Redshirting not just for athletes anymore - FOX Carolina 21

Redshirting not just for athletes anymore

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Young students in an Upstate classroom. (File/FOX Carolina) Young students in an Upstate classroom. (File/FOX Carolina)

Some may associate redshirting with college athletes - but what about redshirting a kindergartner? It's becoming more common for children to "ride the bench," waiting a year to start school.

Jennifer Schumpert's son Jack just started kindergarten. She also teaches K-4 at her church after teaching in public schools until she became a mother.

"This particular year because he was so ready, I had no qualms," said Schumpert. "I didn't cry, he didn't cry..he was so ready for it."

Schumpert decided to enroll Jack in kindergarten at age 6 instead of age 5 - a trend educators have dubbed "redshirting."

"Boys just tend to mature a lot later and it wasn't so much kindergarten, it was third grade when they start main testing and the pressures of that and when he starts middle school and ninth grade," Schumpert said.

A study by the Department of Education in Nebraska found that redshirting creates a cycle of increasing curriculum and expectations. It also showed that kindergarten curriculums became more focused on teaching six-year-old students rather than 5-year-olds.

A California professor found there was no academic or social benefit, except for varsity football, when an extra year usually means high school boys are bigger and stronger.

Courtney Turner, Director of Education at the Goddard School in Simpsonville, said kids entering kindergarten should know numbers, letters and how to write their name. Besides the basics, she believes confidence is key.

"I think there is definitely a balance we try and offer that gives them a balance socially, emotionally - building that confidence, feeling good about themselves," Turner said.

Turner sees a lot of parents who wonder if their child is ready and typically, moms and dads make the right decision.

And as for Schumpert and her decision, she couldn't be happier.

"[Jack] is doing very well. I'm extremely glad I did it," Schumpert said.

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