Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kindergarten Graduation

I don't get it.  And, at the risk of sounding like a giant stick in the proverbial mud, I will declare publicly that I don't understand the point of preschool and kindergarten graduation.

Yes, the children are incredibly cute.  Yes they all look positively adorable getting their "diplomas".  Take a look at my sweet Connor on his kindergarten graduation day.  I certainly won't argue that it isn't endearing.

I love clip on ties!

But I truly am not sure what started this tradition.  Is kindergarten that big of an accomplishment?  Most children continue on to 1st grade at the same school.  Some children aren't quite ready for the next level of schooling and repeat kindergarten.  No big deal.  It just doesn't seem like an enormous leap of maturity to celebrate.

Our children's school goes from preschool through 8th grade.  On Sunday, the church and school commemorated the graduation of preschoolers, kindergarteners, and 8th graders.  The 8th grade graduation I understand.  Because this is a Christian school, the students don't all just funnel into the same high school.  They will scatter to the Lutheran high school affiliated with our school and various high schools throughout the metro.   I understand the solemnity that a graduation gives to this occasion.

But preschoolers and kindergarteners?  They aren't continuing on to another school.  They aren't tearfully signing yearbooks and promising to keep in touch.  They aren't pledging to be BFFs in an attempt to hold on a little tighter to the security of friendships fostered through years of schooling together.  They aren't mourning the inevitable demise of crushes and puppy love romances - at least they better not be.

But at some point in time, little children who have not yet learned which hand to shake with are being feted for their cutting and gluing skills. And once a tradition like this is established, who will try to end the pageant of cuteness?  Who will try to shut down the parade of little boys with clip on ties and little girls in pigtails with bows?

Not me.  I'm not going to make myself a social pariah over this opinion.

I am not morally opposed to this mini procession of pomp and circumstance.  All I'm saying is I just don't get it.


jodilee0123 said...

My son has special needs and this has been a HUGE step of transition for him. Alas, he will be going to summer school...but this graduation ceremony was a huge accomplishment for him. I too, at one point, thought these were silly things. But not anymore. My son is so excited to be finishing kindergarten and I am too! :) I wasn't sure it would happen. I will admit, I even cried.

Jodi said...

I SO completely agree with you, Kristin!!! (And I'm sure my hubby didn't want to be the "social pariah" at you-know-where either...hee-hee!). And guess what? Our new school STOPPED doing that whole ceremony THIS YEAR! Wish I would've saved the email notice to forward to you. I was SO HAPPY! Not only because I think it's a bit silly and over-the-top, but my son is going to repeat Kindergarten (as are several others in his class) and what does this say!?!?! Have fun at your fake graduation? :>D

Jamie and Brian said...

I was so thankful this year that Lydia's preschool didn't do a graduation ceremony, however, they did have a program for both the 3-4 and 4-5 year old class together, which was uber cute. What I found odd was that the 3-4 year old class received the same Bible that the 4-5 year old class received. Does that mean she's going to get THREE of these since she'll in in preschool for 3 years?!