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I don't remember it being like this when I was a kid. Is it just a Hawaii thing? We have "graduation" ceremonies for preschool, kindergarten, sixth grade, eight grade and of course for high school and college. Personally, I just think it's ridiculous. Seriously, they take school pictures in caps and gowns for each of these events. (Okay, my 6th grader wasn't wearing a cap, just a gown but he was holding a rolled up diploma.) The kids are given leis (candy, money and/or flower leis), balloons, the whole nine yards. I gave in and went to my youngest son's preschool graduation, because DH was off island and I didn't want DS to be the only one without a parent there. Tomorrow is his kindergarten graduation, and his teacher gave me the evil eye and told me she expected to see me there along with DH. The woman IS a nun, so maybe she read my mind and knew I'd intended to just send DH, huh? lol They honestly had TWO after school meetings for parents to give them instructions regarding this ceremony. I refused to go. I'm a bit nervous now that I think about it. Although we're not Catholic, it's a Catholic school (The only one we could get him in, since he didn't turn 5 until December.) Maybe we're going to have to do something weird. I'd hate to accidentally do something disrespectful. Knowing me, that's entirely possible, just ask DH.
Anyway, oldest DS "graduates" from 6th grade on Wednesday. He informed me it's okay if I don't go. He wouldn't say that if he didn't mean it, so I was relieved. However, 15 yr. old DD has just informed me that I HAVE to go, because it will be sad if he doesn't get any leis and/or balloons. I can't have him looking like the red headed stepchild, so it looks like I'll be stuck going. ...sigh...
So, am I a terrible mom because I think celebrating graduating from kindergarten and sixth grade is ridiculous?
I think the way you feel is totally realistic. Everytime you turn around theres another reason to spend more money and waste the time that should be spent learning. Instead practising for some graduation ceremony. No one takes into account the families that just cant afford all these little extras and there is nothing worse than being told 'you can come and speak to so and so about paying off costs or getting a hardship discount'. Yeah lets tell the world. It needs to go back to just celebrating life and letting the kids get on with learning. There doesnt need to be a ceremony for every step they take.
You are not a terrible mother, actually I think you are a very good mom and wise woman for daring to question thus practice. It is not just a Hawaii thing either. I have lived all over the US including Hi, and AK. (My DH was in the AF, retired now), and I taught preschool and kindergarten. As the years passed celebrations evolved from a simple invitation to join us for cookies and punch to extremely elaborate ceremonies complete with cap and gown and diplomas suitable for framing! It is ridiculous! I mean completing preschool, kindergarten, etc. are milestones to be sure - but are they achievements deserving so much pomp and circumstance? I think not, but that is just me!
You are not a terrible mom! I love my kids but why must EVERY moment be celebrated?!?!? And why must I witness EVERYTHING in order for it to be meaningful?!?!? Being content with personal satisfaction at one's achievements rather than expecting the world to celebrate with you is a valuable character trait!
We have refused to attend evening school celebratory events simply because we would rather spend the evening truly together, as a family. We have never regretted it.
Whew! I feel so much better. lol I was a tiny bit worried it might have something to do with me being older. Heck, I'm old enough to be Conrad's grandma. He's 5 and I turn 53 next month. (We adopted him.) I was thinking it was a generation thing. It just seems to me that all this big whoop-de-do over things kids are SUPPOSED to do is a reason many of them grow up to feel so entitled. Like things should just fall in their lap instead of them having to earn it.
Ailhelen, you should have heard me when DS brought home the paperwork saying there's a SEVENTY FIVE dollar fee for GRADUATION! Yes, I'm not joking. Truly, if i didn't work full time I would be homeschooling. Oh, and did I mention he had to bring a gift and lei for his big brother (an 8th grader is assigned to all kindergartners)? I would have wanted to give the boy a little gift anyway, but I did not appreciate it being mandatory.
Is it the start of where the entitlement comes from for kids? They are alllll so special and everything must be celebrated. I'm all for kids being rewarded for excelling at something but not just for turning up.
Stop paint chip abuse. Act now!!
Won't somebody think of the paint chips?
Yep, it's been confirmed - world's worst mom here. We showed up an hour before the ceremony. I saw all these kids in white button down shirts (NOT regular uniform shirts), long black pants (not the black dress uniform shorts). Umm, got "the look" from one of the teachers there. I hid in the car, and DH was told DS needed a white shirt. We rushed to Ross, which had nothing but a plain white Polo shirt. We bought him a new pair of black shoes since his looked red from the red dirt and he'd been wearing them all year. I drew the line at buying black dress pants, since A) they didn't have any and B) his gown was so long you couldn't really tell anyway. Actually, you couldn't tell what kind of shirt was on under any of the gowns either. Rushed back and made it in time, but it was very traumatic for me. Guess that's what I get for refusing to attend the meetings, huh? lol Still, a piece of paper with a reminder notice wouldn't have killed them!
