Should I redshirt my Kindergartener
Many parents, including myself, have either asked this question or decided to “redshirt” their Kindergartner. This has become much more popular as school is becoming harder for our young children. Giving your child the extra year of growth by putting them in a Transitional Kindergarten or keeping them home an extra year is a tough decision! My very dear friend, Kristy McKito, wrote an article on this for her preschool and I would love to share it with you. She and I share similar views on many topics and she is a wonderful resource for many subjects, including this one. Here is what Kristy has shared…
Dear Prospective TK Parent,
If this introduction got your attention, you have probably been thinking about if TK will be a good fit for your child.
Let me share my perspective with you…
WHO AM I?
I am a former Kindergarten teacher and currently work as a Developmental Play Therapist for North Carolina’s Early Intervention program.
I am also a parent of a TK graduate (class of 2012) and I plan on sending my rising 5 year old to TK in the fall.
THE GIFT OF TIME
I have no regrets about giving my child the “gift of time” and I’m happy to share her experience with you!
What is all the hype about the “gift of time”? This gift has been without a doubt a huge contributor to my child’s success in Kindergarten this year.
The “gift of time” allowed my child to:
Continue to learn through play based activities. (Research proves that the best way for young children to learn is through play. However, most public schools have no time to implement play based activities into their rigid academic schedules.)
Strengthen fine motor skills (Learning how to properly hold a pencil and write letters and words in proper formation is a skill that is no longer taught, but expected in Kindergarten.)
Learn at her own pace without pressure or a timeline of learning objectives. (Yes, she did learn many NEW things beyond letters and numbers and was reading upon entering Kindergarten.)
Gain confidence in her knowledge and abilities. Her fear of failure subsided. An “I can do it!” attitude emerged.
Grow spiritually (Daily opportunities for prayer, biblical based discussions and weekly chapel lessons with peers and teachers helped tremendously with this growth.)
Grow socially and emotionally. (She is an introvert by nature. She may always be an introvert. However, an extra year in an environment that was already familiar to her, gave my daughter another year of opportunities to develop positive interpersonal relationship skills with peers and adults.)
The main concern I hear from other parents who are undecided about TK is: “I worry he/she will be bored in Kindergarten!”
My TK graduate is thriving in Kindergarten and IS NOT BORED! Why?
Teachers are encouraged and expected to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of the students.
She is part of a literacy enrichment group to further support and enhance her literacy skills.
She has become a leader in the class and enjoys helping others.
Her confidence has enabled her to take risks without fear of being wrong or not doing it the right way. She challenges herself and sets herself up for success!
Think about the whole child. Is he/she ready: Physically? Socially? Emotionally? Intellectually? Can he/she take care of personal needs without adult intervention? If even one piece of the puzzle is missing, your child may benefit tremendously from TK.
Think beyond K. Do you want your child to always be one of the youngest in the class or would you prefer for him/her to be one of the oldest? Consider the middle school and high school years and all the developmental, social, emotional and academic challenges that occur during those tween and teen years. Think about sending your child off to college as he/she JUST turns 18…
Base your decision on more than just Kindergarten.
I know many parents who say, “I wish I would have sent my child to TK”, but have yet to meet a parent who says “I wish I hadn’t done it.”
Personally, I am not in a hurry for my children to grow up. I honestly believe that by choosing TK, I gave my child an extra year of childhood.
The “gift of time” will also be given to my 2nd daughter in the fall. We will embrace it together!
STILL UNDECIDED? I recommend reading these books:
Outliers: The Story of Success (Malcolm Gladwell)
Better Late Than Early (Raymond Moore)
Kindergarten: It Isn’t What It Used to Be (Susan K. Golant and Mitch Golant)
Find them here:
Now it is time for you to decide: should I redshirt my Kindergartener?
Read this post on Your Child Learning to Read or this one on Teaching your child their letters & sounds in one week!