Blogging NYT: Redshirting Children

Blogging NYT: Redshirting Children

Alejandra Valera
Jun 5, 2007

What was your kindergarten experience like? Were you 5, or bit older when you began? Most likely it depended on your state's cut-off age. Elizabeth's Weil's article "When Should a Kid Start Kindergarten", in the June 3, 2007 New York Times Magazine, examines the phenomenon of redshirting children.

Redshirts, a term borrowed from sports lingo, are children who begin kindergarten a year or two later -- either because of state mandates or because their parents have chosen to hold them back.

Those that are proponents of redshirting (parents, educators, even politicians) claim they have the children's best interest in mind, yet Weil wonders if a delayed kindergarten start is better for all children?

The article illustrates how many children who are redshirted, often perform better than those who started on time. Yet, time out of school may not be beneficial for all children or families. Many children who start later have behavioral problems and for many families, finances are an issue. Daycare is an expensive option not realistic for many and kindergarten is the only choice to be made.

Is readiness for kindergarten "a relative issue" as Elizabeth Graue of the University of Wisconsin, Madison believes or should children be mandated to begin at a later age?

What do you make of all this? The article brings up many fascinating points.

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