Do I REALLY Want to Redshirt My Kindergartener?

holding back from kindergarten15 days. I think anyways. 15 days is what we have to get Baby Boy ready for his first year of school. I’m shitting bricks as the brown dads would say. With Little Monkey I wasn’t as anxious as I am with Baby Boy. It might have been because she went to a preschool for a bit but I think in reality it’s because she was mature enough. Both our kids are October babies which means they’re still three years when they start Junior Kindergarten. Technically. I never thought I’d ever ask the question ” Should I Redshirt my Kid?” but here I am!

By the way, some of my friends asked me what I meant when I said  “Redshirting”. Academic redshirting is where parents choose not to enroll their kid in kindergarten even though they are of appropriate age by the province’s cut-off date for enrollment.

I don’t know if it’s a second child side effect or if it’s a boy thing but Baby Boy has always been a bit slower on the milestones. Talking, Walking….everything except eating! He’s not ready and I know it but then I think about having both kids in school during the day and my face lights up. He’ll be fine, yeah? He’ll adjust easily? Sure, he will most likely hate the first year just like Little Monkey did and that’s okay. He’ll make friends. Yes?


Why do I want to hold him back a year?


  • He’s still in diapers and is full on refusing to go to the bathroom unless we bribe him. Even that only works every 1 out of 10 times. Forget teaching him to wash his ass, he won’t even pull his pants down! We were on the right track prior to our trip but it has been downhill since we started travelling full time. Maybe a miracle will happen and he’ll potty train successfully overnight once we arrive in Toronto?
  • He’s VERY shy. So shy that he refuses to speak to ANYONE outside of our family and has even started pushing and shoving strangers who try to approach him if he’s already upset. I’m hoping his social skills will improve, just like Little Monkey’s did after being exposed to other kids.
  • He’s very emotional. His sister has been great at coddling him and giving in a fair bit so his feelings get very hurt if someone is rude to him or when things don’t go his way. While it isn’t right, he’s an emotional wreck and it takes a fair bit to get him to calm down. Will a teacher with 30 students be able to comfort?
  • He says he doesn’t want to. What do kids know, right? He was excited about going on a yellow school bus when he was 2 years old (and couldn’t) but now that the time has come, he doesn’t want it. Or so he says. I’m really hoping he gets excited once we’re home with a new backpack and lunchbox and his sister by his side as he heads off to school.


redshirting kindergarten toronto


I’m secretly hoping that Little Monkey’s previous teachers will be his teachers as well because he has met them in the past and it MIGHT help us out a bit. But even if it isn’t one of them, I know I have to trust the system and that Little Monkey has had amazing teachers who have brought her out of her shell. I remind myself that I did worry when Little Monkey first started school as well and that perhaps I’m worrying over nothing. I tell myself that we can always test it out and if it isn’t working we can chat with his teacher and the Principal to figure out an alternate scenario or maybe pull him out for a bit. For now, I don’t think we’re going to redshirt. I will take a deep breath and dive right in…we’ve done it numerous times in our lives and why should this be any different? They say a mother’s instinct is spot on but I’m going to ignore this one just for a bit to see how things unfold. He might surprise us…we may NOT be called every SINGLE day to pick him up and clean his bum! He might just be ready for this crazy thing called school life.

Fingers crossed.

I’m also reminding myself of the lessons we learned after Little Monkey went to Junior Kindergarten! 

redshirting kindergarten toronto

  • Laurel
    August 25, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Really tough decision. I feel you. I’m no expert (by any means), but I do kind of agree with your try and see method. Sometimes our kids surprise us and jump right in. And sometimes it doesn’t work and like you said, you can always pull him out and try again next year. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

  • Cynthia
    August 27, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    First take a deep breathe then trust your gut because you know your own child best. Each child is different on how they handle different situations as well. New routines etc will help. There is a big difference between JK and SK kids in terms of social stuff but he will be a young JK going in without preschool training wheels. There is nothing wrong with having him attend a preschool etc first then see how he does. There are many programs in the city that help get kids school ready. My daughter just finished Grade 1 and I would say the jump to Grade 1 is the hardest. Good luck!

    • Yashy
      August 27, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      Oh gosh… we have one going to Grade 1 and didn’t even think of her adjusting! *gulp*

  • Calvin
    December 10, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Wasn’t familiar with the term, but yeah I think I was a late kindergartner.

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