Friday, February 8, 2013

I Don't Care What Color His Shirt Is

Will he be mature enough for kindergarten? Is it better to be the oldest or youngest? Will he be challenged enough? Is 17 too young to be thrown into to the "real world"? These are just some of the questions that rattle around in my head when I think of Z starting school. I've mentioned it on this blog three times already, but I'll say it again. In Texas Z would have started Kindergarten next year and by Kentucky guidelines it should have been this year, but we held him back. He's right on the bubble for the cut off date. Even though I know it is not true, I feel like the fate of his future rests on my decision. That's a lot of pressure! I change my mind about this matter more than a driver with road rage changes lanes.

They actually call it "redshirting" when you hold your child back from starting kindergarten on time. I've recently read some articles about it and it can be pretty controversial. Some parents use it as a way to give their child an advantage in sports or an extra year of maturity for a competitive edge academically. Apparently I have become part of the 10% of American's that are redshirting their children. We fit the statistic since it's most commonly seen among white boys from the suburbs with late summer birthdays. J and I both have summer birthdays, but I went to Kindergarten twice so I know what it's like to be the oldest in the class and J knows the feeling of being the youngest. There are some studies surfacing that show that it doesn't help the student to have an extra year and in some cases may even hinder a student's success. Then there is other evidence that supports the contrary.

I am not setting out to make my son an academic and certainly not athletic powerhouse by holding him back a year. Maybe if it were the Hunger games, but fortunately it's not.  Waiting an extra year just happened to work out for our situation. I don't care if his shirt is red, blue, or fuchsia (okay, maybe he would look a little weird in fuchsia). From what I've researched and what his teachers have told me Z is 100% ready for Kindergarten.
 
So for now we are working on retaining what he has learned and preventing boredom. I've gotten some helpful information from some of my homeschooling mom friends and I will share some of that in my next blog post. This whole ordeal is stretching me, but in a good way. To be continued...


4 comments:

Rachael Andrews said...

Eh, my opinion really doesn't matter. I am an august b-day and was the youngest in my class. I was at the top academically, but stink at sports. All my kids are winter b-days and started school at 5.5. Same with all of them--all great academically, not so sporty. =P I say do whatever you feel fits your family. Kids tend to take after mom and dad rather than statistics and studies. Don't worry about conforming or not conforming. He's going to become who God wants him to become regardless. :)

Shannon said...

My son (he's 7.5 now) has a late-June bday and the decision for us to redshirt him was an easy one. At age 5, he was immature, had a speech delay, and had multiple food allergies. In hindsight, that extra year was so huge--he outgrew many allergies and his need to drink a special formula; his speech vastly improved (he graduated from speech therapy a year later); and we found a new preschool that helped him with important classroom skills like *sitting still*!!! It wasn't about going to the head of class but rather setting him up for success and a love of learning. :-) It's not that redshirting is good or bad, it's just about what your specific child needs.

{amy} said...

I was the youngest in my class, and I did great. But I was in GT & have a history of geniuses in my family, so I wouldn't say that my situation was normal! Each child is different, and you have to do what's right for you & your child.

It's funny that we both talked about summer birthdays today! In February! :D

Messy Mom said...

I am all the time hearing this for boys rather than girls. Girls just mature faster. Granted I was unintentionally "redshirted" by starting at age 4 and repeating the grade at age 5, but that was because my brother had been diagnosed with Luekemia the year I started Kindergarten so I missed a lot. It was more for emotional reasons rather than me not being ready.