For parents of children with birthdays near the end date of preschool, the debate can start almost as soon as…
For parents of children with birthdays near the end date of preschool, the debate can start almost as soon as they are born: Should we shirt him? Will she be ready for kindergarten soon?
Red-shirting, which originally coined as a term for college graduates held competing in a year to improve their skills and expand their qualifications, is now often used to describe acts of keeping a child from the start school for an additional year . It is most common with children who have summer parents or a birthday that is very close to the school district’s date.
If it really is a child’s advantage to be “red-shirted” is up for debate; but now a new study shows that students born in August who are among the youngest in their kindergarten classes are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.
Reporter Jenny Anderson writes for Quartz about the study, published this week by researchers from Harvard Medical School.
How can a child’s birthday design their school experience: Imagine living in a school district with a Sept. 1
cutoff, which means your child must be five years old by September 1st to start school. That means that a boy named Lucas, who became five on August 15, registers in the same class as Jack, who becomes sex on September 15th.
Jack has lived almost 20% longer than Lucas. Developingly this is an eternity. He is likely to have better self-control and be better equipped to do the things required at school, such as sitting still and listening for long periods of time.
“When children grow older, small differences age and disappear over time, but behaviorally speaking, the difference between a 6-year-old and a 7-year-old can be quite pronounced,” says Anupam Jena, Senior Education Professor at Health Sciences at Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School. What’s normal for a five-year-old appears as omogenous for six-year-olds.
The study found that in a district with a Sept. 1 cutoff date, children born in August were 34 percent more likely than their almost one-year-old September- comrades to get a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD symptoms may include hyperactivity, inattention, difficulty in staying, lack of focus or inability to follow instructions.
Personally, my husband and I spoke to our son. He has a late September’s birthday and in our school district is the end date of October 1. The closer we came when we had to make a decision, the clearer is it that he would not be ready either academically or emotionally – to change from two hours of preschool four days a week to the college of college days one month before he even became five years old. And his preschool teacher made it clear that they could not agree on more.
Fortunately, we had the opportunity (and the financial means) to enter a pre-school program especially for children in this situation. It was five days a week and more academically rigorous than the usual 4-year program (but less than preschool). And even now, with my son who enjoys second class, I can not imagine he would become thriving in third grade if we had registered him a year earlier.
But having a choice at all is a luxury many parents do not have. Many parents can not afford another year of day care centers or preschools. And a parent in our offspring Facebook group had to register his son to kindergarten to hold a variety of educational services in place for him.
“He received preschool treatments through a school districts program for some developmental delays (gross engine, fine engine, speech). The therapies expire at the age of 5, assuming your child continues the therapies through the special school, says Jennifer, whose son turned five two weeks before school district’s last date on August 1.
“If I had got him to wait a year, his therapies would have ended and I would have had to pay out three to three therapists for a year and then get him evaluated for school exchange treatments that they could have rejected. So to send him to school and have him grandfathered in school district therapies was the only solution that really made sense. “
As other parents chose to delay the beginning of the beginning, the son ended up in a class with a wide range of ages that wondered:” Would he look so far behind if everyone just went when they were 5? Or is he much more delayed because half of these children were lucky enough to wait? “
Other Facebook Facebook parents say they have or are still considering everything from a child’s social and academic skills to how their physical size is comparable to the age of children. Some parents have their own experience of being among the oldest or youngest when they were in school.
Or there are some like Matt who choose what can be considered a compromise: “Our current plan is to enter the kindergarten and see how things are going,” Matt says. “Worst case, he repeats kindergarten for a second year. Every child is different, so every parent needs to make the best decision for his family.”