My fun loving 3 year will turn 4 in June. With a summer birthday, this brings on a tough decision as to whether to send him to the 4's preschool (where he'll go for K-8) or have him take 2 years of pre-k before entering him into Kindergarten.
This decision to "redshirt" your child has become more and more common, especially for boys with summer birthdays. It is also a decision that is very controversial. Some parents feel like if you redshirt your child, you're trying to put other kids at a disadvantage.
My other son, who is in 1st grade and has an April birthday is now one of the youngest and smallest in his grade because all the boys with later birthdays were redshirted. Although you could definitely tell a difference when he was in preschool, he is doing just fine in his academics and he's an athletic kid to begin with so he's fine there too. He is smaller in height than most of the other boys though. Quite frankly, I think he likes the challenge of beating the bigger boys (he's rather competitive). Which brings me to my next question... Isn't there some truth to being the underdog and having to work hard at something? I'm afraid if I redshirt my youngest, that he'll coast through the early grades, not learning the lesson of having to work hard for something.
Then again, I haven't met any parent that regrets redshirting their child. My husband and I go back and forth about this decision. And maybe I'm putting too much thought in to it. Does it really even matter? What are your thoughts and experiences? I would love to hear some feedback from those that have redshirted, those thinking about it and those that sent their kids to kindergarten when they were supposed to go.
If you haven't heard of this phenomenon, check out some of these articles (ones that I have found to be somewhat helpful in making our decision).
Huffington Post Article
Melissa Ash - mom of 2 energetic boys, wife, and business woman. Just trying to "do it all".