Redshirting: Why We Think We Made the Right Decision

It was during this time two years ago that I was really starting to stress. We had to decide whether to send our daughter to kindergarten in the fall or hold her back a year. Her late August birthday meant she would probably be the youngest in her class or the oldest if we held her back. She turned five the day before kindergarten, and we sent her.

For my husband, there was never an issue. He had a late September birthday and he did fine. She would go. For me, every possible outcome needed consideration. Nearly everyone we knew suggested redshirting, a common trend of holding kids back from school a year, giving them what’s considered the gift of time.

My husband and I thought this practice was a bunch of baloney. She could already read. She knew her numbers to 100. And kindergartners spend a lot of time on numbers to 10. And shapes. And lots of other simple things. But there were factors to consider beyond kindergarten. Could holding her back guarantee that she’d get into gifted programs? Or could holding her back eventually backfire? Would boredom cause a child who didn’t feel challenged to act out in class?

Faced with this decision? Do your homework. Know your kid.

My gut told me to send her, but it didn’t keep me from constant worry about whether we were doing the right thing. I spent hours searching and reading about other people’s opinions and experiences online. I could never find much supporting what my gut told me and what my husband already knew: My daughter needed to go to kindergarten. Why hold her back? She was ready.

I found articles stating boys with a birthday of January or later should be held back. Really? My son with a February birthday has never had a problem. Strangers I talked to facing the same issue, even friends who weren’t, looked horrified when I revealed we planned to send our daughter to school on time. I felt a lot of pressure.

People told me that holding her back a year would give her confidence. She’d be the smartest kid in the class. But it felt like cheating.

My husband just always shook his head. “She’s going,” he’d say. And I knew he was right, but I still needed validation.

I worried that if everyone else held their kids back, she would be behind. She would be so young. But in the end, that was really all I worried about. I knew she could do the work. I had to believe in her. Deep down, I knew giving her a chance to show what she is capable of would be best for her. Challenge isn’t a bad thing for kids, and parents shouldn’t be scared of it. Challenge and struggle are different.

Some of the most successful people I know were not the kids who were the best in class. They weren’t the valedictorians or the kids who had it easy in school. They were the middle-of-road kids who learned to work for something. Challenge is good.

Having things come too easily can backfire. Not having to study, not having to work hard at first. I know those are skills you don’t want to learn in high school or college.

I volunteered in my son’s kindergarten classroom every week, so I knew what my daughter would face, and I knew she could do it. I asked teachers about kids with late birthdays and I got mixed answers.

I asked the principal. He said his oldest daughter had a late birthday and they sent her on time. They’ve never regretted it. I could have hugged him. Finally, someone understood. Someone else had guts.

Two years later, my daughter is in first grade and finishes all of her work on time. She follows directions. She behaves, sits still. She understands her work. She tells me everything about her day. She moved up to the highest reading group this year. She is in a class with kids who are a year older than her, and she does just as well as they do. And she’s also not the youngest. Two other girls have birthdays later than her. Sure, it all depends on the kid, but I didn’t do it because of a date and I have no regrets.

In the end, we knew that none of this would stop our daughter from being a doctor or a lawyer if she wants to be. And we decided that her “gift of time” would be better spent at the end of her eighteen years. Instead of an extra year of preschool, because she will be younger than her peers, she can take a year off to travel, to study, to work, to start her life. That is the gift we gave to her.



Filed under Tough Choices

204 responses to “Redshirting: Why We Think We Made the Right Decision

  1. jeep4jeep

    Yes, I know the feeling. We’re already debating with our youngest if she should start kindergarten or be delayed and she’s only 3.

  2. Agreed! What a refreshing point of view! My children are both Feb birthdays but I would like to think I’d do the same in your shoes. Like you said, at the end of the day – know your own kid. Great post.

  3. It sounds like you and your husband made the perfect decision. Gut feelings and just knowing your kids (and being brave enough to accept and act upon these things) seem to be the core of “parenting”.

    • At the time, it was grueling. I didn’t know anyone else who chose the way we were going. In her preschool class, kids who seemed on target were being held back. It baffled me. But I feel really good about our choice and she is proud every day of what she accomplishes. I just wanted anyone who might be looking for this kind of story to find it.

      • Non-Redshirring Momma

        I am that person…thank you so much…this post made me cry..we are in the same boat, and it has been grueling for me too. My daughter is so ready, and we are sending her…but I fear and question our decision every day as we head closer to the start date..not because she is not ready, but because there are so many people holding their perfectly capable and very bright kids back..I just don’t get it.

  4. Great story…so glad you shared. And it was well-written to boot! I agree with others that your decision is entirely personal, that you know your child better than anyone else. Good to go with “gut.”

    We too struggled, both with a decision to hold an autistic child back and not to put another obviously-ready child in early — both of them for kinder. Turned out to be the right decisions, though I’m inclined to believe that had we chosen the opposite, each would have also succeeded.

    Children are amazingly resilient creatures. I find that just by removing obstacles to learning, ANY child in ANY situation can do amazing things.

    • They are. And it’s strange because we never know what the outcome would have been if we had held her back. We’ll never know. But this seems right. We may hit bumps down the road. We may have if we had chosen the other route. There were so many questions. I am the type who goes nuts thinking about all that stuff and my husband just said, “Let it be.” Craziness. One thing too, that I didn’t mention, was that with her having an older brother, she was already used to be around older kids and trying to keep up with them. She never seemed to fit with kids a year younger than her. So many things to consider! It works out. It’s making the decision that’s the killer.

  5. I love this perspective. My son is almost a full year younger than all of his peers — we chose to start him early, as he was eight days past the cut-off — and I do feel guilty at times. Just one (silly) side-effect of our choice: He’s about a full head shorter than his peers. I’m 6-feet tall, and his father is 6′-3″. Ugh.

    However, he is thriving. Fingers crossed we made the right decision…


    • It sounds like he will catch up to them, maybe pass them, in height! But children come in all shapes and sizes at every age. It’s good that he is doing well now. And I think support goes a long way!

  6. What great timing! I’ve found that it differs for each child, even in the same family. My three all have just-past-the-cusp birthdays that mean they could be kept back (and in public, we wouldn’t have a choice because of the cut-off). But they are luckily in private, and we have the flexibility to decide (with great feedback from their teachers). My oldest went for it, my middle stayed back, and my youngest (at 3) will be MORE THAN ready (the joy of that third child 😉 )

    I get irritated when I see large, hulking children holding court over little, of-age kindergartners (and beyond). Is there a term for redshirting PLUS some? Kids that are more than a year older than the kids in the grade above?


    • skeetbug85

      Just because a child is large doesn’t mean he was red-shirted. My oldest two, (twins) were born in December, with no hope of starting early because of the strict rules and August cut off. They are larger than average, and by the time they enter Kindergarden, they will be comfortably wearing size 7 clothes and on the verge of turning 6. There is no easy answer to size and age when the school district dictates when you can start kindergarden. So please be careful when making assumptions of the bigger kids.

  7. my daughter had an august birthday. on her first day of preschool, she screamed like no kid had ever screamed there, so much that the teacher told us, “i can’t see how she’ll ever go to kindergarten next year.” we freaked. on the first day of kindergarten – the next year – she waved and smiled, first in line, and enjoyed her first day. in first grade, they wanted to move her to third grade, and we said, “no way.”

    hold a kid back if there is a reason that the kid needs to be held back. i know people who have held boys back because they wanted them to be a year bigger and stronger, hoping for a more stand-out sports performance, thus better college scholarships. i don’t like that.

    i only knew one kid personally who had been held back. when he was a junior, he finally figured it out. he went to his parents and said, “really? you held me back? you mean i could have been out of high school this year, but now i have another year to be here? thanks. thanks a lot.”

  8. What an amazing gift you gave to her. I can only imagine how conflicting it was to make the decision but it definitely sounds like the right one 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  9. go with your gut. my youngest has an October birthday, and thought I wish, wish, wish she could start Kindergarten this year – I know that she’ll do things in her time, when she’s ready. I’m planning on doing what’s best for her, and I’m glad you’ve done what’s best for your daughter.

  10. I finally sent my youngest when the principal called my home and mentioned she thought we may have at home that should be getting registered. ha ha! Oh letting go of the baby! He could count and read and all but I was more worried about what a 14 year old boy would be doing with a 16 year old boy in his class. We all know whats best for our kids and do the best that we can at the time.

    • That age difference is really tough. Knowing my daughter could be dating those older boys didn’t make the decision easier, but with an older brother we are going to have to deal with that anyway. I may be holding my breath through the dating years.

  11. Good story!

    I think you hit on some interesting points. I really liked what you said about being the middle of the road student who had to struggle. You see, I am the kind of person you do not want to be. Somethings in my life came easy to me and others not so much. So naturally I gravitated towards my strengths. My parents always praised me for the things I was good at and never pushed me to do anything but what I excelled at. Now as an adult, I see that personal growth is about learning and learning involves starting at the bottom and not being good. It is keeping at things until you get it. So now I am trying to change my way of thinking.

    Children should be allowed to struggle and to learn that failure is not bad or permanent. They should enjoy the act of learning and enjoy the fun of not starting off being great at something.

    • It’s really hard to let your child not be good in some aspect of their lives. As a parent, I see kids thrown into so many sports and activities that they are busy every night of the week. We just can’t handle that kind of competition in our house. We strive for good grades, but I know some things simply come with time. So you aren’t catching on to division in third grade? One day it will click. I hate to watch my kids struggle with anything, homework especially but for other reasons, but I know it’s good for them so they can learn how to overcome it. It’s a great life skill. Thanks for your thoughts!

