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Academic redshirting for young children refers to the practice of postponing the entrance of age-eligible children into pre-school in order to allow extra time for social, emotional, intellectual, or physical growth. Academic redshirting is actually a term borrowed from college sports for when student athletes sit out a year to improve their skills and improve their chances for playing time.
Parents often choose to delay the admission in preschool of an age-eligible child if the child has a birthday so close to the cut-off date that he or she is likely to be among the youngest in the class. These parents believe that older children are more successful in coping with the social, emotional, and academic demands of kindergarten than younger children.
Research on the effects of redshirting on children has shown mixed results. It is difficult to establish a direct link between being redshirted and doing well or poorly in kindergarten and beyond. Some older studies related to redshirting suggested that redshirted children were likely to achieve at a comparable rate to age peers who entered on time. According to some of the older studies, social outcomes for oldest and youngest children in a class were similar. However, other research suggested that older children showed more behavior problems.
Some people have pointed out that an elementary level child who starts school older than other children in his grade may score higher than others in his grade on tests, but this does not prove that starting school later has improved his learning. Rather, it shows only that he is older than others in his grade taking the test at the same time, at a point in his life when a few months of difference in age can translate into significant differences in experience and cognitive skills.
Academic redshirting may also have short-term and long-term economic effects. Delaying school entry can cost a family an additional year of child care or preschool. In the long term, delaying preschool also delays the students’ completion of their education and job entry.
Parents can be assertive about finding out what the school expects of entering preschool and the school’s suggestions on how you can help your youngster to be prepared. Talk to your child’s preschool teacher about his or her readiness for preschool. Find out more about the nature of the preschool program. Check the class size likely to be larger than 25? A very shy child might find a large class more difficult to adjust to than he or she would a class of around 20 or fewer.
Parents can ask few questions for themselves
What else would your child be doing if she or he did not start kindergarten? Would your child have easy and safe access to playmates and play spaces? Are there easily available good-quality preschool programs for your child?
Parents can talk to your child in a positive way about starting school. Your child is likely to adjust rapidly if you approach the beginning of preschool with confidence and if you share any concerns you have with the teacher.
Parents who try to prepare their kids for school should not drill them on word and number skills instead read, talk and play with their children.
Once the kids do start preschool, the structure and methods used there are significant, too. Enhanced play and enhanced learning - work the best for young students.
Social development happens more quickly when younger ones mingle with older counterparts and hence reading and learning too happens by it’s own.
It is always wise for parents to get their child admitted at the appropriate age fixed by the respective states or schools and avoid academic redshirting.
Normally all over India the minimum cut off age varies between 3 to 3.6 years for nursery admission.