Today was the first time I’d heard this concept referred to as redshirting and frankly it made me chuckle in the context of kids and kindergarten. It was NOT the first time I’d heard the concept discussed as it’s surfaced many times over the past year, particularly in discussions with some of our friends in the southern US.
What is redshirting? Redshirting in the context of kids and kindergarten is the practice of holding your child back from kindergarten for a year (usually) because they are born later in their calendar year. The reasons I’ve heard are so that a) your child isn’t that much younger, and potentially further behind developmentally (I would think this would be more a reflection of the child’s personal developmental stage rather than something that should be decided purely based on age), b) your child isn’t significantly smaller than some of the older children (some folks mentioning sports / physical activity abilities as well as their ability to generally hold their own on the playground).
I’m against the practice as a general, age-based decision. Purely based on age, I’m against it. Based on developmental stage and your child’s personal needs I’m all for it. The increase in consideration of redshirting strikes me as a symptom of some issues at the parental-level that might be better addressed or focused on. Why are we concerned about sports ability of a child in kindergarten… shouldn’t we just be letting them explore their world with friends and leave the competition for a later date?
Anyway, the following article includes some additional thoughts and links that anyone reading this might find interesting. Enjoy.
Redshirting: to enter kindergarten or not… that is the question