  12. My son has a late January birthday. I so wanted to send him to kindergarten when he 4 turning 5, but I could not find a school in my town to take him, not even the private school. He missed everyone’s cut-off date and no one would budge. Now he’s 12 and bored to death in school. He needed to begin early. He would have excelled. Instead, he spent the first 3 years of school getting into trouble for distracting the other students. Challenge is wonderful. Never for a moment regret your decision.

  13. What a lovely and thoughtful post. I don’t have children and find it hard to imagine how parents make these kinds of decisions.

    I have, however, written about my own experience in Kindergarten in the post below. Perhaps, it will speak to you–as much as yours has touched me.


  14. mamadestroy

    My son turned 5 on January 7th and will be starting kindergarten in the Fall, as one of the oldest kids in his class. I basically had no choice but to kinds-sorta”redshirt” him because NYC uses Dec. 31st as a cut-off date. Am I sorry that he got an extra year of pre-school? No. But I also think that if he’d been born 7 days earlier and was in kindergarten right now, he’d be just fine. We, as parents, are always second-guessing ourselves, and though it’s easier said than done, I think we need to keep in mind that most things just work out. Thanks so much for your thoughts! Your daughter is lucky to have a Mama who is so thoughtful about her parenting decisions. I’m sure that will always serve her well.

  15. The Grown Up Princess

    My mom had to fight to get both my sister and I pushed ahead, because the school had a strict cutoff… We’re both so thankful she did. Working with kids, I’ve learned that being bored in school is such a deterrent to a good school attitude, and attitude is half the battle in success.

  16. We made the same choice. Our son is the second youngest student in his senior class and he is the number one ranked student ofthat same class of 485 students. Yes he was the smallest in his class most of the time and yes he hated that he was the last one to get his license, but he has survived. As for sports he played number one varsity tennis from his freshman year on and made it to state in his senior year. He is going to college to be a doctor and I am glad he has the extra year on the backend instead of the front end. Good choice. You know your kids better than anyone else.

  17. Another great post, or REALLY great – Congrats on FP !

  18. Touching article. I think you made the right decision.

  19. Barbara @ Just Another Manic Mommy

    this is a great post. the topic gets me a little heated because I live in a very competitive town where it is the NORM instead of the EXCEPTION to hold back. from the moment my November twins were born I was being asked if I planed to hold them back. crazy! in the end, like you, I went with my gut and they are also now flourishing in first grade. they are the youngest and the smallest though. (cutoff here is Dec 1 and they are Nov 21 babies)

    • It’s tough when it’s a trend, but you know your kids best. Some kids really do need to be held back. Some kids do not. And even kids within the cutoff come in all shapes and sizes.

    • Non-Redshirring Momma

      We are going through the same thing…an Oct. 26th born child, with a Nov. 1 cut off date, in a sitting where redshirtting is the trend..thank you so much for sharing a positive story about your kids…we are sending our daughter and know it is right, but are definitely feeling nervous, based on how many people are NOT sending their kids really actually baffles me.

  20. Raaj Trambadia

    Whoa! Only mom’s have the power to write such a beautiful post! That’s why we call them mothers ….which is a totally different word than ‘others’ !! Gr8 post !!

    And please check out my latest post on love & relationship –

    And even my new PhotoBlog –

  21. Each kid is different and how lucky for your daughter that she has parents willing to not follow the rest of the crowd. That is a valuable lesson all in itself. Congrat on being pressed.

  22. My Last Pen

    Oh my God…I guest better to ask your kid if she want to go to school in early age…i mean if she has the confidence to meet new people, new kids.. if she want guild her very well… Any way congrats…

  23. I liked the ending… a happy one!

  24. This is great! My family had the same debate when I started school with a June birthday. I started kindergarten at 5. My youngest brother’s birthday is the day before mine but my parents realized it was best to not have him start until he was 6. There’s really something to knowing your own kid and choosing because you see where they’re really at. Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

  25. Wow. I have ::gulp:: never actually thought about this. My kids will be 4 this month and while next year they will be in Pre-K, I guess I just always thought that when they were 5 they will be in Kinder, no big deal. I didn’t realize that there may or may not be consequences to starting them “on time” or holding them back a year. Thanks for this post– you’ve given me a lot to think about and research.

  26. Hello! I know you! What are you doing on Freshly Pressed? Woo-hoo! Congrats!

    I was so excited I didn’t even read your post. On my way back up there now…

  27. Fabulous, MM! I can so relate to this and I’m glad I read it. My daughter will start kindergarten next year (we already made up our minds). She is a mere four days ahead of our state’s age cut-off. (Gulp.) Her preschool teacher says she’ll do great and in our guts we know she will. She’s highly social, focused and loves to learn. Yet, it isn’t too comforting to think your child will be the youngest in her class.

    I love this: “Some of the most successful people I know were not the kids who were the best in class. They weren’t the valedictorians or the kids who had it easy in school. They were the middle-of-road kids who learned to work for something. Challenge is good.”

    Parents today seem so overly consumed with their children’s ability to achieve success — they’re getting heavily involved in their homework, grades, teachers, etc. I can only see this backfiring when those kids one day realize that they have to actually work hard toward their accomplishments.

    Great post!

    • Thank you! Oh, and maybe don’t read my homework post just yet. ; ) They do well in school, but homework time can unleash the beast in all of us. Wish I had known about FP sooner. I would have worn a different dress to the party, ya know?

      • I hear they work kids to death in school now, compared to when we were kids. And that a lot of it is unfortunately just busywork. Not looking forward to that. I’ll read your homework post when I’m not already feeling overwhelmed 🙂

  28. Nina

    I am glad things seem to be going so well for your daughter, and that she’s thriving. However, I couldn’t help but ask myself – did you ever actually consult her about what she wanted?
    When I was about that age, I was so bored that I actually asked my parents to start going to school. I have been more than a full year younger than all the other kids in my classes my whole life, and we had to get special premission from the school board to enrol me a year early. But I was ready.
    And it sounds like your daughter was, too!

    • Ha ha! Good question! Yes, actually, my daughter wanted to go to kindergarten. In fact, when she was in preschool and my son was in first grade, I had to print out worksheets for her to do while he did his homework. She wanted homework too and some of it was the same work he did in kindergarten. But I should point out that we did not send her to school early. She went to school within the cutoff date of our public school.

  29. I have a February birthday and started kindergarten when I was five. There were four other girls that started the same time I did with birthdays later than mine but before September. By the time October of grade 1 rolled around we were so far ahead that by December we started grade 2 classes. The following year we finished up grade 2 and started grade 3 in November. We completed that grade with all the other grade 3s in June. Being among the five youngest in our classes didn’t seem to bother us too much until we got to highschool. Labels of ‘nerd’ and ‘too young’ followed us through the halls. The four of us stayed tight (the fifth went to another high school), shunned by our classmates, left out of parties (drinking age was 18 at that time) and never seemed to be accepted except at exam time when everyone wanted to study with us because we faithfully took/kept the class notes and got above average grades. In all fairness our not being accepted was compounded by our ‘social’ status, we were all subburden/rural girls, with labourer fathers and stay at home moms. Our little group remained overachievers, possibly for the satisfaction and acceptance from the only source there was; teachers, parents and other adults in our lives. One of us went on to become a certified accountant, two are now clergy, and two back in highschool, one as a teacher, the other as a principal. All in all, we did okay.

  30. PS – I know I already commented once, but did you see the 60 minutes bit on redshirting last night? I was relatively horrified. Holding kids back so that they will be better than all the others? I was raised to compete only with myself, to do MY personal best and any superficial advantage over others was not to be valued or applauded. I hope to teach my kids the same, regardless of their February birthdays.

    • I did not see that. Wish I had. I have heard and read it all: holding kids back so they’ll be bigger for sports or so they’ll be the smartest in their class. I try to teach my kids that not only do you have to be intelligent, but imagination and creativity get you far as well. Playtime people! It’s important.

  31. With a late October birthday, I was always the youngest person by far in my class. When I had maxed out two pre-school programs, my parents decided to find a school that would agree to take me early. Being the youngest was only a challenge twice – when everyone got their drivers license before me, and when all of my friends were getting into the college bars without me. (Could have been worse, right?) Your knowledge of your daughter and her abilities should be more of a deciding factor than any set date from the school district. I think you made the best choice.

  32. Palm Trees & Bare Feet

    I love your perspective of giving her time later in life, like taking a year off before university to travel, live life, etc. That is very important, and I did that myself – actually am still doing it as I’m studying abroad! – and is something that makes you grow as a person

    I don’t have kids of my own yet, but I enjoyed reading this article and respect your decision you made for your daughter.

    Great post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂

  33. millodello

    I was afraid of a late frost one year so I delayed planting half of the tomatoes by 10 days. There was no late frost. All the tomatoes matured the first week of September. Children grow up to be adults who fret over children. And those children also grow up. Fretting keeps us employed as parents long after the children have grown up. I loved your fret. Great post.

    • I loved your comment. Thanks.

    • I relate to your comment, millodello. We (parents, of kids and plants) fret constantly. It’s what we do. But when a tough decision as yours (MuddledMom) is done with love and consideration for the whole child, the result will always be that sweet, delicious fruit in the end. Even if it’s not exactly when you planned to pick it.

  34. Hello there,
    My wife and I have been married for 46 years–have three sons and five grandkids, two boys and three girls. Trust me on this one, you did NOT make a mistake. Our three boys went to private schools, grammer, high school and college. Even in grammer school, the competition is definitely there, if for no other reason, the parents push their children to succeed. Right or wrong, this is reality. In my opinion, you definitely did the right thing. ( Wait until they get to college, they will thank you for this decison. )

    Take care.
    Bob J.

