Is Redshirting the Right Choice for Your Child?

Redshirting is the term commonly used when you delay your kindergarten child entry by one year. So, instead of having them enter kindergarten the year they turn five, they enter the year they turn six. In the Province of BC, kindergarten is a full-day program. So it can be too much for some young children to handle. Redshirting has become increasingly popular in North America over the past few years, and you may wonder if it’s the right choice for your child.

Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?

We know that deciding if your child is ready for kindergarten can be tough. Registration occurs months before the start date, and as we have all seen, kids can learn and mature in short periods of time. However, if your child is significantly lacking some important basic skills such as sharing, using words to express basic needs, the ability to follow simple directions or do simple things themselves. It may be worth considering giving them another year to practice these skills before they start kindergarten.

What Does Your Daycare or Preschool Suggest?

If you’re unsure if you should redshirt your child, it may be worth having a conversation with their current daycare provider or preschool teacher. They likely see a lot of children the same age and may be able to share their thoughts about your child being ready to start kindergarten.

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What Does Your Elementary School Suggest About Redshirting?

You may also want to talk to the administrators at the elementary school your child will be attending. They may have guidelines to consider or allow your child to be evaluated by staff to see what they suggest.

How Old Is Your Child?

Since children are allowed to start school the year they turn five, this can mean anyone with a birthday from January through to December can start. As we know, all kids develop at different rates, however, a child born in the beginning of January will have had longer to develop important skills than a child who is born at the end of December. Many parents who redshirt have children born later in the year.

Can You Afford Redshirting Your Child?

Many families have two working parents, so paying for another year of daycare or preschool may simply not be an option for you. You may have no choice but to enroll your child in kindergarten the first year they are eligible.

Is Your Child a Boy?

Research shows that boys typically benefit from redshirting more than girls. Boys tend to show slower social development at this age and may have some trouble keeping up during kindergarten. It is important to note that boys do catch up with the girls within a few short years, no matter when they start.

Don’t Stress Too Much About Redshirting!

While there are advantages and disadvantages of redshirting, studies show that even if kids struggle in their first year or two of elementary school due to maturity or skill level, they often catch up and are at the same level as their peers by Grade 2 or 3. Make your decision based on what you feel is right for your family and everything should work out fine.

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