Holding Graduation Ceremonies for Kindergartners & 4th Graders Is Absurd
by Jeanne Sager
Have you seen them? The slew of "graduation" photos on Facebook, each one seeming to feature a child smaller than the one before? Kids these days graduate from everything. Pre-school. Kindergarten. First grade. Second grade. Third grade ...
Of course, every ceremony is adorable.Of course, the kids are proud, the parents prouder.
But do we really need all these graduations? If little kids "graduate" just for completing a school year, what are we really teaching them?
That you get a big party every time you wipe your nose?
Come on, now, people!
I say this as the mother of an 8-year-old who has gone through two graduations already in life: pre-school and kindergarten. In a few years, she'll have what our district has dubbed a "stepping up" ceremony, the jump from elementary to high school. It's just another word for graduation.
I loved her graduation ceremonies.
But I couldn't help feeling a little silly.
Going from kindergarten to first grade is not really ... much. All she did was walk across the hall (LITERALLY) to another classroom.
She wasn't done. Far from it. Sure, she gave up naps. Sure, she started doing homework (it starts in kindergarten these days ... sigh). But she had so much more to learn.
Has so much more to learn.
As do those graduating third graders and graduating fourth graders (and fifth graders, and ....).
They may have finished a year of school, but they still haven't tackled calculus or gone two rounds with the periodic tables. Shakespeare and dissecting fetal pigs are still ahead of them. There are so many lessons to learn -- academic and life.
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The dictionary defines graduation as "conferral or receipt of an academic degree or diploma marking completion of studies." But their studies are far from complete.
So how are we defining graduation for our little kids who are constantly "graduating"? It's another reason for Mom and Dad to buy you stuff. It's another meaningless trophy (or tassel) on the shelf. It's another sign that "accomplishments" are easy to grasp.
And it's a load of baloney ... cute, cute baloney.
Do you feel like little kids graduate too much or should we be celebrating their "accomplishments"?