  35. Pam

    I’d never heard of red shirting until recently. I’ve always been so keen for my son to start kindergarden so we can stop paying for day care and preschool. But now it looks like we will be red shirting inadvertently because he turns 5 next month and will start kindergarden in California aged 5 this September, and then we are moving to Australia at the end of the year so he’ll be starting kindergarden all over again next February right before he turns 6. Having read some of the pros and cons about it, I’m actually glad he’ll be older as my husband and I were both so short until we turned 16 so he’ll hopefully be a normal height compared to his peers, and he also has a slight speech impediment which will hopefully have corrected itself by the time he starts kindy next year in Australia.

  36. This subject was just on 60 Minutes on Sunday. I am not in favor of the idea of holding a child out of school in the hopes that they will do better because they’re older. But I understand each parent has to use their own judgment. My daughter’s birthday is late September. There was no way she could wait until afte she turned 5 to start kindergarden. She was ready and anxious to go. Yes, she has always been one of the youngest kids in her class, got to drive later and all, but she thrived and because she’s tall she never seen as ‘too’ young. Enjoy and believe in the abilities of your child. Your belief will make them strong.

    • Just watched the 60 Minutes segment. It had some really good points. I wish I had seen it when I was looking for validation two years ago because I really think seeing that would have helped me make up my mind. I don’t think it guarantees your child will be a leader. Personality plays a role. I’ve seen older kids in my children’s classes who are definitely not leaders. Oh, so many things to say!

      Here’s the segment if anyone missed it. It’s an interesting piece.

  37. What a great gift to give your daughter – as I read your words I could not help to think of the greatest gift of all that you have blessed her with and that is BELIEF! Blessings!

  38. This is interesting. I never knew that parents put so much thought into this!
    I personally am currently a college student, but my twin brother and I went to school when we were 5 (so we turned 6 in Kindergarten).
    One of my best friends is an entire year younger than everyone else in our grade, and she did absolutely fine! (She graduated 4th in our class of 149).
    I guess I just want to assure you that you made the right decision! Best of luck! (:

  39. Kim

    Loved your post! I don’t know why there is so much pressure on children to be a certain way at such a young age. Many times, kindergarten is the first time children are really exposed to that much interaction with their peers. How can you determine if they’re ready if you don’t let them try? Besides, the worst thing that can happen is that maybe the child doesn’t do as well and you try again the following year. I think as long as it’s approached in a positive manner (and not something like “being held back”), it won’t have a negative impact on the child.
    Congrats on getting her started, though! If she can already read and knows her numbers, she sounds like a smart cookie. =)

  40. I was one of the youngest in my class, I have a June birthday and was 4 when I started primary school. My parents would have held me back a year if they felt I was struggling at any point but it wasn’t necessary. My mum taught at the school I attended and could see for herself that I was fine, (a luxury that most parents don’t have). The only time it bothered me that I was younger than some of my friends was as a teen but I think you’re in for drama during those years no matter what you do 😉

    On another note I worked as a Montessori directress for 10 years and helped lots of children get ready for, as they called it, big school. Every child was different, some were ready right on time, some were happier to be big fish in the small pond of their Montessori class for another year and some were just itching to move on and up. I can’t tell you the number of parents who asked for my advice over the years but I can tell you that each one knew their child well enough to know what was best for them. I think you figured out what was best for your daughter, good luck to her in her school adventures!

  41. Our oldest son is five, six in November, and starts Kindergarten this August… He is SO ready. Emotionally, mentally, academically. However, I have ALREADY (crazy, I know) started wondering about our second son, who is due to be born this May, and whether or not he will be as ready as our first son is by the time Kindergarten arrives for him. I know some of the worry is probably those pesky, unreasonable pregnancy hormones, but it makes me feel GREAT to have stumbled upon this blog post. Like something is saying, “It’s going to be okay, just wait and see how he is when the time comes.” Love the blog!

    • I think second children catch on so quickly too. They are so eager to learn when they see their older sibling doing school things. My daughter seemed to learn things at a much quicker pace than my son did because she sat with us when he did homework and wanted to do some too. She wanted to be a big kid. I’m sure you’ll know what’s right.

  42. I feel your dilemma!!! I had a late June little boy who went to Kindergarten that fall at barely five. Since we had not sent him to preschool exactly (daycare but not “real” preschool) we had no clue about the process of redshirting. We made it through that first year in bliss. In fact, the clues came from him telling us he had kids in his class turning seven in K!!! We were shocked to realize that his class had multiple boys that were literally a year older than him. Fortunately he is very tall so we never caught that as a hint he was younger. The idea of holding anyone born after January back a year is disturbing. Also there was a great special on this on 60 minutes this week!!!

  43. I just tell parents to follow their guts. They know their child better than any statistics. We began asking in preschool if we should hold one child back and was told no, she would catch up socially. They said that in kinder, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade as well. Working for the school district I saw the kids in the middle school and knew she was not ready. we asked (and had to fight for it) but we held her back in 5th grade. I wish we had followed our gut, instead of listening to the “experts”, it would have made those elementary school years so much better for her.

    By the same token, I have a friend who was sure her daughter could skip kindergarten and I gave her the same advice, trust your gut. The child is now in 2nd grade and doing just fine.

  44. its all in the childs level. It they are ready, then send them off. Only you as the parent truly knows what your child is ready for

  45. Glad things worked out. I agree with you that the gift of time you gave her will definitely be more appreciated and better spent at the end of her 18 years.

  46. Great post! I can absolutely relate to your dilemma. My four year old has a late August birthday, and I have spent many hours wondering if I should send her or give her another year. Ultimately, I decided to give her another year in preschool. My town has a grade called Transitional Primary (TP) for students deemed too immature or not developmentally ready for first grade. About 20% of the students go to TP before first grade. Since my daughter would be one of the youngest in the class and is very shy, I have a feeling she would have been flagged for that class. I don’t want her retained, but if she didn’t go to TP, she could wind up nearly two years younger than many of her classmates since so many go to TP. Way too much to think about! I just wish she had a late winter birthday!

  47. What a cool thing you’ve done for your daughter – when I was reading through your post I thought how this is coolest thing you could have done for her! Good luck 🙂

  48. marginalessays

    67 comments, and no reference to “60 Minutes”? The episode about “redshirting” in kindergarten aired [yesterday] Sunday, March 4, 2012. The link to the story and video:;cbsCarousel

    The most interesting element of the “60 Minutes” story is how the issue of “redshirting” is clearly a class issue. Some parents have the ability to hold back students and provide enriching learning opportunities during the extra year off. For others, getting students in school quickly is necessary to save on child care costs or capture the foregone wages of staying at home.

    From what I saw, the evidence cited in favor of “redshirting” seemed tenuous at best. It mostly came from Malcolm Gladwell, a journalist, and involved reference to an anecdote about the best Canadian and pro hockey players being January and February births. When pressed to defend his position that led to many parents “redshirting,” Gladwelll shirked the question and responded that when many parents “redshirt,” it decreases the added benefit. Overall, I just kept thinking that success in school and life is not defined by being physically the biggest or mentally the oldest, but by acquired and learned character attributes like integrity, respect, empathy, commitment, and dedication.

    • There have been a few mentions. I did just watch it and post a link to it. Thanks for linking again. It was a great piece that people should see. I so disagree with the mom who held her son back for sports advantage and in hopes he would be a leader. Now they’re making leaders by redshirting? You make excellent points.

  49. We faced the same tough decision with our first son, who was born in early September. We were advised by so many others to hold him back, ESPECIALLY since he was a boy and “boys are more socially immature.” It was the principal at the elementary school we were sending him to who convinced me NOT to hold him back, to send him on. She assured me he would do just fine. But I worried too and wondered if we were making the right decision. You know what? He did JUST FINE, and excelled. He just graduated from college with a degree in aerospace engineering. I am so very thankful I didn’t hold him back.

  50. It must be such a hard decision. I’m not a parent, but I do remember kids in my grade who were older and whose parents assumed they’d be the smartest because of it. Like you said, it depends on the child, and your daughter was ready. I also love the idea of having that extra year later on – when she will surely appreciate it more 🙂

  51. chinshine

    Thank you for sharing your story, I come from China, we have different culture, I need learn some difference

  52. First of all I love that you call it redshirting kindergarten! I’ll tell my so that one. He was the one we redshirted because of his November birthday, but my younger daughter (June Birthday) couldn’t wait to go and has done just fine. My son probably would have been ok with no redshirt year but he does swimmingly where he is! Glad you played that whole thought process out for others to hear!

  53. Beautiful story! An inspiring story that will give other parents, who are facing the same questions you once did, strength, certainty, and Validation.


  54. Reblogged this on The Storyteller and commented:
    Being a parent seems kind of tough! Nonetheless, it is always so beautiful to see parents put into so much effort to offer the best of this world to their kids! 🙂

  55. Interesting … I was redshirted, with an Oct 9 birthday, and I always was happy about it. My mom’s rationale was that I needed another year of social development before starting K as I was mostly around adults as a young child. I would have been academically ready. Probably a good idea for me! I did great in school, a leader in academics and extra-curriculars.

    I am a middle school teacher, and am now pregnant with my first, due Aug 5, and just realizing this will be a decision for me. Thanks for giving me other perspectives to consider! I see kids every day who are younger than their peers, and most are doing great – others may have benefited from another year. I know I have lots of time, but it is an important decision! And, I agree a highly personal one depending on the child!

    Thanks, great post!

