
Redshirting has become a popular strategy for children whose birthdays are so close to the cut-off dates for entering kindergarten that they may be the youngest in their class. As a parent, you may consider redshirting your child if you’re concerned that he’s not physically, mentally, or intellectually ready for kindergarten. While it isn’t a bad thing to hold your child back a year, make sure to consider the pros and cons.
Before making the decision to redshirt your child, consider these statistics:
- Academic redshirting occurs at the rate of about 9% per year among kindergarten-age children.
- Boys are more often redshirted than girls, and children born in the latter half of the year are more likely to be redshirted than those born earlier.
- In a national survey, teachers indicated that 48% of their students were not ready for the current kindergarten curriculum.
- High percentages of teachers indicated that half of their students lacked important skills, including "following directions" (46%), "academic skills" (36%), and the ability to "work independently" (34%).
In the short term, redshirting a child may:
- Raise the child's academic achievement (math, reading, general knowledge) and conduct on par with or above that of younger classmates
- Increases the child's confidence in social interactions and popularity among classmates
- Add to the normal mix of ages and abilities within the classroom
- Give the child an unfair advantage over younger classmates in size and in psychomotor and social skills.
In the long term, redshirting a child may:
- Cause the child to display more behavioral problems than their classmates in later years.
- Result in a child with special needs being misdiagnosed as immature, and delay direct intervention.
How You Can Help
There’s no conclusive research that proves the short-term or long-term effects of redshirting. As a parent, it’s up to you to decide whether this is a good decision for your child. After all, no one knows your child as well as you. Here are some tips to help you make the right decision:
- Think about why you want to delay your child’s entrance to kindergarten. Is it because he doesn’t have the confidence, strength, or skills his would-be classmates do? Does he seem fearful about leaving home? Or is it simply because you don’t want him to be the youngest kid in the class? In other words, don’t delay his entrance on age alone.
- Ask your child's preschool teachers if they think he’s ready for kindergarten. They can help you determine if he’s ready to cooperate with other kids, learn reading and math skills, and take tests.
- Consider what your child will do if he doesn’t go to kindergarten. Make sure that he’ll have easy and safe access to playmates and play spaces. Or consider a good preschool program to help him prepare and ensure he doesn’t fall behind.
- Talk to your child about going to kindergarten. Explain the pros, such as making new friends and learning new things, and the cons, such as being away from home all day. Be honest and don’t exaggerate when you have this conversation. This will help you assess whether or not your child is truly ready for the kindergarten experience.
For more information about redshirting, check out the full article:
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- Child Development Theories
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- Social Cognitive Theory
- The Homework Debate
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- First Grade Sight Words List
- Graduation Inspiration: Top 10 Graduation Quotes