Lea - posted 3 days ago ( 3 moms have responded )
DS turns 5 on August 5th and the cutoff in our area is September 1st. He should be starting Kindergarten in the fall, but his preschool teachers have been advising me to wait a year. Even though we can financially afford another year of pre-school, I really want to send him on time.
For me, it's long-term, not short-term. Redshirting means that he'll still be in high school when he's 18, and might feel like he won't have to listen to teachers and leave school whenever he wants as he'll be an adult. It also means that he'll start his career a year later than most people. Yes, I know some people are going to talk about Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, but as a parent, I feel like it's my duty to teach DS that he doesn't need trophies or to always be the best in order to be happy.
I also want him to fit in and not feel out of place. I can only imagine how awkward it would feel for him to be 6, while some of his classmates are still 4, 7 while some of his classmates are still 5, etc. His classmates might think there's something wrong with him if he was a year older than them, and I'd hate for him to have a bad reputation for something that was not his decision, but ours. Also, if I redshirt, other parents might think I'm trying to game the system and get DS an unfair advantage, and I don't want to be viewed as a cheater. On top of that, DS might feel insulted and think that we don't have enough confidence in him to do things on schedule.
Also, I strongly believe that the cutoff dates are there for a reason. If kids born in August kids truly weren't ready to start Kindergarten at 5, the cutoff would be earlier. The people laying down the cutoffs have done thorough studies to figure out when kids should start Kindergarten. They know what they're talking about and I feel like it would be arrogant to act as if I knew better.