About a year ago I shared how our family decided to Redshirt Our Kindergartner. He turned five right before kindergarten started last fall, and after much debate, we came to the conclusion that he was just not ready yet to make that transition to kindergarten. Our school district does not offer a transitional or pre-k program, so we searched elsewhere for a preschool program that we felt fit our needs. We ended up at local church preschool that has a program (four half-days a week) just for older four- and five-year-olds. I am happy to report back that I feel like we absolutely made the right decision for our sweet boy, and I could not be happier with the choice we made and the progress we have seen from him!
I know many people who have children with summer birthdays struggle with this issue every year. I honestly can’t tell you how many hours I spent thinking, researching, and talking about what choice we should make. So now that I’m on the other end of it, I thought I would share with you what I’ve learned.
*This sometimes seems to be a heated topic so a quick disclaimer: This is our experience and I understand each child and family is different. What worked for us is not the right answer for everybody.
We obviously have no way of knowing if our son would have had some of the same outcomes if we had gone ahead and sent him to kindergarten this year, but here are some of the things I have noticed as huge benefits to waiting.
He has matured so much in this last year. He is in much better control of his emotions, and the frequent emotional meltdowns of the past are few and far between now. When he does have the unusual meltdown he is much easier to talk off the ledge and can quickly regain control.
He has really taken off academically this year. He was not anywhere close to reading at the end of preschool last year, and now he is reading and sounding out words like crazy. I really think this year helped to solidify things from four-year-old preschool, making him a more confident student.
- I love that we were able to give him a chance to attend a Christian preschool. It has been so fun to see his faith develop and to see the differences in public and private school.
- The very selfish part of me loves knowing I was able to get an extra year with him at home before “real” school starts. He has always been my little sidekick, and having him around is so fun.
- If I’m being honest, even things like size, coordination, age he would be upon going to college, the fact that he is a boy, etc., all weighed very heavily on our decision as well.
This felt like such a huge and important choice and I am thrilled we don’t have a single regret in holding him back. I can say with 100 percent certainty that if we were ever faced with the same decision again, we would make the same choice.