This is an interesting and controversial topic, especially in our family of all August or September birthdays. So interesting, in fact, that 60 Minutes featured a story on it this past Sunday evening.
They called it KINGERGARTEN RED-SHIRTING and it really hit home. Our son has a late August birthday.
(Here’s a picture of Blake eating his cake at his first birthday party.)
That means he will be either one of the oldest, or one of the youngest, in his class.
My husband and I know this scenario all too well because we lived it. We both have September birthdays and we were the youngest in our classes. We started kindergarten at age four, graduated from high school at age 17 and also left home and started college at age 17.
We both did very well in school, my husband excelled in sports, even though some of his classmates were almost a year older than him, and neither of us feel it affected us negatively in any way. It was a little frustrating when my friends started driving and I still had to wait almost a year to get my license. It was even worse in college when everyone turned 21 junior year and I had to wait until my senior year to hit the drinking age….that was annoying! haha All things considered though, we think our parents made the right decision to send us “early”.
Now, the trend is to wait, or “red-shirt” a child with a fall birthday. Some say it’s especially beneficial for boys to wait, since they typically mature at a slower rate than girls. Check out this 60 Minutes follow up to the Kindergarten Red-shirting story and let me know what you think.
I’m searching for some “Mommy and me” pre-school programs for Blake and I to start in the fall. I’ve found a few that are only one or two days a week, for an hour or two at a time. These are “mommy and me” classes, where I attend with him, and the starting age is two. Blake will be one of the youngest in his class, so it will be a good litmus test for us.
When did your kids start pre-school? What do you think of “red-shirting” kids with late summer or early fall birthdays? I can’t wait to hear your opinions and/or experiences!