My sister’s birthday falls on December 25th and she missed the cutoff date for kindergarten by just five days. My parents faced the dilemma of holding her back or putting her in a private kindergarten to keep up with her peers. Fast forward 32 years. My sister is now facing a similar dilemma herself as she decides whether my niece should spend a bonus year in preschool strengthening her social skills.
Holding kindergarten age children back a year is known as redshirting. Originally a term used in college sports, parents began redshirting their children to have the advantage of being the oldest and, therefore, smartest children in class. Statistics show that boys and affluent children are twice as likely held back as their peers. However, what do you do when nearly a quarter of the students in some kindergartens have been redshirted? (60 Minutes, 2012)