Before having kids, my only experience with the term “redshirting” was in regards to college football. As a parent, I’ve now got a different understanding of “redshirting” and it has nothing to do with football.
“Redshirting” is when a parent decides to hold back a potential Kindergartener for an extra year. So, instead of sending your 5-year-old pre-schooler to elementary school when they’re first eligible, you keep them in pre-school for an additional year. Most parents do it as an extra year for development (emotional, academic, or otherwise).
I sent my older two off to Kindergarten without a second thought. They were academically ready and they generally seemed on par with their peers. But my youngest is totally different.
He’s never been interested in learning his ABCs or 123s. At 5 years old, he just (finally) learned to write his name. And although he now knows how to write it, I don’t think he knows the names of any of the letters in his name. Lastly, he’s got a bit of a speech delay that we’re working on. Sometimes his classmates may not understand what he says because he has a hard time articulating his words correctly.
So, one could say he’s not the most advanced student.
He has gotten in trouble at school for making jokes during prayer and for cutting up in class. Sometimes he can get easily frustrated and he can’t voice his opinions in a calm manner. He also enjoys saying words like “underwear” and other inappropriate words. I am fairly certain that he likes to share these words with his friends in class. (Sorry parents!)
So, one could also say that he’s not the most mature student.
I should also admit that his teacher has warned us that we may want to consider holding him back at the end of the year. We love her and really respect her, so her opinion is highly valued.
However, despite all of these things, I don’t want to redshirt him when the school year is over.
My thought is that Kindergarten should be the leveling ground. If he goes to Kindergarten and doesn’t meet the expectations, then we can think about having him repeat Kindergarten.
I certainly don’t want to set him up for failure, but I also don’t want to avoid giving him a chance. I feel that if I delay elementary school for a year then I’m not even giving him the opportunity to try.
So I will see what the rest of the school year brings. I’m hoping the decision will be an easy one when it’s time to actually decide.