Redshirting (Not the Star Trek Kind)

This week my goal was to have chosen my Major Learning Project in my EC&I 831 course. By Tuesday.  And the deadline came and went.


Photo Credit: jekemp via Compfight cc

It’s not that I’m procrastinating starting the project, but that I have so many ideas of what to do. Of course, now that my colleagues are starting to post their ideas and share the beginnings of their projects, I’m overcome with jealousy (AKA why didn’t I think of that? That such a good idea!)

So, instead of writing another pro/con list about my potential project, I turned to the internet.  (Essentially procrastinating, yet under the guise of research!)

Two days ago I came across an article on Quartz about how we are sending kids to school too early.  The article talks about how a lot of parents are choosing to keep their children out of Kindergarten an extra year in order to help them in the long run.

We found that delaying kindergarten for one year reduced inattention and hyperactivity by 73% for an average child at age 11

Quote: Thomas Dee

The article really hit home with me, as a Kindergarten teacher.  The timing of it was also crazy since I read about it the day after getting all of my Kindergarten registration things in order.  My school division recently changed the attendance boundaries of certain schools and my school happened to be one with an increase in boundary size.  With this new boundary size, I expect to have more Kindergartens in my classroom in the fall.

But according to this article, these Kindergarten kids that will be arriving this fall are a combination of kids who are still, technically, too young for Kindergarten and kids who have been “redshirted” and held back a year in order to be a little more ready for Kindergarten.

My very own classroom!

And then September happens: the two groups of kids mix and the school team deals with the fallout. Kids who can’t hold a pencil or sit still long enough to pay attention are right beside the kids who have matured socially and had more time being children and are now ready to learn how to read and write.

Redshirting is definitely happening. I have two kids in my current Kindergarten class who are technically supposed to be in Grade One.  When parents choose to do it, they are sometimes pressured into putting their children into the age appropriate grade.  If your child is six years old, they are supposed to be in a Grade One classroom.  Even if they haven’t yet attended Kindergarten.

Our school division has asked the question this year of “What is Kindergarten Readiness?” It’s a question related to our strategic plan. There is a great divide when we are choosing to hold back some kids so that they can be “ready” for Kindergarten but are unable to hold them back when they are “not ready” for Grade One.

But, that is probably enough procrastination.  Time to get back to the pro/con list for my Major Learning Project. I definitely can’t redshirt this project – it’ll happen, ready or not.


One thought on “Redshirting (Not the Star Trek Kind)

  1. This is going to leave me in such a dilemma in 5 years from now since I just had a December baby and am very familiar with the benefits of waiting until children are ready! However, I also know how much an extra year of childcare would cost 😦 Hopefully, I will be able to base my decision on readiness rather than age..


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