My oldest son's birthday is on August 31. When we lived in the Seattle area, that was the kindergarten entry cutoff date -- meaning, if he'd turned 5 one day later, he wouldn't have been allowed to start school without petitioning for early entry. At the time, we were faced with a dilemma: did we want him to be the very youngest child in his class, or the very oldest?
I hemmed and hawed but ultimately made the choice to keep him at home for another year, primarily because I felt in my gut that he wasn't quite emotionally ready for a full day of school. In the years since, I've never once regretted doing so. He flourished the next year, and now at nearly 9, he seems exactly where's he's supposed to be.
Our decision seemed so personal, and so obviously beneficial for him, it's always surprising to hear that holding kids back -- a practice commonly referred to as "redshirting" -- has become a source of increasing controversy.