Understanding The Importance Of Redshirting Preschoolers

By Abbie Kraft, Parent Herald April 17, 09:35 pm

Parents are often caught in a dilemma when they would send their children to school, and academic redshirting is being taken into consideration. The term "academic redshirting" refers to delaying the child's pre-K education for a year.

Redshirting is becoming more common over the years. Parents are becoming more open-minded when it comes to accepting the idea of delaying their children for a year before letting them start with pre-K.

Parents would usually consider holding their child back a year behind if their child would exhibit developmental delays. Sophia Boyd from NPR, however, said parents have to think twice when it comes to redshirting their child. Despite going through developmental delays, researchers suggested that parents should enroll their preschoolers anyway.

Children develop their skills at a given pace. If a child struggled with developing his/her speech in January, he/she can be highly talkative by June. This being said, children can abruptly develop their skills in a few months' time. Redshirting does not have to be a fully-planned out process as parents' decision can potentially vary from a child's progress.

One of the factors being considered by parents when redshirting their child is the child's emotional development. Parents do not only consider their child's learning ability but the preschooler's emotional stability as well.

"It really does seem to be emotional development," Boyd explained during an interview. "In the data, you can see, clearly, that this happens most for boys who are born in the summertime to highly educated parents. They want [their kids] to be able to walk tall into a classroom, advocate for themselves, be an active participant in their learning."

There are countless pros and cons for redshirting. Part of the upside of delaying the child's education for a year is the student's capability to act mature and have a stable emotional readiness, according to Health Guidance. Despite the upside of redshirting, delaying the child for a year can potentially delay the child's potential disorder (if the child seems to delay, thus redshirting was considered). Health Guidance provides a series of questions for parents to consider before redshirting their child.

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