This may make me somewhat unpopular but, I don’t get kindergarten graduation. Oh, it is a cute ritual – seeing my daughter in that cute little grad cap – adorable. But is it meaningful? Essentially Kindergarten graduation is simply a sign that we have made it through the year – alive. Wait, maybe it is the moms that should be marching up there. And, this seems to be primarily an American phenomenon. Mari, my UK informant told me that it isn’t done there.
Oh, and didn’t we have preschool graduation last year? Yes we did, I remember that too. And, a few nights ago my principal husband was out til 9 pm presiding over his 5th grade continuance ceremony. Okay, at least the preschoolers and the 5th graders are moving on to a different building.
Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating successes and awarding kids for things they do but, it seems like some of these celebrations are hollow, empty. How many graduations will my daughter go through before there is one that is actually significant?
As a homeschooling family, we have an end of the year celebration that has become tradition. Each year I order all three kids a trophy. I have them printed with the greatest learning goal that child met that year. Perhaps my son boldly faced down a hatred of math and worked diligently to overcome that. Maybe my oldest daughter took it upon herself to teach her younger sister to read. And hey, the youngest is reading – talk about a celebration. I present these trophies to them and tell them specifically why I felt moved to give them that trophy – sometimes they get so excited they are moved to tears. This, is a celebration. This is important. This has meaning.
I realize it would be difficult for everyone and larger organizations like schools to do something to that level. But, how can we make these, “rite of passage” celebrations more meaningful to the kids we are celebrating? Feel free to list ideas and thoughts on this in the comments area – I would love to hear about meaningful celebrations you have been a part of.
It seems like so much of our time in this culture is spent in hollow pursuits that take up time and energy and we forget to actually celebrate the things that should be celebrated. And there is a lot to celebrate – let’s just keep it meaningful. They really did look adorable in those hats though.