Last year after kindergarten round-up, we decided to redshirt our son for three main reasons:
- Lucan has a summer birthday and was one of the youngest in his class.
- He lacked social and emotional maturity.
- Kindergarten is hard. These days it’s academically rigorous and standards are high.
It was never a question of whether or not Lucan was “smart enough” to cut it in full-day kindergarten. Lucan has always been incredibly observant, loquacious, and intelligent. This kid is constantly keeping me on my toes—just the other day when I was telling him about a make-believe lemur I thought I saw, he point blank told me that lemurs only live in Madagascar.
And while my husband dreams about Lucan being a professional athlete someday, it was never about sports ability either.
We struggled knowing if our choice to redshirt our kindergartener (meaning Lucan will start “official” kindergarten as a six year-old) was the right one.
Not having a crystal ball to look into the future, we are happy with the decision we made to redshirt Lucan, and here are the reasons why.
- The school district we reside in offers a half-day “optional or transitional” kindergarten program. It’s an offshoot of a traditional full-day kindergarten class and they focus on many of the same concepts as regular kindergarten.
- Because of this optional kindergarten program, our son’s class size is only fifteen students, thus allowing his teacher to spend quality time developing each student’s skills.
- 87% of the kids in his class have birthdays in May, June, July, or August.
- 60% of his class are boys. Silly little boys who have sloooow emotional maturity.
- My son’s decision-making abilities are better developed. I’m not saying he’s not still an impulsive five year-old, but he at least pauses to think about his choices first.
- He’s starting to read and is confident about his letters, numbers, and sight words. Lucan can add with ease and count by twos, fives, and tens. Academically it’s just a stepping stone to next year where the expectations for kindergarteners are high.
Obviously there are a multitude of pros and cons about redshirting your child and YOU, as the momma, are probably the best equipped to make that choice for your kiddo.
We had a serious conversation with our son’s preschool teacher and decided together that we wouldn’t regret the decision to redshirt. After all, let them be little, right? Childhood is fleeting and all too quickly our kids are thrust out into the world where they are expected to be confident achievers.
While I can’t know your child and his or her situation, I know redshirting our kindergartner was a good choice. What is your experience with redshirting? Yay or nay?
Here’s the original post I wrote last year when we decided to redshirt our five year old.