Thursday, May 11, 2006


Last night was the grandchildren's "kindergarten graduation." And that means I'm about to get in trouble because of this post.

I've never been a fan of other-than-high school graduation. To me, calling any kind of schooling completion and advancement by the term "graduation" is a silly ... and potentially dangerous ... thing to do.

Okay, maybe "dangerous" is too strong a word. Maybe.

You see, I think the whole purpose of calling "kindergarten graduation" by the term "graduation" is to make people feel good about it.

That's a load of crap. Calling it "graduation" simply to make them feel good about it, that is.

"Why?" you ask. Simple. It cheapens high school graduation.

I remember when my sisters "graduated" from middle school. They called it that. And that was a load of crap then. And it's a load of crap now.

When finishing a school bloc ... like kindergarten, elementary school, and middle school ... means graduation, that means that graduation is nothing more than finishing the current bloc.

And that cheapens graduation.

Graduation should be the conferral of a degree or diploma marking completion of studies. Not the completion of a step in a gradual process. Graduation should be the completion of the process, not a step in the process.

Graduation should be a special event, signifying an actual accomplishment. Like finishing school.

Okay, yes, the grandchildren were happy and the parents were happy and the grandparents (including me) were happy and happy for them. But I'm worried about the happiness being spread out over 12-13 years. It should be saved up and enjoyed at high school graduation.

If you want to make the little ones and their parents happy, tell them they are "promoted."

I never undersood why "promotion" wasn't good enough. Maybe some of the parents don't understand "promoted" because they never got promoted? Gosh, it must be a tough world behind the counter at McDonald's, huh.

But you can make the little ones happy by telling them that "promotion" is important, and gets them closer to graduation. But they should understand that graduation comes after the 12th grade. You don't get promoted after that. You graduate. And then go to college. Or go to work. Or keep dealing drugs. Or whatever.

In a couple of weeks, the Wife and I are traveling to Tennessee to witness a niece's graduation. And it's a real graduation. She's finishing high school. We're proud of her, and we're looking forward to the trip.

But about last night, I'm happy for the grandchildren. I really am. I just hate that the importance of their high school graduation is being cheapened. And that most parents and grandparents are playing right along.


  1. I totally agree with you. Look at all the money the stores who sell the items for graduations make!

  2. i graduated from kindergarten AND high school. i don't think that my graduation from kindergarten in any way made my high school graduation cheap. oh and life behind the counter of the subway is just fine with me, promotion or no.

  3. See, I told y'all I would get in trouble over this post!

  4. No kidding. And even more touchy feely meaningless bs is happening here.

    We just received a note from school informing us that we needed to "write our daughter a love letter" to help boost her self esteem. *All* parents of 3rd graders are supposed to do it. Complete and utter crap, IMO...

    (Oh, and thanks for the link the other day. :-)

  5. Basil, when the "graduation" was over, did the kids receive a standing ovation? The reason I ask is I've seen a lot of this in the past few years (school concerts, "graduations", etc.).

  6. Mike:
    No, they didn't. But yeah, that seems the way lots of things go. I'm all for offering a standing ovation for outstanding things, but so many times it seems to be "expected" ... cheapening the truly deserved ones.

    It doesn't surprise me that it's happening in places. The way to let a child know they are loved is to show them and tell them, not some silly "homework" assignment.

  7. Hypocritical as it sounds, I agree BUT I purchased all of my son's Kindergarten portraits. And plan on filming it. And weeping. So when you think about it, it's a great opportunity to release all of the pent up emotion...or is that just me? NEVERMIND.

  8. no tish it's not just you, i had all those emotions too. i just hope my kids grow up smart enough to enter the community college, or any college of their choice.

  9. Snuffie: Hey, I KNOW your kids, remember?

    They're already smart enough.

  10. Today's state standards for kindergarten contain the skills you probably learned in first or second grade. A child of five or six must learn to follow rules, get along with others, curb impulses, learn to be organized, learn to tie shoes, to memorize address, phone, shapes, colors, the letters, their sounds, how to write them, how to combine them to make words, to write in sentences with correct punctuation, how to read, to use numbers, how to tell time, how to count money, to add and subtract and etc.

    Think about it, your grandchild can read and write. S/he has learned the skills in kindergarten that s/he will build upon to get through twelve more years of school. This is a huge accomplishment for this child. His/Her hard work should be celebrated! Show me any other school year that accomplishes more?

    Positive experiences in the beginning promote a love of learning in the young child. Your grandchild's special memories of his/her graduation day (assuming he/she never sees your posts), is a step toward high school graduation. Celebrate your grandchild and stop worrying about what the ceremony is called. This child will only be little once and should be given the opportunity to feel honored by his/her family and teachers.


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