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Tales Of An Educated Debutante

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The future is far away and scary, but today is lovely.

Adrian H. Wood, PhD


Can We Just Admit That Finishing Kindergarten Is NOT GRADUATION?!

Can We Just Admit That Finishing Kindergarten Is NOT GRADUATION?!

Thursday, June 09, 2016 Adrian Wood Comments (0)

Ummmm, please don't shoot the messenger but how has completing kindergarten become indicative of graduation, particularly with accoutrements, faux paper scrolls, as well as the excessive caps and gowns? I'm as guilt as the rest of you and love a chance to take a cute picture though these days the pictures seem to languish in my phone and rarely make their way into photo books or heaven forbid, a scrapbook. I still adore the graduation picture of my then six year old son Russell, Vineyard Vine button down shirt, gingham bow tie and a paper graduation cap. I mean, no one is disagreeing that it is really cute but so are babies wrestling with puppies.

I think it is awesome that my daughter has managed to successfully complete the growing rigorous demands of kindergarten, but graduation? What?! There are several reasons in particular, why this trend is disturbing. One, doesn't this set the stage for our children thinking they are entitled to pomp and circumstance at the end of each school year? At age five, this could be dangerous, particularly for the daughter that believes she should receive a medal for utilizing a laundry basket. Not to mention the children that perceive the elaborate ceremony to mean they have mounted a major hurdle. It's kindergarten folks, not high school or college. What's next? Weekly sportsmanship awards for PE? The prize box is already the bane of my existence. Having three children in school this year and four next, I am seriously considering filing a suit as believe the education system is sneakily trying to turn my children into hoarders.

I also feel a bit guilty that my daughter has to graduate, regardless of her accomplishments. We had held her back with a summer birthday so she is likely one of the oldest in the class that was not actually retained. There is no reason to fan her flames of confidence and accomplishment all under false pretense. If she were held back on her mediocre reading scores, she would be nearly 8 next year in kindergarten though likely still the shortest. It could get interesting. And truthfully, should anyone not pass kindergarten? Kindergarten in my mind should be about molding clay, easels and paint brushes, large baskets of blocks, and elaborate housekeeping play scenarios and don't forget singing, lots of unplanned breaking into song, like the seven dwarves when cleaning.

Yes, it once was a given that if you had any chance of passing any school year, it was likely to be kindergarten. Not even considered a proper grade after all, hence the name kindergarten. Yeah, the name and concept was coined by Froebel in 1840 and means quite literally, "garden of children" and his purpose was to grow intelligence in young children. I don't know about you but I hope to never graduate from this philosophy of nurturing flourishing learners like our youngest school children. No graduation necessary.

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