Kindergarten “Redshirting” – Latest Research

I received an email from a friend last evening telling me to turn on CBS’ 60 Minutes.  They were exploring the common practice of holding a child back before the kindergarten year in order to give him or her (usually a him) the advantage of age over peers.  During the years I have been working with preschoolers, the practice has become more and more common, and I am often asked what I think about it.  My answer, deeply steeped in the Montessori belief that every child should be treated as an individual, has usually been “it depends on the child”, and I stand by that answer.  There is no right answer for every child.

But there is new research that may give parents a few more answers that that, and it is available online at: CBS News – 60 Minutes.    If you watch it, let me know what you think!  The issue is not going away.

And here is another article from the New York Times which two Children’s Garden mothers told me about after I posted this.  Age Doesn’t Matter.

Yet another issue faces some of our families, and that is trying to navigate the admissions reality of some schools in Denver.  I have listened to many who sense that their child might be ready for first grade in the next school after Children’s Garden, but have chosen a school for their child which has more entrance flexibility at the kindergarten level, so the parents choose to keep their child with us for extended primary, and then, in a sense, have their child repeat the kindergarten year.  The conventional wisdom in that case has been that the child will have so many new things to manage – new friends,  teachers approaching education differently, different expectations – that being ahead academically will give them the freedom they need to adapt socially and emotionally.

And here is yet another article from the Sunday New York Times.

Once again, my fall-back position is Montessori’s – it depends on the child.  As she counseled, careful observation of the child gives us the most information.







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