Today was kindergarten graduation day for my oldest daughter. She stood up there with the rest of her class, sang songs that they had learned throughout the year, obtained her Kindergarten Diploma, and looked all kinds of adorable in her little cap and gown. Behind her was a sign that read “Class of 2027.” I did the math, that will be 28 years after I graduated High School. I will be just turning 46. I will be 48 when the youngest graduates. Making me feel old already.
Other than that, It was a fun time.
Except…it was Kindergarten graduation. I asked my wife, “Did you ever have a Kindergarten graduation?” “I seem to remember a swift kick in the butt (in reality probably a hug) and the teacher telling me I was off to 1st grade.” She responded that she didn’t have a Kindergarten Graduation either, but she had a Elementary School Graduation, and 8th Grade Graduation, and of course High School.
I don’t remember a elementary school graduation, but I do remember 8th grade graduation and High School Graduation. It was cold and windy in June when I graduated High School in 1999, we wore jackets over our robes. Unusual for the Mojave desert. I digress.
I asked my wife, “Why a Kindergarten graduation?” She said that all the schools around here are doing them now and they are graduating from every grade. Evidently they hope that if they make a big deal about kids moving on to the new grade and make a celebration out of it, more kids will stay in school.
I don’t really follow that logic.
Whatever happened to celebrating true accomplishments? Why do we have to give a participation medal, ribbon, graduation to everyone? I can understand Kindergarten graduation actually, moving on from getting your feet wet in school to actually jumping in to the numbered grades. That makes sense to me. But a 1st grade graduation? How is that going to give a kid incentive to stay in school? Same with a 6th grade graduation? If you make school fun, but educational for these young kids then they will learn to love it. Teach to the individual student, not to the “common core” masses. Maybe then our High School grades will improve.
However, nothing will improve unless the parents of kids make an effort with their kids. I know this isn’t easy as most households are two income, everyone works to make ends meet, everyone is tired at the end of the day, and you don’t always have time to help little Susie, or 16 year old Johnny with his home work. The same is especially true of families that maybe only have one parent that works a shitty job, trying to pay the bills.
Life isn’t easy, unfortunately kids tend to take the brunt of that. As time goes on, this affects their outlook, grades, etc. I haven’t seen any studies (but then again I haven’t looked for them), but I bet when good paying jobs are plentiful and the economy is good, you have better grades, higher attendance, and less drop outs.
This post didn’t go where I thought it was going to go, I kind of meandered off my original topic and now I don’t know how to get back to that path. I’ll call it a day now.