MCKRAKEN COUNTY, Ky. - Education Nation continues on nbc news broadcasts all this week, exploring ways to improve education in America. "Redshirting" is a college-sports term that refers to holding back an athlete for a year. Now, educators are using the term with kindergartners.
Redshirting is a growing trend for parents who start their child in kindergarten at age six instead of the traditional age of five. The big question for all parents, does it actually help a child succeed?
Five-year-old Stone Crowe loves to compete, play and win.
"He's somewhat immature," Amy Crowe, his mother, said.
In fact, his fifth birthday was July 4. The calendar says he's ready for kindergarten, but his mom Amy says his behavior says otherwise.
"School would end up being a struggle for him than a success and that's not what I want," Amy said. "I feel like holding him one more year that way when he goes to school - he's gonna be confident, ready for the challenge of school, because it's difficult these days."
It's called redshirting - holding a 5-year-old back from starting kindergarten until they're six.
"By and large, you see more parents that are concerned about the maturity of their children facing the transition points in life," Russ Tilford, head of McCracken Schools pupil personnel, said.
The rules for redshirting are pretty simple. Kentucky law gives parents the option of sending a 5-year-old to kindergarten, but any child who is six years of age or who may become six years of age by Oct. 1 shall attend public school.
"We want to work with families to do what's best for them and for their child," Russ said.
For Amy, that means waiting one more year, and in her case, she may be better qualified than most parents to make that decision - since she is a first grade teacher and has taught kindergarten in the past.
"Generally, the younger students tend to be more immature than older students," Amy said.
So, Stone has one more year to work on his forehand, and one more year to learn it's ok to fall down - as long as you get up again.
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