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
1/21/2014 04:06:28 am
Peyton 3rd grade has a end of May birthday and is doing just great, I never even thought once about holding him back at all… On the other hand Preston my1st grader was held back, with an August 31st Birthday and induced 3 weeks early. Being one day off from the cut off I always sort of new I would hold him back. The boys are 15 months apart but I love the 2 years apart in school. Also Preston has SPD (sensory processing disorder) so another reason I held him back due to working out some issues of his, and able to mature a bit more. :)
1/21/2014 05:58:42 am
Our first grader, Max, has a June birthday and is a non traditional learner as it is so doing a second year of pre-K at our school and being 6 upon entering kindergarten was absolutely the right decision for him. In my opinion, there is no disadvantage to doing pre-K as a young 4-year old and then deciding, with the teachers, if he's ready for kindergarten or would benefit from waiting.
1/24/2014 02:55:04 am
I thought about this with Alex and Keegan. I finally decided to "redshirt" them. In the end, for me, there were no disadvantages for making them the oldest and only advantages. I like that they will be older and hopefully more confident...which, in my opinion is super important for girls and boys! I was also one of the oldest in my class and so was Rob and I never thought I was able to breeze through anything. Either decision you make, you will be good girl..have to go with your gut! I actually decided to have Jillian on the second of September so she was past the 1st deadline...that way I didn't have a choice ;-)
2/7/2014 03:55:56 am
Jason was Sept. We sent him the following year. Thinking he would be one of the oldest. He actually had some a year older. And some a year younger. So he ended up being in the middle. Never regretted it! By high school knew he was in the right class if kids. Do you know any kids that would be in either class. Sometimes that helps. Either way don't regret. Your decision. Just do what feels right for him.
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Melissa Ash - mom of 2 energetic boys, wife, and business woman. Just trying to "do it all".