Will he be mature enough for kindergarten? Is it better to be the oldest or youngest? Will he be challenged enough? Is 17 too young to be thrown into to the “real world”? These are just some of the questions that rattle around in my head when I think of Z starting school. I’ve mentioned it on this blog three times already, but I’ll say it again. In Texas Z would have started Kindergarten next year and by Kentucky guidelines it should have been this year, but we held him back. He’s right on the bubble for the cut off date. Even though I know it is not true, I feel like the fate of his future rests on my decision. That’s a lot of pressure! I change my mind about this matter more than a driver with road rage changes lanes.
They actually call it “redshirting” when you hold your child back from starting kindergarten on time. I’ve recently read some articles about it and it can be pretty controversial. Some parents use it as a way to give their child an advantage in sports or an extra year of maturity for a competitive edge academically. Apparently I have become part of the 10% of American’s that are redshirting their children. We fit the statistic since it’s most commonly seen among white boys from the suburbs with late summer birthdays. J and I both have summer birthdays, but I went to Kindergarten twice so I know what it’s like to be the oldest in the class and J knows the feeling of being the youngest. There are some studies surfacing that show that it doesn’t help the student to have an extra year and in some cases may even hinder a student’s success. Then there is other evidence that supports the contrary.
I am not setting out to make my son an academic and certainly not athletic powerhouse by holding him back a year. Maybe if it were the Hunger games, but fortunately it’s not. Waiting an extra year just happened to work out for our situation. I don’t care if his shirt is red, blue, or fuchsia (okay, maybe he would look a little weird in fuchsia). From what I’ve researched and what his teachers have told me Z is 100% ready for Kindergarten.
So for now we are working on retaining what he has learned and preventing boredom. I’ve gotten some helpful information from some of my homeschooling mom friends and I will share some of that in my next blog post. This whole ordeal is stretching me, but in a good way. To be continued…