Parents decide to hold their children back from kindergarten for an extra year for many reasons. There is no right or wrong answer for holding a child back from kindergarten, but there are things to consider before doing so. 

The most common reasons for holding a child back are to allow them to spend more time developing the following skills:

  • Motor
  • Social
  • Emotional

There are pros and cons to consider before redshirting. 

This guide will go over some pros and cons of each decision so you can make an informed choice. 

How Do I Know If My Child is Ready for Kindergarten? 

Most school systems have a cutoff date for when children can start school. It’s often at the end of August or the beginning of September. If your child has a birthday after the date, they will start Kindergarten next year. 

If your child’s birthday is in July or August, you might choose to redshirt them because they will almost be an entire year younger than their classmates. 

A year makes a world of difference in young children. It may be harder for your child to learn to read or count at the same time as other kids when they are younger. 

Here are some tips to follow to know whether your kid is ready or if you might want to wait a year. 

Observe Your Child 

Kindergarten brings about a world of change. Your child goes from being at home or childcare all day to being in the classroom for the majority of the time. 

They will have to spend their days with new classmates and a teacher they have never met before. 

Before deciding whether to enroll your kid in school, consider their social skills. Are they ready to interact with so many new people? Do you think they can get along and share their toys with other kids? 

If you answered no to these questions, they might not be socially ready for school. You can observe your child at birthday parties or at childcare centers to get the answer to these questions. 

Ask the Local School

You can always go to the local school and ask the teachers and principals what kind of skills your child needs to have to make them most likely to succeed. 

Make a list of what they say and then see if your child meets most of the necessities. You can also sit in a class and see the instruction methods that the teachers like to use. 

This will show you if your child will spend more time sitting still or if they will have time to interact with others and play. 

Schools that still allow for play and nap time might be easier for your child to adjust to compared to schools that spend the entire day learning with worksheets and books. 

You might also want to consider a school that has exercise time and art time as this can allow your child space to be away from sitting at a desk all day. 

Know There Is Now a Right or Wrong Choice 

People will have their own opinions about what is best for their children. As their parent, though, you only need to listen to yourself and your child. You know your child best. 

If you feel like you need another opinion, the best person to ask is the pediatrician. Since your child’s doctor does annual checks, they know the state of your child’s motor and emotional development. 

If the child is missing milestones, the doctor might recommend you redshirt them for a year. In the end, though, it’s still your choice as a parent. 

Pros and Cons of Redshirting 

Deciding to hold your child back for a year has some pros and cons. 


Here are some of the pros to holding your kid back from kindergarten.

The list:

  • Skills will be more developed. Holding back your kid for a year ensures they will not fall behind other students. 
  • They can learn easier. Since they will start school a little older, they will be able to grasp concepts easier. 
  • They show better behavior. The older a child is, the easier it is for them to share, listen, and take turns. 

Now, let’s see the cons.


The cons are something to consider.

They include:

  • It’s more challenging for the teacher. Redshirting your kid will make them almost 6 when they start school while other students will just be turning 5. This large age range makes it harder for teachers and your child could get less attention. 
  • They could feel different. Since your child will be older, they may hit puberty or growth spurts earlier than their peers causing them to feel or look different. 
  • It has short-term benefits only. Most children naturally level out academically around third or fourth grade, so they will only benefit from the first few years of schooling. 

Now you know everything about holding your child back from kindergarten and whether it would be best for them.

Final Thoughts 

Holding your child back from Kindergarten when they are 5 years old should be considered in depth before making a decision. There are pros and cons to both choices. 

There is no right or wrong decision though. You might want to hold them back though if you feel like they need extra time to develop emotional or social skills.