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Pine Hills Learning Place Blog

4 Factors to Consider When Deciding to Redshirt Your Child

With kindergarten expectations on the rise, many parents wonder if they should redshirt their children. Academic redshirting is a term that refers to holding a child back a year so that they are one of the oldest children in their grades, instead of one of the youngest.

Parents who choose to have their children start kindergarten a year later don’t always do so to give them a competitive edge. Some parents do so because they have concerns that their child is not academically, physically, socially, or emotionally ready for kindergarten.

Research seems to indicate that while some benefits exist for redshirting in early grade levels, these advantages are less pronounced by the time your child reaches high school. If you have concerns about whether your child is ready for kindergarten, keep reading for a few factors you should keep in mind as you make your decision.

  1. Experience in a Structured Educational Setting

Children who have some type of formal education prior to entering kindergarten tend to perform better than those who receive their first introduction to structured learning in kindergarten. Studies indicate that a structured educational setting, such as preschool or pre-kindergarten, has the following advantages for children:

  • Allows your child to participate in activities that improve literacy and math skills
  • Immerses your child in a language-rich environment
  • Encourages your child to become more independent
  • Provides your child with the opportunity for regular interaction with their peers
  • Gives your child the opportunity to take direction from adults who aren’t family members

A year or two in a quality preschool or pre-k program will equip your child with the skills they need to succeed in kindergarten.

  1. Activities in the Year Before Kindergarten

If you decide to redshirt your child, make sure your child spends the year in a setting that benefits their education. Consider enrolling them in an early education school with a reputable pre-k program.

Pre-k programs tend to last the entire day, much like a session of kindergarten, but they incorporate more play-based activities into their daily curriculum. This will get your child used to spending the entire day in a structured environment without overwhelming them with too many organized activities.

  1. Development During the Next Six Months

Some parents feel pressured to make a decision regarding their child’s education months before kindergarten actually begins. Kindergarten registration usually occurs during the winter or early spring months, while kindergarten itself doesn’t start until the following September.

Your child can experience rapid growth in their emotional maturity, social skills, and academic abilities during this period. Even if your child is currently behind in certain areas, predicting exactly how your child’s development will progress over the next six months is hard. By the time kindergarten begins, their abilities may match those of their peers.

Take advantage of this period to bolster any skills that you are concerned about. For example, an enriching summer camp might be a terrific setting for your five-year-old to boost their motor skills, foster a higher sense of independence, and enhance their social skills.

Most children and their parents dislike the idea of having to repeat a grade once they begin school. You may prefer to address this concern now by waiting a year to begin kindergarten.

Ready to find the best early education school for your child? Contact Pine Hills Learning Place today for more information about our programs.

Newsletter

We have a big, big announcement in our October 2018 Newsletter. After 31 years of excellent service to Pine Hills Learning Place, our beloved Director, Deb Ingram, will be retiring in December… click here to read more. 

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