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Kindergarten "redshirting"

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Ilene Serpa Ilene Serpa 5 years, 12 months ago.

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    How do you feel about Kindergarten "redshirting"? I saw this piece on 60 Minutes about holding children back to give them a leg up for the following year. I still have some time before my son is old enough for Kindergarten, but am wondering what people think. I never really thought twice about this…I was just planning on registering my son for K when he hit the right age! Are you for redshirting? Against it?

    Here’s a clip from the 60 Minutes report, in case you’re interested:

    Kindergarten "Redshirting": What would you do?


    I’m glad I won’t face this for my two winter babies, but I’m generally opposed to redshirting. I think it’s just pushing an issue off another year and creates an unfair environment for the summer babies who aren’t held back. A couple of neuroscientists actually authored a piece in the New York Times about their research that shows redshirting does more harm than good. I wrote more about it on our Mom to Mom blog if you want to check it out here:


    I have a November baby and a May baby.  Both will start kindergarten when they are age appropriate.  I know several people who were held back once they were in school (on the school’s suggestion) and am far more supportive of this practice than delaying the start of kindergarten.  I believe holding a child back once in school occurs because the child is actually struggling vs. redshirting which is more of a perception of potential struggle.  As a mom of two children in child care, each week they are in care I am blown away by how capable they are.  I think many parents (including those who redshirt) don’t always understand their child’s potential or how successful they can be once they enter school. I certainly have fallen into this category during the early years (such as when I was shocked my child was putting on his jacket without any help at 2 or when my daughter was drinking from a real cup and using utensils by her first birthday – all thanks to the teachers who help care for my children and encouraged my children to try.)

    A quote by the late Jim Greenman, author and early education expert,  comes to mind for parents considering redshirting their children.  Keep in mind, "It’s not, ‘How smart is the child?‘ It’s, ‘How is the child smart?‘"  Each child is unique and there are so many ways to be "smart".  There will be many successes and many struggles regardless of whether or not you hold your child back.


    I love that quote! "It’s not, ‘How smart is the child?‘ It’s, ‘How is the child smart?‘" I’ll have to write that one down… Thanks for sharing your perspectives.

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