Should you "redshirt" your child?

(WXYZ) - To hold back or not to hold back?

That is the question many parents are considering when it comes to giving your kindergartener an advantage later in life.

It's called "redshirting" and it's an emotionally charged decision with parents, teachers and sports fans all weighing in.

The term redshirting is usually used to describe a college athlete who sits out a year to gain a year of eligibility when they're bigger or stronger.

"I'm 7 and I had to do kindergarten twice that's why I'm 7," said Fishers' Jordan Huxford—he's a redshirt.

He's in first grade, not second like most 7 year olds, because he went to a private kindergarten one year and then a public kindergarten the next.

"Jordan, I felt was on the short side so I wanted him to be ahead of the game in all aspects," said Jordan's mother, Rachel.

Jordan's parents, Rachel and J.T., say those aspects include academics, maturity and athletics. Jordan plays baseball and golf.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis early childhood education professor, Doctor Jacqueline Blackwell objects to redshirting young children.

"I think everyone is concerned about success of the child starts now --and some see it as cumulative. If my child is not successful here, then the next year my child is not successful," said Dr. Blackwell.

But surprisingly, there are few statistics on it--just anecdotal evidence.

Many people point to a study from the U.S. Department of Education that found the number of kindergartners older than age 5 increased 300 percent from 1970 to 2009.

Professor Blackwell worries about the message redshirting sends the child.

Ultimately, it is up to the parents to decide.
 

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