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The Whole Kindergarten Redshirt Thing

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Lugnuts, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    Would love your thoughts... parents and non-parents.

    I have a girl with a late fall birthday. The public school cutoff around here is Dec. 31. (The private school cutoff is Sept. 1.) So I was all set to send her ahead to kindergarten next Sept.

    But it has come to my attention that EVERYBODY is holding back nowadays. We're talking - boys with ** JULY ** birthdays being held back. So the effect of that would be that my daughter is not only surrounded by kids 6,7,8,9 months older than her, which would be fine... but kids WELL OVER a YEAR older than her-- even up to 18 months. That's a problem.

    As the NY Times recently pointed out in an article on this issue, it might be okay in 1st grade, but I don't want her best friends starting their periods and talking about boys while she's still wanting to play with dolls, kwim?

    Working against the idea of 'redshirting' her.... She's tall. She's the tallest kid in her preschool class, despite being the youngest. She will REALLY be the tallest if I hold her back. I also want her to feel academically challenged.

    This is such a tough, frustrating decision. I feel like... if everybody would just follow the rules... but apparently... in this hyper-competitive parenting world we live in... every parent wants little Johnny to be the biggest/smartest. UGH!!!!!

    There is also some thought that friggin' No Child Left Behind and the testing pressures schools face have contributed to the hold back thing - schools are encouraging it so they look better.

    I would love to hear from other parents who have faced this and what you did. I would also like to hear from people with fall birthdays. If you were held back, were you aware of it? If you were sent ahead, could you have used an extra year?

  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    My son's birthday is in June. Always been kind of big for his age but a little immature. We felt he was ready for kindergarten.

    School has been a struggle for the most part. He's in high school and just now it's clicking that he has to work at it.

    I kind of wish we had waited a year. Though I don't know if it would have really made any difference.

    What I hear is no one regrets holding their kids back, but once you've made that decision it's not like you are going to smack your head and say, "Why did we do this?"
  3. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    If your school has a pre-1st program, don't red-shirt the kindergarten year.

    My daughter has friends that both skipped a grade and redshirted a year ( one girl redshirted 2 years, she delayed entry and then did a year of pre-1st grade, she's a 3.9 high school senior with 90th+ percentile SATs)

    Her friend that's too young is the only one not driving and her parents are over protective. She's probably going to be the first girl in her grade to give up the butt, just to feel more advanced.

    Being older doesn't hurt much, but it's not the advantage in high school that parents think. It's probably a middle school advantage, which is tremendous. Middle School can be the toughest. If you can afford it, private school for grades 6-8 is crucial.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Middle school is the toughest academically, socially, hormonally?

    How would private school be a particularly crucial advantage in those areas?
  5. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    I'm not sure what the cutoff was when I was in school, but I'm a February birthday. I had a friend who was born in December, 10 months after me, in my grade and a friend who was born in September, seven months after me, in the grade below me. Both turned out to be intelligent, reasonable, knowledgeable, mature individuals who would obtain advanced college degrees and could have played college athletics (only one did).

    I never considered it to be an issue. They would bring it up often, so it jogged my memory here. I haven't crossed that bridge yet, but I would have no qualms about putting my child where he/she belongs if all was well.
  6. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    Our son's birthday is two weeks from the cutoff date.

    We put him in a private pre-K, fully expecting that we had launched him on his schooling path. But, the pre-K teacher convinced us to give him two years of pre-K. His academics were good, but he was a bit immature.

    We worried about our decision, but it's worked out for the best. He's at the top of the scale gradewise and has much more confidence than he would have if we would have stuck to the original schedule.

    But, then again, girls are supposed to mature faster.

    I've managed to work my way up to a maturity level somewhere between that of a 13- or 14-year-old.
  7. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    Our state's enrollment cutoff is Dec. 1, and my son's birthday is Dec. 14. So, he was among the oldest in his class. I don't think that helped or hurt him. He wishes, though, he would have been a year ahead in school so he could have graduated earlier (he graduated in June). He saw the high school reindeer games for what they were.

    Here's an interesting side effect: The "redshirted" kids might be too old for high school sports when they're seniors.
  8. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I was born in September so I started school early. It was nice being able to graduate college at age 21, when the people who started later were 22 or 23.

    I had no problem in sports or anything like that although in high school it would have been nice to have another year to grow and mature. Probably would have grabbed that swim scholarship.
  9. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    The studies I've seen on the subject say it doesn't matter much in the long run. But I wonder if the fact that so many parents are doing it might change that. If everyone else is doing it, it almost forces you to do it or else a youngish kid is almost two full years behind.
  10. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    I have absolutely no business posting on this thread, but I will anyway.

    Should Lugs' daughter's height be taken into account? If she's considerably taller than the other girls when she starts following a red-shirt year, isn't that likely to lead to lots of issues in the next decade and a half?
  11. finishthehat

    finishthehat Active Member

    It's a very difficult thing, brought on by hyper-competitive parents.

    I can give a complete non-answer -- it depends on your kid. If she's been in a pre-school and seems adjusted to it all, she can probably handle it and thrive (although "probably" is a pretty big matzoh ball hanging out there). If it meant she'd be going cold-turkey into her first school experience, then I'd have the same concerns you do.
  12. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Don't let the deranged parenting decisions of others determine your decisions. That's how these things become trends.
    If you were parenting this child 30 years ago, would you be concerned that she is not intellectually ready for school?
    The answer to that question is the answer.
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