Kindergarten Now Or Later? The Dos And Don'ts Of Redshirting

Is your child ready to start kindergarten? If kindergarten enrollment is a potential next step, take a look at the dos and don'ts of redshirting and readiness.

Do Ask About Age

What is your local school district's age cut-off date? Most schools require a child to reach age five before they start school. If your child misses the cut-off, you'll need to wait until the next year — unless your school allows children to "test in" early. If your child is on the cusp of the date, you have options. Read on for more information on what to do if your potential-kindergartner has a late-summer birthday.

Don't Always Go by Your Child's Birth Date

Provided your child meets the cut-off date, you can either decide to redshirt (hold back) or start your child in school next fall. But a summer or late-summer birthday can create questions or concerns. You may wonder if your child is ready to start school or if they're too young — especially in comparison to the other kids in their future class.

While age is an indicator of readiness, it isn't the only factor. A younger child with a summer birthday may do just as well, if not better, than a kindergartner who is a full year older. Development isn't universal. This means an almost-five-year-old could have the same cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills as a five-and-a-half-year-old.

Do Consider Your Child's Individual Development

If age isn't always the best indicator, what factors should guide your enrollment decision? Whether your child is almost six, well into the fifth year, or is ready to turn five, consider their individual abilities, skills, and developmental level.

Schools don't expect parents to assess or evaluate their children's abilities or developmental level. If you're not sure if your child's current individual development matches up to what the elementary school teacher will expect, talk to the school. The educator can provide you with a bigger picture of what level of development kindergarteners need to start school.

Don't Do What Everyone Else Is

Are the other parents in your local moms or dads social media group completely against an early school start? If redshirting seems like it's the thing to do, that doesn't mean holding your child back is the best option for your family. The same goes for an early kindergarten start. Do what makes sense for your child — whether that means starting school now or waiting until next year.

For more information, contact a kindergarten like Triple R Child Care.