    • You have the benefit of several perspectives that many don’t have. I think what’s most important, and what I hope people don’t get carried away with in all of this and lose sight of, is that parents just need to consider their own child and not do it for the sake of what others are doing. Thanks for your input.

  56. I started kindergarten when I was 3, about to turn 4, but I’m in Australia. I’m so glad my parents didn’t hold me back – I’ve always been one of the youngest in my year level, but that gift you mentioned in your last paragraph, that is absolutely brilliant. And there’s nothing better than a good challenge 🙂

    Kudos on being Freshly Pressed! 😀

  57. Are you the perfect decession maker?

  58. You gave a great gift to your child, she will love it more once she is older than another year of not going to school wondering why you did”nt send her! I agree with you, its all a matter of your child’s abilities, desires and how they can deal with challenges! I have also seen kids that are the right age for kindergarden and still would hide under their mothers skirt all day if they could!

    • I’m in my kids’ classrooms a lot and I’ve seen it all. Even kids who are older. Kids are kids are kids. Personalities don’t change in a year. Sometimes shyness is mistaken for social lacking. I don’t know. I’m just a mom, no expert here.

  59. It was interesting to read your post. We had a similar decision to make with our son years ago and made the same choice. The principal told us we were making a big mistake but when he was class president in 5th grade, she apologized. Turns out though, that she was right in the long term. When he turned 16 as a Junior in high school, he discovered cars, girls and drums – all those 16 year old, sophomore issues but it was in his junior year, the most important academic year for colleges. He’s 25 and doing very well now but he took a much more circuitous route than he might have if he’d had that extra year. I think no matter what choice we make, parents are programmed to second guess ourselves.

    • I agree that we really don’t know what will happen when she’s older, but we also won’t know if it will be because we sent her to kindergarten when she was 5. I do expect some tough years, but I expect it for both of my kids. There are so many what-ifs. It’s impossible to look that far down the road and know for sure. I hope that the skills she learns early on will get her through the bumps later. Fingers crossed. Dating will certainly be an issue! Thanks for sharing your experience.

      • I’m sure she’ll do fine with supportive parents. While his dad and I felt some regret as we struggled with the 16 year old son, he looks back proudly at how he managed to come through to the adult side. Aren’t kids wonderful?

  60. I appreciated your post, as I have a late August birthday & was put into kindergarten immediately after I turned five…then I skipped 1st grade. I was always (by far) the youngest kid in my class, graduating high school at 16. And, for what it’s worth, after I finished high school at 16, I had a year to do whatever I pleased. I moved to Italy for a year on foreign exchange, learned the language, made lifelong friendships…and returned to start college at 18 with a vastly broadened worldview. Being so much younger than my peers throughout my school career had its challenges, but I wouldn’t change a thing; the rewards far outweighed the obstacles. My parents wrestled with starting me “early” and skipping me a grade, but I know they made the right decision, and so have you!

  61. First let me say that I am not a parent. I just found out about “redshirting” on 60 minutes the other night. But I found it quite interesting from my own point of view. My mother faced the decision long ago before anyone had a name for the phenomenon. I never went to kindergarten–it was a new thing back in my day. Because I could read, etc., my mother sent me to 1st grade when I was 5 years old (I had a December birthday). I was as you have described your daughter: well-behaved and a good student. I did not suffer academically from being sent early (the good news). I was near the top of my class academically. But…socially? I could have benefited with more experience. If possible, involve her in a lot of activities to gain that. As with “onemansjourney” above, everything I have done in my life has been a circuitous route. If you can, give your daughter the time after she graduates, do it. I went to college at 17 and I was much too young. Just my two-cents.

  62. Great post! I was thinking all of the exact same thoughts a few months ago. Of course, my husband had no doubt we’d send our daughter to kindergarten – and I’m grateful he had a strong opinion because I was truly wavering. It was the right choice. She would have been bored out of her mind if she had stayed in preschool for another minute. She’s thriving in kindergarten and she’s learning how to work hard – something she just might have missed had we kept her back. Thanks for sharing!

  63. Every pregnancy, every child and every decision brings its own set of blessings and worries. We have three children: boy – 24, boy – 22 and girl – 19. All are late summer/early birthdays and all were very close to cut-off dates for school, sports and etc. We had heard and read a lot about boys struggling in school when they were the youngest in the class and really agonized over the decision. In the end, we sent all three into each venue at the earliest point we could, agreeing with you that we (and probably they, too) would prefer to have “extra” time at the point in their life when they could really enjoy it or afford to take a year off if they wanted to travel, chill or whatever before entering the adult world.

    All three survived their childhood. One was a late bloomer each year and is trying to find the right path even now. One did fine. One did exceptionally well. All are wonderful people and a blessing in our life. I think the most helpful thing to remember is to consider the child’s personality at home. If they’re struggling there, they may be more likely to struggle somewhere else. Trust your gut! Instincts are worth more than any advice and are usually more accurate.

  64. Jim Cantwell

    First off great post, good for you for sticking to your guns and sending your daughter.
    My youngest daughter was not allowed to go to kindergarten because she was not going to be 5 within a month of starting school this is policy in our school system and we had no choice so now she is the oldest in her class and quite bored with school but she does well with her grades. All her friends she went to preschool with are now a year in front of her and she will be 19 when she graduates which will mean she will be 23 graduating college so there is no “gift of time ever.
    My oldest is 23 she decided to take a year off before college and as today has not finished her associates so do not let your daughter take a year off before college it will only hinder her

  65. I’m a July baby, so I was always one of the youngest in my class. I spent my first-grade year in a combination 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade class and the decision arose for my parents — send me on to 2nd, or send me as far ahead as 4th. I’m thankful every day that they kept me in line with kids close to my own age, as I would have been on track to graduate high school at 15.

    While every situation is different, I think the fact that you and your husband are so concerned and weighing your options means there isn’t a wrong decision. She’ll adapt to her surroundings, whether she’s the youngest or oldest. So many variables go into our environments as children, but having the constant loving support of parents helps make it all OK.

    Congrats on FP!

  66. I appreciate the fact that you want your kids to be challenged and work hard. Life is not easy and the kids who have things handed to them are the ones who miss out. So many parents do their kids a disservice by making life as easy as possible. With that false sense of reality, it’s no wonder kids grow up to be entitled, lazy adults.

    Keep making those tough decisions that will stretch and challenge your kids.

  67. There is no secret formula to life, nothing that works for everyone, because we are all unique individuals. Just knowing your kid really well is always going to be the best guide in making parenting decisions, no matter what books, friends, family members or teachers say.

  68. Thanks for your post. I’m in the same spot right now. My son was born in August and should be going to kindergarten this fall. My gut says to send him. My husband and most everyone else says hold him back, including his preschool teacher who can only site that he doesn’t always answer when adults ask him questions (like, “Hi, how are you?”), so he could use an extra year for maturity. But in my case, too, the elementary school principal said there is a wide range of maturity levels in kindergarten and he’ll do fine either way. He’s certainly ready academically. He does well in class, listening and following directions. He gets along with his peers.
    My husband cites that size and age are important for boys (he was young for his grade). And one other argument that sways me a bit is that in the teen years, I’ll want a more mature decision-maker. I’m trying not to make this the Biggest Decision Ever, but it’s hard!

    • That is hard, especially because your husband had a similar experience. My husband was young but didn’t have a negative experience. My kids don’t always talk to adults when I’m around because they are rather shy. They usually have to warm up to them. It doesn’t have anything to do with their maturity and it wasn’t going to change in a year or five years. I was shy and it took my whole school career to outgrow it, if then. I considered my experience (May birthday), my husband’s experience (September birthday), as well as my daughter’s personality. Best of luck in making that decision, and when you do, maybe don’t look back!

  69. kathy

    Your post has made me feel a lot better. I had no clue what redshirting was until a few weeks ago when my son’s preschool teacher suggested that he repeat preschool again because he wasn’t ready for kindergarten. Even though he is academically ready his teacher said that he’s not emotionally ready – which means he’s shy and shows anxiety when trying to talk to the other kids in the class. I spoke with his pediatrician and she said that it’s ridiculous to hold back a child who is academically ready for kindergarten. Just because he’ll be one of the younger kids in the class doesn’t mean that he’s not ready. I’m so glad you posted on the topic and I hope other parents who are going through this read your post. Thank you!

  70. Gina

    You definitely have to go with your gut, all the statistics in the world don’t matter if you don’t take your child’s personality into consideration. My husband’s mom held him back a year and I promise you he has had no advantage over me. If anything I think he felt more awkward as a tall boy being the older, bigger kid and was rather shy because if it. I was a November baby and started Kindergarten at 4. I was in the gifted program my whole life and never felt a problem adjusting. However, with my daughter who is an August baby, while she’s super smart, she is not as “tough” as a lot of other kids. Academics wise it would have been a great disservice to hold her back, but because she’s so much softer (even in 2nd grade still is) I had to think long and hard about the same thing. Waiting an extra year wouldn’t have made her much tougher it seems though as she’s still soft spoken at 7years old. It sounds like your daughter loves learning and would love to be in school. I believe the give you the option to have them repeat if you feel they aren’t ready. My boss is the Vice President in our company and was held back in Kindergarten and was a C average student all through school. He is an extremely intelligent man. No matter what you decide, just always support your child, encourage them, and you can’t go wrong with any decision you make! And be prepared to be very disappointed with school and realize that they do very little to challenge the kids that are advanced because they’re overwhelmed with kids who barely know their name.

  71. I swore I commented on this last week. Didn’t I? Ack. Way to go on being FP! And forgive this comment if I already left one. Haha. Oblivion is not as pretty as it looked in the brochures!