To the school's credit, they did a great job with the "graduation" ceremony. If I had to endure it, at least it was nice. DS made honor roll. If you'd have seen how he was a year ago you'd know what a miracle this is. He's come a long way. I'll try to post a picture later.
Now I own an elaborate gown with white collar thing and cap and tassel. I thought he'd just keep the tassel, but apparently that $75 paid for a gown. Whoopee! It's a tad too big to put in a scrapbook (not that I've yet to do a single page anyway).
I cannot imagine what they will do for eighth grade!!! (They don't do sixth grade since their school goes up to eight grade.) I get to go to my other DS's sixth grade graduation next Wednesday. Yep, the fun just never ends. hah!
Add me to the list of parents who think that graduation ceremonies should only be for High School and college. Actually HS is kind of iffy to me also because I expect all of my kids to graduate from HS.
Only one of my three kids went to preschool (see that probably makes me a bad mom too, but he's the only one that truly needed it) and there was no preschool graduation.
My oldest two kids had kindergarten graduations - no gowns or gifts were given or expected (at least not in my house). There was no fee or dress code for it. They go to public school though so that may change things? They did have caps, but they were made by the kids teacher out of paper.
The school that my kids go to ends at 5th grade (MS begins at 6th grade) and I know that there is a fifth grade end of year assembly during the day, but I don't think it is an actual graduation ceremony? My oldest will be in 5th next year so I don't actually know all of what they do. I do know that it is held during the day, that some parents come really early to try and get a good seat and that there is a power point presentation with pictures from the year. I guess I'll find out more next year.
Yep, Misse, that's how the 5th grade one is done here. The assembly thing, but then they also have them walk up and receive their "diploma". (Nuts!) The funny thing is, DD graduated from 5th grade, then we moved to a district where the elementary school goes to 6th grade, so I had to go to ANOTHER ceremony!
My first 3 kids didn't go to preschool either. Since I wasn't working at that time I home schooled them. (Those 6 years were the only time I hadn't worked since I was 15 1/2!). They started school in 2nd, 1st and kindergarten because our situation changed and I needed to go back to work. For the record, they were way, way ahead of where the kids in their classes were. The only reason Conrad went to preschool was because I was working. The only reason he's in a private school is because public school wouldn't take him because he didn't turn 5 until December. I wasn't about to pay for another year of preschool if he could get started in kindergarten. Even other private schools wouldn't take him at his age. (That also explains why he's in a Catholic school when we aren't Catholic. lol)
None of my three kids went to preschool simply because a) I wanted the time with them and b) did not see the value of it. All three did just fine in kindergarten without any struggles. I do not regret it at all. I was definitely in the minority, though, in our decision. However, to each his own.
Well, I'm not a parent, but I'm not a fan of graduations either. I told my dad he didn't have to go to my high school graduation (and I meant it) - I was bored to tears there (and it was my own graduation!). 4.5 years later I still remembered how boring my high school graduation was, so I skipped the college one. They mailed me the diploma. Since then I've been unfortunately obliged to go to a couple graduations - not fun or pleasant.
I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to assure you, Pam, that it is not your age at all. I'm 32 and about to have kiddo #5. I think all the hype about "graduations" is ridiculous. I agree that, to me, it takes away from high school and college graduations-- the ones that really mean something. However, I'm also one of the few parents that REFUSES to buy my oldest (13) a smartphone or even a plain cell phone, for that matter! He wanted a laptop and we told him he had to save up and buy one himself. And HE DID!
I agree with you and several other posters that it is the start of the "entitlement" attitude. One of my former elementary school teachers told my mom that after my class, each successive class of students she had had less manners, more entitlement, etc.
Luckily my kids' elementary school doesn't do fake graduations for kindergarten. They do have a special picnic/celebration for 5th graders (they move on to middle school) and our elementary has a tradition for the 5th graders on the last day of school... The whole school lines the main hallway (pre-k through 4th, teachers, staff, parents) and the 5th graders walk down single-file and the whole school claps and cheers, high-fives, etc. It means a lot to the 5th graders and there are always some teary eyes! =) But it's NOT "graduation." LOL
Honestly, I would choke on my laughter if a school told me I had to pay $75 for "graduation." Yup, no thank you!
I'm a SU! Demo & WAHM to "J" (13), "A" (9), "O" (8) & "C" (5) and Baby (EDD 8/16/15).
At least our school doesn't do it. I don't remember them doing anything for my daughter's K. (My son didn't go to K.) 5th grade was just an awards day (which all grades participate in 1 - 5) but the 5th graders each get an award from their teachers in which they pick something to say about the student. 8th grade is another award ceremony but not a grad or formal thing other than dress nice and to school code (which apparently gets ignored because I saw spaghetti strap dresses and school code is straps have to be an inch or wider).
My son's graduation from a community college had a $100 fee - it includes 5 invitations. I can't imagine having to pay $75 for a preschooler! What are they smoking?? My daughter's high school graduation was only $10! I'd probably have had a holy fit and not gone either.