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Does delaying kindergarten benefit children academically and socially?

Some research studies eliminate the problem of parental choice by looking at the effect of age for children in the same grade, such as comparing students with summer birthdays to students with summer birthdays in the same grade. research finds that students who are relatively older than other children in their grade score higher on math and science tests, and although these differences narrow over the years, they are still somewhat present in eighth grade Live Other research shows that children who are relatively older show decreased hyperactivity and inattention And high academic achievement (Translation: getting ahead in school). However, the effect on educational attainment is greatly reduced when schools do not engage in early tracking (translation: sending children to different schools based on academic abilities in elementary school). Research also shows that children who are larger than their classmates more likely to be in gifted education and less likely to be in special education, It appears that these positive effects extend to high school and beyond. children who are older than their classmates are also less likely to drop out of high school, less likely to commit a felonyand less likely to experience teenage pregnancy, children who are older than their classmates are also More likely to attend a four-year college than younger students,

Still, it’s important to note that this line of research only involved associations. Further research is needed to conclude that redshirting actually causes any of these positive results.

When would parents want to avoid redshirting?

Are there any situations in which parents want to avoid redshirting? Research shows that when your child has an identified disability, a suspected disability or even if you are concerned that they may need some extra support at school, delaying school entry may be associated with poor academic performance, as it would delay access to free essential services through the public school system, such as speech therapy and learning aids. This small delay can cause big loss as an effect research finds that services before age 5 are more effective in improving a child’s long-term outcome than services after age 5. It has also been found in the research that Negative effects of redshirting for children with more severe ADHD and no effect for children with learning disabilities,

Is redshirting more important for boys than girls?

In any discussion of redshirting, it is generally assumed that boys in particular benefit from redshirting. Is there research to support this? research found that girls were more likely than boys to be behaviorally ready for kindergarten. research It also suggests that boys may not do as well as girls with high-achieving classmates. no wonder boys are more likely to be redshirted compared to girls.

Does this research also apply to repeating a grade or holding back a child?

Interestingly, the results for kids who repeat a grade or are “held back” are very different from kids who redshirt.

One lakh students are held back every year in the United States. This practice particularly affects ethnic minorities, with a retention rate of 2.7% for black students and 1.9% for Hispanic studentscompared to 1.7% for white students.

A large body of research has indicated put the child back in school is associated with poor academic results And little socio-emotional benefit. While some studies have found short term social and educational benefits grade retention, Many of these effects fade after a few years.,

grade retention is also linked Together increases the likelihood of dropping out of high school And less likely to finish college, There are also retained students more likely to be aggressive in adolescence, grade retention after third grade It appears to have a more detrimental effect, perhaps because it has a greater effect on self-esteem as children grow up.

As with the research on redshirting, these studies only found associations between grade retention and these negative effects, not causation. Regardless, it’s important to discuss this research with redshirting because some parents believe they can just advance their child to kindergarten and repeat a grade later if they’re struggling. Still, research suggests that the cons of this approach may outweigh any potential pros. simultaneously, Redshirting lowers risk of grade retentionsuggesting that this may be another advantage for redshirting.

Based on this research, most physicians and educators recommend parents avoid holding children back a grade unless there is no other option. If your child’s school is pushing for it, present them with the research and see if you can discuss other possible options.

But is it fair?

For most families, delaying kindergarten means paying for full-time child care or delaying stay-at-home parents re-entering the workforce for an additional year. It simply isn’t an option for most families. Redshirting as a practice may also exacerbate the growing gap between students from high-income and low-income families, as only high-income families may be able to afford this option when they want to benefit their child. Are. is still research showing that having older classmates can actually improve the performance of younger classmates, suggesting that the practice of redshirting is not harmful, at least for those students who do not choose this option.

How do you know if your child is ready for Kindergarten?

The following can help you decide whether your child is really ready for kindergarten:

  1. Consider not only their academic skills but also their social-emotional and self-regulation skills. social skills when entering kindergarten Has been found to be related to success as an adult, including the likelihood of graduating from college and obtaining employment. More advanced self-regulation skills allow children to “catch up” Even if they lag behind their peers academically. Self-regulation is also associated with better academic performance. ,
  2. If possible, consult with your child’s preschool teacher or director. Your child’s teacher should have a good idea of ​​how their skills compare to their peers and whether they have the classroom interaction skills needed for kindergarten.
  3. Talk to your child’s pediatrician. Your child’s pediatrician can give you their expert opinion on whether your child is developmentally and physically ready for kindergarten.
  4. Visit both possible classroom settings, Get a better understanding of the expectations placed on your child in kindergarten versus the expectations in preschool. Try to determine which setting best suits your child’s current ability level.

overall translation

Postponing kindergarten by a year may be of little benefit to children. However, if you suspect that your child has special needs or a disability, you may want to avoid redshirting and start school as soon as possible so that they can get the services they need. Once students enter K-12 schooling, parents may want to avoid holding their children back because the negative effects may outweigh the positive ones. Parents may also want to consider that redshirting can exacerbate the ever-widening gap between low-income and high-income children.

Most importantly, parents should consider their individual child in this decision. Is your child more attracted to younger or older children? Does your child compare himself with his peers and get upset when they fall behind? Does your child benefit from having older role models around or does he benefit from taking on the role of “leader” for younger children?

Parents can also consider the climate of the school. Is the school more academic or sports-based? Do they require children to sit for long periods of time or do they hinder their movement? Is redshirting typical for kids around the cutoff date in this school system? Does the school compare children with others or use a tracking system for gifted education?

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