Why We Decided to Redshirt Our Son for Kindergarten


young kids standing and looking out a window. redshirting for kindergarten. Des Moines MomAm I choosing my son’s future path with this ONE choice? Redshirting for kindergarten.

This question has been jumbled around in my brain since October. Trying to decide if we will redshirt my son for kindergarten.

How do moms handle the immense pressure in making this decision? I ate a lot of chocolate and changed my mind a lot. By looking at the social emotional, academic, and physical aspects of kindergarten it helped make my decision to redshirt my son. 

The Choice

Originally, I was set on redshirting him. I felt it was the best option for him. That was six months after he was born. I’m a planner and needed to know when I would start him for preschool. But as the years have passed with preschool, I questioned the choice. 

The teachers say academically he can be successful. Thriving in math skills. Writing both upper and lowercase letters. But teachers are not sure if socially and emotionally he is ready for all day school. He still needs to be reminded at circle time to sit and keep his hands to himself. Being active is important for his body control. And that may not be suitable for kindergarten

As a mom we worry about how our kids will be viewed by their teachers. We don’t want our child viewed as a problem. My son is energetic and spirited. Being active is imperative to his learning. The more he can be moving his body throughout the day, the better his learning will be. 

It seems kindergarten expects a lot from our little learners. Recess time is cut down and there is more focus placed on the academic rigors of schooling. The carefree days of fun and learning gone. Replaced with testing and hitting certain benchmarks. What if your child learns in a different way? I see this in my son and know his style of learning is not conducive to this right now. 
I talked with many other moms in the community. They echo the sentiment. “No matter what choice you make, it will be okay.” Certain moms feel their child needs a more consistent structure for their day. So kindergarten is the right choice. Others see their child’s temperament plus emotional state and know redshirting is the way to go. 

One feeling that all moms agreed on was feeling guilty for potentially making the wrong choice. Mom guilt is a true and tough thing to endure. What if I send him and he struggles? Will he feel pressured to make choices and decisions as a teen because his friends are? Could the extra year help him grow in maturity so he thrives in all aspects of school? 

These questions can’t be answered in this present moment. Nor can we see what the right choice is. Because it depends on the child and his temperament. The choice now is a placeholder for his future. In our district the kiddos who go to EK can transition right into 1st grade. This seems counterintuitive to redshirting in my opinion, but the option is there if a parent chooses to do that. 

When deciding you can’t make a wrong choice. See, you are making the best decision with the knowledge you have in this present moment. And in two months maybe that choice would be different. But you can’t live in the future. Live in the present and be present for every moment. 


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