When You Redshirt Your Kids, You Screw Mine

charlie in school

Charlie turned 3 in January, and became eligible for preschool. In Alberta, kids can be born on or before March 1 to enter the grade. So Charlie’s preschool class is supposed to be a group of kids born from March 2009 – Feb 2010.

Since Charlie had to wait until he turned 3 before the school would accept him, he has found himself a little behind in catching on to the routine. The other kids have been going for 6 months, The Chooch has only been there for 6 weeks, so it’s understandable.

The other reason Charlie is dragging a little? He’s the youngest in the class – by far. Most kids are 6 – 7 months older than my son (something I expected), but there is one kid that is more than a year older than Charlie.

In a classroom designed for March 2009 – Feb 2010 kids, there is a child born in November of 2008.

We chose to send our kids to a private French Immersion program to start their scholastic careers because they could start early, and get more classroom time.

They start in a preschool program for a few days a week, then move to a 5 day a week Junior Kindergarten program, before entering full day Kindergarten. Most children in the public system will get some preschooling / daycare before entering a half day Kindergarten. I’m thrilled with the head start my kids can get, when it’s done properly.

Going by the application rules for Alberta, that December 2008 kid would be in the middle of eligibility for the Junior Kindergarten, but the parents have held her back.

Instead of having another child close to his age, he has someone miles ahead of him in size.

I have written much on redshirting and how I am opposed to it. School should be about challenging your kids instead of making it easier for them. You should want to cultivate a desire for learning, not one of slack laziness. Still, some alpha parents redshirt and it ripples through the whole system. Despite being exactly where he should be, my son is getting steamrolled by others in class. How can one expect a kid who is 37 months old to keep up with one that is 52 months old?

Cmon, redshirters, you’re not doing anyone any favors. You’re screwing the system – and my kid.

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Buzz

Buzz is married to Jennifer and has 2 sons. Zacharie was born in May 2007 and Charles in January 2010. Buzz is a radio guy who enjoys building bridges between old and new media. Follow buzz on Twitter @buzzbishop and check out DadCAMP on Google+

One Comment

  1. I don’t know why all these parents are holding their kids back from school when they can attend. They may struggle a bit at first, but they will adapt.

    My 2 cousins and I were february children that started school when we were supposed to, and we never had any difficulties.

    My daughter and son are both born in february as well. My daughter is now in kindergarten and doing fine, my son will be going to preschool as soon as he turns 3 in Jan 2014.

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