Someone please explain Kindergarten Graduation to me

She really is cute in that cap!

She really is cute in that cap!

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.

5th grade continuance

5th grade continuance

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.

Our little ceremony

Our little ceremony

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.

4 thoughts on “Someone please explain Kindergarten Graduation to me

  1. to me, it’s the idea that there are rights of passage at all, that are problematic
    too much of life now ‘requires’ a reward–people make more money this way
    living life, properly is not negotiable, it simply is


  2. Oh, I get you:). My son, about to graduate from 8th grade, is being feted like he’s a debutante. We’ve taken umpteen pics for the Memories committee in various garb–and he’s missed actual classes for some of them. Ridiculous. Our kids don’t need applause for everything. In fact, I think it’s detrimental to make them think they need it . . .


  3. I don’t understand the whole “graduation” thing at every level. I am all for celebrating major milestones, College/University, & on a smaller scale, high school but seriously, why is it necessary to host a graduation ceremony for kindergarten & dare I say, even elementary school.


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