  72. I agree, going with your gut –just thinking it through and making the best decision for your family — is the right thing to do. I am also an August baby, and my parents decided to send me off to school at the regular time instead of holding me back a year. And I don’t think any of us have ever regretted that decision. 🙂

  73. Hey, I’m on BloggyMoms, too! Congrats on being FP!! I

  74. Thank you! Mom of three BOYS here! my oldest is in third grade with a late April birthday. Never, ever did I consider holding him back. I was AMAZED how young he was/is. Sometimes by as much as 13 months. I was so furious that I felt all these other parents “cheated” and my son was/is compared to the “other and older” kids. He was 100% KG ready and he is a typical third grader! Yet, the school seems to think he needs math intervention and reading intervention and tutoring. Talk about burn-out and he is 8! So my middle child is 4 and will not be five until summer. I was scared to death and know we have to make a decision to send him or not. We to struggle with your dilemna. Yet, I am so glad I read your post! NOTHING will stop my boys from becoming what they want to be! In fact, I love your view on the “gift of time”. KG it is! Just like that, I have made up my mind! Thank you and wishing your little ones the best!

  75. I remember years ago my dilemma with my twin girls starting school; private school vs public school, same classroom vs different classrooms (twin thing), oh golly- so many choices that will define your child’s academic life path! Now college graduation is coming up…. Hard to believe they grow so fast! Cute & thoughtful post! We like! 🙂 🙂

  76. Cerinthe

    My birthday is August 10 and school used to start practically right after my birthday. My sister’s is Aug 19. We both went to school on time. I never realized I was younger than the other students until I got to middle school. All my friends were older than me, but I acted the most mature. Anyway, I wish my parents were an nice as you. A year off after high school would have been spectacular.

  77. jannath

    Our daughter has a late late september birthday and we’re terrified that we’ll be dealing with this eventually. Reading how you trusted your gut and went with it really did a lot to reassure us (me) that we’ll have to do the same in our case. We have some time, she’s only 17 months now but better to be prepared right?

    • You never know. By the time she starts school, the cut-off date may change. They actually changed it here the year my daughter started preschool. She was just signed up and in three-year-old preschool when I found out they changed the cut-off from October to August the year she would start kindergarten. Parents were already saying they would hold their kids back. That was my introduction to redshirting.

      • jannath

        wow… i don’t understand why they need to make the entire thing so complicated. I don’t remember things being this hard when I was younger, for my brother OR sister. Hope your little girl’s been doing well and settling in nicely 🙂

  78. Finally somebody who sent there kid on time! My daughter’s birthday is Sept 1 and I agonized over – mostly because I was told by everybody, including an elementary school counselor who had NEVER MET HER OR LOOKED AT ANY OF HER SKILLS to hold her back. We decided to send her and it’s been just fine. I can’t believe I even stressed as much as I did over the whole thing!

  79. Pingback: We are Redshirting our Kid | Biz

  80. blackshepherd

    Interesting piece cause I haven’t thought about that for a long long time and didn’t even know of the term “Redshirting”…I was sent at age 4 cause my best friend from next door was going and he was 6 months older…I went to Ann Crane School and I remember my teacher was like the Romper Room lady or Julie Andrews…that’s the way I remember her. I did get in trouble for knocking down the “block house”…no one was injured. I remember in 1st grade SIster Marie Perpetua put me in a big cardboard box and sat on it in glass…all in good fun cause she was great…from there I got the progressively more strict and militaristic Nuns in order to train me that it would be ok to use nukes when the time came…kidding! I think that’s what they had in mind for my training though…by third grade I was getting the ruler on the knuckles (sharp edge) and the “board of education”…how many have heard of that? It’s a board about 3 feet long and 4 inches wide designed specifically to cover most of a child’s butt…it really doesn’t hurt that much as I found out….in those days people didn’t go to prison for such practices. But it must have all been for my good cause I ended up with a philosophy degree and an MSW after working years as a seaman…anyway…I’m not in jail…I still act out but I’m deeply embarrassed later when I do (a good sign). So, that’s my research on the topic….but I can’t help but wonder what might have become of me had I been “redshirted”…I think younger was better in my case…case by case basis would be the logical way to look at it I guess….thanks for sharing an interesting topic!

  81. Don’t send your kids to school (home educate instead) and help save the world before it’s too late 🙂

  82. My daughter was born on August 31 and we waited. She is the oldest in her class. She is attentive, intuitive, sensitive, a quick study, and, best of all, kind to the core. She is ahead of her time, which may or may not be related to our decision to wait, but it was absolutely right for her. It depends on your kid.

  83. Reblogged this on Girl Behind The Orange Curtain and commented:
    This is an interesting dilemma for parents. If you saw 60 Minutes this past Sunday, you saw a parent who held her child back a year for what looked like more of an athletic advantage for her son. I’m not throwing shade on anyone here, but Redshirting clearly needs to be done on a case-by-case basis and can be detrimental to all kids involved, not just the child being Redshirted. Parents considering this need to consider the school district’s cut-off date for entering the school year. Ours was December 1. That is much later than most of the country. You also need to consider your child’s academic capabilities and emotional maturity. My son was born in late November, one and a half weeks before the district’s cut-off date. We were going to give him two years of preschool. I thought I was going to be able to put him in the three-year-old class, so he would be three half the year, four the other half, then the next preschool year, it would be four to five. But the district made me put him in the four year old class, he was at least 6 months younger than most of his classmates. Some were nine months older than him. He did benefit from being in the class with the older kids, he is very skilled at emulating older children. We were very fortunate the following year because he qualified for a transitionary Kindergarten program specifically designed for late-fall children. We were also very fortunate that the district we were in made this program a priority because they saw so many kids slip through the cracks during Kindergarten. The demographics of the class were almost comical. 20 boys to 4 girls. This year was crucial to many of the children, my son included, it gave him the extra year to catch up in growth and maturity, and introduced him to the Kindergarten curriculum at a slower pace. When we moved to Orange County the next school year, he went into a regular Kindergarten class and was at the same academic level with all the other kids. the district we moved into didn’t have the transitionary Kindergarten program. The idea was scrapped because of budget cuts. So it was a godsend that we got him in the class when we were down in San Diego. My son is in first grade now and excelling in math and science. He loves school, loves to read and is an excellent student and conscientious toward his classmates.
    Here’s that 60 Minutes segment if you are interested:;cbsCarousel

    • It will be interesting to see what school districts decide to do with this in the future, if anything. My daughter is certainly younger than some of her classmates, more than a year than some of the boys who were held back. I think at some point they should consider putting a limit on how old a child can be for a class. Teachers surely struggle with the huge age range. She was 5 in kindergarten when some kids were turning 7 a month later. I had a problem with that but maybe they were held back because they truly weren’t ready. In spite of this, she did fine and does even better this year.

      They did a short segment called 60 Minutes Overtime also in which Morley Safer and his producers discuss the story. That was also interesting and worth checking out, if nothing else to get Safer’s point of view. It’s on that site as well.

      Thanks for the reblog!

      • Well, like the 60 Minutes segment noted, if everyone waits and puts their 6 year old in Kindergarten, eventually the playing field will be leveled, and redshirting will be a moot point. Any 5-year-olds in Kindergarten will be considered gifted then. The cut off date should be consistent with the beginning of the school year, say September 1. Any kid born before that can go ahead and any kid after that stays behind.

  84. When I was at primary school (I’m a July boy), they had to accelerate me through a year, because I was just destroying the other students in my class.
    Ten years later, I did my final year of school at age 17, one of the youngest in my year level. Ended up as College Dux, which was fairly incredible. Now, I’m in my second year of a maths degree, while working on a maths blog, something many of my older peers would be unable to do.
    There’s no harm in having kids start at the right time. You definitely did what’s right for your kid, you should be congratulated. 🙂

  85. Congratulations on your decision. It must’ve taken a lot of gut to make this decision, and I applaud you for it. 🙂

  86. Paula

    My daughter has a late November birthday. We sent her to K at 4+. She missed the gifted program by one point — HORRORS END OF WORLD!!

    She’ll graduate this June from UCSD at age 21 with an econ degree and a high GPA.

  87. Well, I don’t have a daughter or a son, so if I leave a comment here it’s because I’m on the children side… may I say? I have a birthday of late January and, when the time came, my parents never thought of letting me stay home. I went to kindergarten with children older than me, but, well, when you’re a child it really didn’t count if your friends are older than you by a year, right? The only different thing is that when I was at the end of my first year of elementary school I had to do a little exam, I don’t even remember it, my mum told me about it. But when I was 18 I had the luxury to change my university choice and make new experience without the anxiety of being a year later when compared with the other people of my age, soooo thank you parents…I’m sorry parents out here but I think that the “dating thing” it’s not related with when you start in school, prepare yourself ^^’

  88. We are facing the same decision with our son who will be 5 in August. We are leaning towards sending him to kinder despite the advice nearly everyone to hold him back, so it was nice to stumble upon your story. Thanks for posting!

  89. I’m so happy to hear of parents trusting and following their gut. You know your child best! I’m also happy that you are at peace with your decision, and your child is thriving. As a first grade teacher, I know how challenging such decisions can be for parents. Thanks so much for sharing!

  90. according2cat

    I really enjoyed your post. I’d like to weigh in as a public school teacher. I don’t think there is any hard or fast rule about red-shirting or not. It has to be an individual decision that parents make, in the very best interests of their child. It is not a good idea, ever, to hold children back in hopes that this will give them an academic advantage. It doesn’t, necessarily. In fact, it can create quite the opposite effect if the child is very mature and capable. That being said, I have four children of my own and I did make the choice to hold my son back. His birthday was on September 1st. He was far smaller than his peers, and though academically ready, his maturity and fine motor development needed more time. This was a good move. He ended up entering school with students a year older than he, and until just recently (he’s now 16) was the shortest and smallest in his class. Giving him the extra year was a good move for him; I wouldn’t necessarily advise it for all children across the board. My strongest position on this is, if the child is ready to go, why curb their appetite for learning?

