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Redshirting Kindergartners: Yes or No?


Just this morning, my husband was talking about how he started kindergarten at the ripe old age of 4. My mother-in-law thought he was ready, and the school agreed. It wasn’t altogether uncommon in those times: according to The New York Times, 14.4 percent of kindergartners were 4 in the 70s.

But the tide has definitely turned. Whether the reason is financial, developmental, physical, or something else altogether – nowadays, 17 percent of children are 6 or older when they enter the kindergarten classroom.

The reasons for choosing to hold back your child vary: some say it’s more common for boys than girls, some do it for lagging self-confidence or to give their child a leg up, and others do it simply because they don’t want their child to be the youngest or shortest kid in the class.

And while the practice is becoming more widespread, the consequences are still being worked out. The classroom can become an interesting place when you’ve got kids who are, as the NYT article says, “going to get their periods this year, while she’s still playing with American Girl dolls.”

What do you think parents: is it wise to deliberately hold your child back from starting school? Let us know what you think.