Creative Child

To Redshirt or Not: 10 Things to Consider

by Deborah Song


6. Is there a gifted program?

Is qualifying for a gifted program something you really want for your child? Even conservative research shows redshirting benefits last until the third grade. With many gifted programs beginning as early as fourth grade, holding back your child to give him that extra advantage may be a consideration.

7. Differentiate your child's needs from your own.

Many parents don't feel ready to "depart" from their child yet. Taking the time to identify what your concerns are specifically will help you put your child's needs first.

8. Can you afford to hold your child back?

Another year of preschool means another monthly or yearly expense. Can you afford it? 

9. Weigh physical size.

Redshirting your child can mean that if your child is particularly tall, he may tower over other students or be one of the first to hit puberty. This can be socially traumatic. Or vice versa. Many parents with more petite children are choosing to hold their child back so they can be "bigger."

10. Consider sibling grade gaps.

Holding back your child will either shorten or widen the grade gap between siblings.

Whatever your choice is, do your research on kindergarten readiness and consult with the school's staff before registering your child for the school year. This personal decision is yours to make, so consider all of the factors, pros and cons, and most importantly do what is best for your kids. 


Related Article: 8 Ways to Get Ready for Kindergarten

Deborah Song is the founder of, a cruelty-free company committed to creating travel accessories that help travelers journey with ease, efficiency and elegance. She loves to travel the globe in pursuit of good food, wider life perspectives and great adventure stories with her kids. Deborah is a Canadian-born, mompreneur and Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master’s in journalism from New York University. You can find her travel stories at

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