    • Thanks for your opinion. Having been in both of my children’s classrooms, I feel like some of the older kids who didn’t make the cutoff (not held back but had those late fall birthdays that required them to wait a year in our district) are sometimes bored. Boredom is not a good thing! I haven’t met anyone here yet who has regretted their decision, and everyone seems to have made their choice based on their child. That’s what’s important.

  91. My boyfriend and I were just talking about this the other day. Our guy is only 15 months old, so we definitely have quite a bit of time before we need to face any of those decisions. But he does have a late November birthday, so it is something we have discussed.
    You did what you felt was right, and that was the best choice you could have made. People need to stop listening to outside noise, because nobody knows better for yours than you.

  92. Blogbiscuit

    well done you for sending her when she was required to go, its everybodys individual choice but i have to say kids need that challenge, they need to be learnt to seperate from their parents for a few hours and do different things, fun, educational things, challenges, which dont always seem a challenge to them being young they just get on with it. My daughter is a May baby, My son is a July baby, They went when they were required, it seems too soon when your baby is just say 3 years old to send them to nursery school but they love it, knew things to play with and new friends.

  93. Every child is different, and only parents know their child well enough to know what is right for them. Our youngest had an August 27 birthday, and in Texas your child had to be five by Sept. 1 to start kindergarten. That meant that our little guy would be younger than almost all his classmates. He was also a tiny little guy, smaller than nearly all his peers. But we felt he was ready for school, so we sent him. He finished high school at 16, took a couple of years off to join his brother’s band in Austin, received his Ph.D. from Brandeis, and now is a neurogeneticist at Harvard Med School. Um…I may be wrong, but I think we made the right decision.

    • Awesome. It’s really scary to make the jump but look what he did! Interesting to hear that you didn’t hold him back because of size even though you felt he was ready. That’s a big trend with boys. Thanks for sharing.

  94. v1ct0r1a

    The beauty of parenting is that we, as parents, get to make those decisions. At least until the government decides to step in and start making them for us. I love the concept of your daughter getting extra time after she graduates. That is something for her to look forward to!

  95. So great to trust your instincts and know your child. Also- she will look awesome at her 20 year reunion 😉

  96. The best advice I got on parenting was from my mother. She said don’t worry about the experts or other peoples advice, go with your gut. And she was right.

    Now that hasn’t stopped her from endlessly giving me advice and getting anoyed when I don’t take it.

  97. There’s no real point in holding them back at that point if they can handle the situation — as most can. We started our Sept. birthday child in Kindergarten on time and she did fine. The challenge arose in 2nd grade when her cohort seemed to mature all of a sudden and the girls became obsessed with boyfriends, Hannah Montana, dressing fashionably, etc. Our daughter was oblivious to all this, and suddenly looked like the youngest kid in the class.

    We held her back and she repeated 2nd grade. It was a great decision. She gained so much in confidence and academically having already got a good grasp of the material, and became so much more sure of herself having been through the year (and been in that teacher’s class) before.

    If you redshirt a child you lose that ability to repeat a year later, and coming before testing starts in 3rd grade we felt 2nd grade was the best opportunity to do it.

  98. When I was growing up, the “cut-off” date for entering school was October 15th. Both of my brothers were born October 19th (different years) and so were held back a year. One did well in school (honor society, student body president, etc.) and the other struggled to maintain a C average. I think, as always, it depends on the child.

  99. Ah, thanks so much for this post. My son missed the “deadline” because he was two weeks over due. We were encourage again and again to keep him back a year, but we chose not to. He is doing great. It really IS nice to hear someone else say it.

  100. I started school on time and was the youngest in most of my classes. There were a few others my age because holding kids back that one year was not a common practice at the time. I took to reading like a fish to water. I was reading Shakespeare by fifth grade. Romeo and Juliet I understood. The Tempest I did not. I loved math until 4th grade, when they told me I had trouble with it and then I did start to have trouble from that point on. By Jr. High I was reading at a college level. Don’t hold a child back unless the child is actually having real trouble with learning something at that age. Success has less to do with age and more to do with the child herself and the parental enrichment at home. I went to library programs before I could read and family vacations were filled with fun math and science work books that were presented to me like game books to keep me busy while my parents drove. I was shy but an extra year before school would not have helped that. Life experience is the only help for that.

    • I was shy also. I think sometimes it is mistaken for immaturity at a young age. An extra year won’t help that. It took my whole school career and then some to outgrow most of it. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  101. You made the right choice. My son is 3 with a December birthday, and we’re already having discussions about whether to put him in early (i.e. when he’s still only 4) if he’s as ready as your daughter was. I was always the youngest, and I even graduated college a year early (I turned 21 four days after graduation). I don’t want to delay my kid being able to live his life just because all the other parents want to give theirs some imaginary “edge”. I want him to get out of college while he’s still young so he can have a couple years to really explore his options instead of graduating at 25 and feeling pressured to find a career immediately.
    And even putting aside all these comments, you made the right choice because you took a good hard look at your kid and did what you honestly felt was in her best interest. Your daughter will always flourish with parents who are more focused on her than on society.

  102. A friend suggested red shirting to us too, but like yourself, I agree that the extra time is much served after our son graduates from high school or college. I was a year older than my classmates in school. I sometimes felt awkward that I was older since my friends were my younger sister’s age. I think you made a great decision.

  103. Virginia

    You are a very conscientious parent, and it is evident that you want what is best for your child. I would like to weigh in for two reasons: 1)in first grade I was in a combined first/second grade class and the school decided to put me with the second graders when they discovered I was a capable student
    and 2) I spent over 25 years as a teacher and a counselor. Regarding my own school experience, I never had a problem with the work. All through school I did well academically. But as some people have mentioned in their stories, I was thrown in high school when my peers began driving and dating, and I was not ready for either. There are different types of maturity, and while I was a responsible person, I was not socially mature. Of course, this eventually works itself out in adulthood, but I believe if you are prepared to watch for this it may help your daughter if she finds herself in that position in her teens.Regarding my professional experience, I have seen several of the brightest, most verbal children have some trouble when they started school, because they didn’t have the social or physical skills to adapt to a classroom. This doesn’t appear to be the case for your daughter, and it wasn’t true for me in elementary school either. However, I do want people reading your post to understand that there are children every year, in every school, who do cry often that first month or so of school, and are overwhelmed by the expectations. This is not a good way to begin thirteen years of school. If a pre-school teacher suggests that your child may benefit from more time, please give it some serious thought.
    a little more time

    • Thank you for stating your opinions so thoughtfully! We considered what you said before we made our decision, and it’s so hard to know what the future holds. Unfortunately in kindergarten, there is no way to tell what your child will be like at that age. I was a May baby and my best friend was an October baby. She drove later than everyone. I dated later than everyone. While I wasn’t the youngest, I was always on the younger end so I know a little what it feels like.

      My husband and I both felt that with our daughter’s personality as it stands now, her love of school, her academics, etc., there was just no cause to hold her back. I think there are times when people take advantage of holding children back, and I completely disagree with it for the sake of their children. But I do agree that some children, not as many as are being held back these days, do need to be held back. They truly aren’t ready. Am I anxious to see what happens in middle school and high school? Absolutely. But I would be anyway. The best we can do for her now is to go forward and teach her the skills to deal with what may come her way and help her succeed in school. Thank you for both perspectives. You bring up some excellent points. I think everything people have shared here will be helpful to someone making a decision in this matter. It’s no easy task!

  104. Holy cow! How did I miss your FP? Congrats!

    I sent my first child on time. I held my son out another year because he desperately needed the time to grow up. It took my daughter several years to gain the social maturity to blend with her classmates, but she has done fine.

    I think it totally depends on the kid. You know you’re child better than anyone. You knew she was raring to go. That’s the best way to make the decision.

    • Thanks! It’s been a week! Yeah, we’ll see what happens. So far she is doing great. I hope people understand that what I’m saying is, do what’s best for your kid and not what everyone else is doing. I think that’s what people get. When I was going through making the decision, I just couldn’t find anyone who had sent their young child on. I felt like I needed to say, “OK, we did it. Here’s our experience.” Ya know? It’s been great to read everyone else’s experiences too. So many different experiences, as different as children are.

  105. jlccfamily

    Always nice to see “Red-Shirting” opinions. My husband (June birthday) was red-shirted and I (August birthday) was not. We have always said we would wait a year for our son, even before he was born… his birthday is at the end of August… our daughter we debate about and I tell him it will be a game time decision. Our rationing hasn’t always been – will they be ready to go – it is more the maturity issue when they are in high school or starting college. We have 5 more years to decide though!

  106. I honestly applaud your decision, it was a wise one considering that you had closely monitored your daughter’s performance and were confident that she would make it. This is very crucial as in some instances parents would let their young and not so ready children proceed to a higher grade not realizing that such a move could be detrimental to the child! Parents, please spend time to monitor your child’s performance,before making a decision that would affect them for the rest of their lives.

    Busie Nsibande

  107. Pingback: ADHD, ASD, PDD and the whole confusion of “labels” « The Forgotten Autistic

  108. My son will be one of the oldest in his year, which I think has both pros and cons. He is already proving to be a very interested, logical child, and with two intelligent parents I can imagine this carrying on once he starts school. Because of that, part of me wishes he could be one of the youngest; I wasn’t really properly challenged until the age of about 15, and it taught me to be lazy.

    But on the other hand, I was a late developer physically; and I know the pain that can cause when you are in a group of teenagers that are reaching adulthood before you’ve even had a first whiff of puberty. I haven’t seen it from the other side; being the girl/boy who gets stared at in the shower for being hairy…but I can’t imagine it being as bad as the other way around.

    • I was pretty lazy in school and when I had to learn to study in high school and college, it wasn’t good. That’s why I think challenge is good now. You bring up an excellent point.

      Like you, I was a late bloomer too. But I can honestly say, I would not have wanted to be the oldest and first girl in class going through that either. Either end of the spectrum is tough and those are the options parents of kids with borderline birthdays face. If you consider every tiny detail like I did, of course. But I think as a parent, you do put yourself in those shoes.

      Thanks for your input.

  109. Our daughter turned five only four days before the cut-off date (October 16th) to be accepted. Since then, the state legislature has moved the cut-off date to August 31st. She is a very independent, cooperative, student athlete (now, at age 14) and I’m glad we sent her to kindergarten on time. Your daughter sounds suited for school and I’m betting she’ll do just fine. Sandy

    • When my daughter started preschool, the cut-off was October 16 and we thought she was months before the cut-off. Then they announced a change to August 31 that would take place her kindergarten year. Glad it’s working well for your daughter.

  110. randomanderson

    My husband and I began discussing this very topic about our oldest daughter who is just 3 1/2. Her birthday is just 9 days after the cut-off and I know she’ll be mature enough to go (I think she’s mature enough now!), but my husband who’s mind functions only within the boundaries of his financial excel spreadsheet sees holding her back as “one more year we can save for college”. In reality, I think he sees it as “one more year she’ll be my baby” and “one more year before she moves out and leaves us forever.”

    • That’s a tricky one. I know here there are a lot of hoops to jump through to get in beyond the cut-off date. I believe the child has to have psychiatric evaluations and other testing at the parents’ expense. Not exactly sure of all that. But I now know of one or two folks who’ve done it. Whatever the case, maybe you should start saving now!

  111. I was a September baby, and so is my son. I’ve been thinking about this since he was born. I was not red-shirted, and the results were mixed. I had no problem intellectually – and likely would have been bored if I had been red-shirted, which might have led to behavioral problems, etc. – but physically I was behind until as far as college, really.As such I was also socially behind, which was no fun at all during high school or even some of college. I don’t want my son to go through that, but it’s a tough decision. But intellectually, again, I was right on track.

    Of course, now that I’m in my mid-thirties, I’ve turned out totally fine. I really don’t think it matter THAT much in the long run, but we all know a struggling kid doesn’t think about the long run.

    I am not one of those parents that wants to program my kid to develop a certain way, or track him into athletics or whatever. I just want him to be happy and well-adjusted. It’s a tough balancing act! Good luck!

    • You’re right. A balancing act. Unfortunately, with an August birthday, those kids are going to be at one end or the other and parents have to choose. It’s tough.

  112. I hear you! My son has an April birthday. With an August cutoff I thought it was obvious to send him. He is THE YOUNGEST, in his class. He has no problem with keeping up academically, however as kids are losing teeth and tying shoes and doing other things kids a whole year older can do, it is frustrating for him to watch. I wish there was a limit on much you could hold your kid back. I will be red shirting my second child. Especially because the kids with the TK experience are a whole year ahead of kids without.

    • It’s crazy to think an April baby is the baby in class! I knew my daughter would likely be the youngest or one of them, but there are still kids her age with summer birthdays.

  113. Good post!!! We are sending our daughter early too….I’m not to worried she’s pretty SMART!;) I loved your outlook on it!!! Thanks for sharing!;)

  114. surprisingly, not that I have a lot remaining, but I had been pulling my hair out on the lookout for something on the subject of this topic today then simply right when I found myself gonna surrender your website turns up out of the blue

  115. Parenting. It’s probably the biggest “Am I doing this right?” ordeal in life. Congratulations on making a choice and having it work out. But if it hadn’t worked out, you would have made another choice to correct/improve things. It never ends. Personally, I ended up homeschooling mine for a while. Not what I had invisioned for my life, but what worked out best. Best wishes for your parenting adventure.

  116. We went through the same conversations and chose to send my son early. He’s in 2nd grade now & we made the right decision. He was ready socially & I feel that is more important than academics at that age.

  117. Grammy

    My middle child had a similar situation with a late August birthday. We didn’t have the option to hold him back as the rule was 5 by September 1, start school. He did just fine. Grew into a fine man.

    Trust the child, they know better than we do.

  118. It’s interesting because I’ve never heard it refered to as “redshirting”. If you decide to hold them back, just make sure you do a lot of review with them this year like making sure they know all of their alphabets, numbers, write their name, colors and shapes. This will help them prepare for the first year year.

  119. How lucky that you had the option. We did not. Our youngest had to wait a year. She’s doing great, but I am still concerned that she’ll get bored without the challenge.

  120. I was held one year and let me tell you that sometimes it just doesn’t feel good. I mean, you’re one year older than everyone else in the class, for instance, you care about other stuff so you don’t have much to tell to your mates. Another thing that bugs me way loads is how people of my age have lef high school when I’m still taking the last one. It’s annoying.
    So, good choice. Your daughter will really be really thankful. 🙂

    • Thanks for your response. She faces a challenge either way, I think. But right now, she identifies with kids who are older than her. She has an older brother and is always around older kids. It never felt like a good fit having her with kids a year younger than her. Thanks for offering your perspective. I’m sure it will help parents who are facing this decision right now.

  121. Bottom line: it depends on the kid, AND this is an upper middle class dilemma, as only those who can afford another year of preschool spend their energy on this decision. I have two boys with late summer birthdays. For my older son, redshirting him was never a consideration, and we have never looked back with an ounce of regret. Even as one of the youngest, and even in the gifted program, he has yet to be overly challenged academically, and socially he has fit in just fine. As a 7th grader, I am now starting to see a bit of what you mentioned as far as lack of motivation, given that he has never had to work very hard, so I can’t imagine how complacent he would be had we held him back. My younger son gave us a bit more to think about, even though their birthdays fall right around the same time of year. He’s a totally different package…equally smart, but not in the same, round peg that fits in a round hole sort of way that the public schools cater to. AND, in addition to being one of the youngest, he is also very small for his age, so there was some consideration of the fact that he would be at a physical disadvantage as well. But still, when the time came, we felt there was no clear reason not to send him. Like you, I had an issue with this fabricated situation that we have created where no one wants there kid to be the youngest in the class. SOMEBODY has to be the youngest! And I agree, that sometimes the obstacles and challenges are the very things that help us grow into successful and interesting people. But still, I have to say that my younger son has faced some challenges along the way (now in 4th grade and having his best year yet), that have caused us to wonder if we made the right choice for HIM. Kindergarten was a brutal, spirit squashing type of year where he could have been thriving with more hands-on exploration rather than being tortured by worksheets and requests to keep his bottom in his chair. It has been a gradual recovery from there, with this year truly being the first time he can honestly say he likes school, thanks to a really creative teacher who knows how to engage all sorts of bright learners, not just the neat fill-in the blanks types. But there is no turning back, and there are no guarantees that these same issues wouldn’t have plagued him a year later, and perhaps even moreso since he may have been even more bored. Thanks for listening to my “rant”. This has always been a topic that gets me going! I appreciated your piece as it is surely underrepresented side of the story.

    • Thank you for sharing your two different experiences! What a shame that in kindergarten your son was expected to sit and do worksheets all day, the one year when they can still be free to explore and roam and have fun! I can see a big difference in the class my son had and the one my daughter had. His was certainly more structured but there was plenty of movement and carpet time during class. My daughter’s class had so much freedom to roam and tons of hands-on learning, a great environment. But both kids still learned a lot that year. I remember reading somewhere ages ago that boys learn best in an environment that allows them to move around, let them stand at their desks if they need to. And I remember in my son’s class that one of the boys did just that. He stood at his desk while the others all sat. It worked. I guess it’s true that sometimes not only is your child’s age a factor, but also the teacher you end up with. I’m glad it is working out for your sons now.

      • Yes, my younger son is the guy who stands most of the day in class, and it makes a world of difference for him. His 3rd and 4th grade teachers have been great about providing a really engaging learning environment, while also allowing for plenty of movement which has been a huge help. It’s a shame some teachers don’t understand how to harness that energy in the classroom and use it to their advantage, especially teachers of 5 – 8 year olds. Those early grades were very frustrating for my guy who was very bright but not performing well because he was not properly engaged. It really hurt his confidence, and he is just now recovering from it.

      • One thing I noticed about our school when we toured was how much the kids were allowed to move and interact. The younger grades don’t sit at desks but at long tables in groups. They move around a lot during the day, going to centers for hands-on work or the carpet for teacher directions. Even I can’t sit still at a desk all day! Of course, this environment promotes a lot of talking, and teachers have to be on top of that or there are other problems. But we’ve had some good ones.

        I have friends who were the kids years ago who couldn’t sit still. They still have that energy and it has served them well in their careers. They are go-getters. It may be hard on you, but kids are tougher than we think. I bet he’ll be OK.

      • Agreed! I think one of the toughest things about school for kids is that they are expected to be generalists who excel in all areas. When we are adults we get to choose our career/vocation based on our skills, interests, temperament. I’m sure mine will not be choosing a desk job! 🙂

      • Ha! You never know! But so true!

  122. As a girl whose parents had her start early (I didn’t turn five until October), I wholeheartedly agree with your decision. Sometimes it was a social struggle, being smaller than the rest of my classmates, but ultimately it was the best decision they could have made. Looking back now, I would have been incredibly bored if I had been held back.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment and show others that it can be successful. I stand firm that boredom is not good. My daughter just started reading Harry Potter on her own. I am waiting for her to come to me for help. So far, she is telling me all about it (and she’s right). This doesn’t mean she won’t ever struggle, but I just think, She could be in kindergarten this year.

      • Already reading Harry Potter on her own? That’s fantastic!

        Her struggles will help her a great deal- being younger challenged me in a way that taught me how to work hard. This is an invaluable skill, especially in college. I feel like had I been held back a year, everything would have been so easy that I wouldn’t have the self discipline I have today.

        As for her self esteem in relation to her classmates- I advise getting her involved in groups. My parents had me join track just so I could have a team that supported me. I also joined other activities, such as a women’s leadership group and school musicals. I stress the importance of this only because in my personal experience, sometimes being younger and doing very well in school can alienate you. Having something to work towards helps.

        Please don’t let this discourage her. It sounds like you are already doing a wonderful job in raising your child, but as someone who has recently gone through the system, I’ve realized how easily smart girls will tone down their intelligence just to fit in- starting as early as 5th grade. And don’t let anyone tell her that she isn’t good at math- I was told this in 2nd grade because I couldn’t do the timed tests on multiplication quickly enough and now I’m a math major. Arithmetic and actual mathematics are very different. (Sorry for the tangent, this is just a very personal issue for me.)

      • I think being a second child helps. There are things I learned along the way with my older child. I hope neither one of my kids tones themselves down for others. Oh, that would get me! I was always a nerd. I don’t think that ever occurred to me. Thanks for your thoughts. Very good advice and I appreciate it!

  123. Been there. We homeschooled our first three children in kindergarten, so when number four got ready to start public kindergarten, it was a whole new world for us. We did redshirt him. My husband, a June baby, was redshirted by his parents. He was just like your husband, only insisting, “We’re holding him out.” I was just like you bombarding every parent and teacher who would listen with questions. In the end, we decided there is no on-size-fits-all answer. Sounds like you did the right thing for your daughter. So far, we feel good about our son.

    • Yes, it was hard to make the decision, but now that it’s done I certainly feel good about it. Funny how our husbands knew and we fretted, isn’t it? It’s been great to have so many people share their experiences. Thanks for sharing yours.

  124. Non-Redshirring Momma

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! I want to cry after reading your post….it could have been written by me! We are in the same boat…We have an Oct. born child (cut off in L.A. is Nov.1) and we feel she is ready! Her own preschool teachers emphatically agree she is ready too…but the opinions, and pressure from this trend are killing me! I too know in my gut it is the right thing…but I can’t quite relax about it, as I have all the same worries you wrote about. I am so so so happy to have found your post! THANK YOU.

    • That’s the reason I wrote the post. I searched for someone like me going through what I was going through. So glad you found it.

      • Non-Redshirtting Momma

        Me too! I booked marked the page, and am reading through the comments…I will have to write a blog about it too once my daughter starts…I swear we need a “my child was born in fall, and I sent them to school on time!” support group! Did you find like minded mothers at your daughter’s school once she started?

      • There is a girl in her first-grade class this year whose birthday is the day after hers, so she is one day younger than my daughter. Her mom and I talked about it and laughed. But now that we’ve gotten to first grade, I’m not nearly as stressed. My daughter does well in school, so it seems to have been a good decision. But in preschool and kindergarten, I didn’t know anyone else with a birthday as late as my daughter’s who went. We were really on our own. Once the kids are in school though, you often don’t know the ages of the other kids, at least I didn’t. I could guess. At some point, it wasn’t an issue for me anymore. There are definitely some great comments on this post to check out.

      • Non-Redshirrting Momma

        Yes there are…thanks’s nice to hear it’s a non-issue later…

  125. Its nice to see someone talk about this! I’m a high school student who accidentally got redshirted (I’m in a military family, we had to move and when we arrived in the new town i was too late to register), and I went on to the gifted program and success in AP classes. However, other people in my classes were a mix of students who “redshirted” and those who didn’t. I think you made a great choice, and I think either way, if your child has a gift, its going to show whether he or she redshirts or not.

  126. Cheryl

    This post really hit home with me. I have a lot to say on this topic but I’ll try to make it as brief as I can. I was faced with this two times and like many of the people on this blog I live in a highly competitive town where it is the norm to redshirt summer birthdays and you’re seen as insane, or worse, an uncaring, uninformed mother if you send an autumn child. Our cut-off is October 15 and my oldest daughter’s birthday is September 26th. I sent her. Like many of you I agonized – not because I didn’t think she was ready – but because it was against the norm. When I was doing my research there was very sparse information with success stories of young children going to Kindergarten versus the pros for redshirting. My daughter is now in the third grade and is thriving. Not only is she at the top of her class academically, she has also been acknowledged for various leadership awards. She is also completely well-adjusted socially. Then came my son. His birthday is August 26th and people were very taken back that I’d send a summer BOY! Just because my daughter went young was not a pro or con reason to send him too. He is completely different and I looked at him with fresh eyes. At the end of the day, I sent him too. He’s currently in the first grade and also thriving – not just academically, but socially and physically, too. He has friends that are over a year older than him and he fits in fine. He’s not intimidated on the kickball field at recess and just a few weeks ago he went to the principal with an idea for a class bake sale to raise money for a local soup kitchen. I guess writing this is a kind of therapy for me. No one understands the weight of this decision unless they’re faced with it themselves. You’re making a decision that effects your child’s entire future and like the auther said, “not a lot of people have guts”. That point is going to be my mantra because at the end of the day some kids should go to school young and some have some very good, legitimate reasons why they should be given another year. It’s the parents that redshirt because everyone else is doing it that really disturbs me. Because as the author says, “there’s a difference between struggling and being challenged” and many parents these days want it to be as easy as possible so their child is a superstar.

    • Thank you so much for your comment and for adding your experience. Several people have remarked that these comments have helped them deal with their own tough decisions, and you bring up more excellent points. When I posted this, I didn’t know “60 Minutes” planned to air a piece about redshirting. I had no idea this piece would get Freshly Pressed and so many people would read it. I posted it hoping that a few parents out there who struggled with the redshirting decision would find it somehow as they desperately searched online like I did. I am so grateful for everyone who has shared their experience, good or bad. I’m glad it’s working out for both of your children. Aren’t children amazing when we give them a chance?

  127. Thank you for your comment Cheryl, I am one of those people who have been comforted not only by this post, but the comments made here. We are sending our Oct. 26th daughter, with a CA cut off of Nov. 1st…I am a little nervous, but know in my gut that she is ready, and it is the right thing to do. Her teachers have felt this for some time now, I am only just starting to feel less afraid. I have really learned from this experience, that it is about paying attention to your own child, and not falling prey to a trend. I know some children legitimately need to be held back..but many children are being held back for the wrong reasons. My daughter’s academic, social, and even physical development is on par with the preschool children who are starting kindergarten this year..she is light years away from the kids who won’t be going for another year..I can’t imagine keeping her back.

  128. Jeanna LC

    What a great post (and great comments)! We just went through the same thing with our son who turns five eight days before the cut-off (and our younger son will turn five ten days before – we did this twice!). I had the same gut feeling that he should go, but felt so much pressure to redshirt. I went to talk to every Pre-K in town (fortunately there are only three), and one of them said something that stuck with me: Take care of the child you have now, not the one you think you’ll have in ten years. It didn’t make sense to me that he should retread old ground in a Pre-K during a year where he is so eager to learn, so that some day he might gain some advantage, or have a better chance of being captain of a sports team. And it didn’t feel right that I should redshirt him because that’s the trend (and when I talked to Pre-K directors, they said that they haven’t found that every August birthday is held back, so it was less of a trend in our competitive town than I thought).

    It’s exactly as you say – challenge is good, and dealing with challenges now will (I hope) help him deal and cope with challenge throughout his life. Also, someone in favor of redshirting that I met said to me, “You don’t want him to be the last of his friends to drive!” Actually, I think I do!

    • That’s exactly it: You don’t know what your child will be like in ten years and you really can’t guess. You have to deal with the situation you have now, and if your child is ready and you have no need to hold him back, it makes no sense to do so. I have a May birthday and some years were harder than others. I think that’s the case for every child. Long division was hard and then I got it. Reading comprehension was hard for a while and then it clicked. But I still did very well in school. It can’t all be easy all of the time. And driving, I’m with you!

  129. Anthony

    We are going through this now with our daughter. Her birthday is October 26th. Although we are comfortable with her social and academic abilities, it is hard to imagine a 17 year old college freshman these days. As one of the youngest in her class, she would develop later than her classmates, not be able to drive when her friends start to, dating, and so on. We have definitely heard both sides and many different opinions. We are not looking at holding her back to gain an academic advantage but rather to position her with more maturity to handle her high school and college years.

    • Aliki

      Our daughter was also born Oct. 26th, and we have decided to send her. Her preschool teachers unanimously agree she is ready, and when we had her assessed for both public and private they too said she was more than ready. My cousin was an older child in school and developed before all her friends..she hated it and was made fun of quite a bit. Yes my daughter will be 17 when she starts college, but only a couple months away from being 18. Alternatively if we kept her back, she would be 18 going on 19 still at home, and I am sure resenting it. I don’t want to send her the message that we don’t believe in her, and clip her wings. I think there are legitimate reasons for holding a child back who is not ready, but too many people are making this choice with children who do not need it IMHO.

  130. Pingback: Redshirting: There Will Always Be What-Ifs | Mom in the Muddle

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