Parents: Preschool Graduation, a Milestone Worth Celebrating?

Preschoolers are preparing to parade around in caps and gowns to “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Graduation ceremonies are happening at nearly every preschool in the area, and the pint-sized graduates are donning their caps and gowns, while their mothers tear up wondering where the time has gone. They're becoming kindergartners in a blink of an eye.

Granted, I’m sure these same sentimental mommies will be just as anxious, nervous and excited at their child’s high school and college graduations. And probably still wondering —?

So what do you think, is preschool graduation a legitimate rite of passage or is it a joke?

Should preschoolers really get to parade around in caps and gowns to “Pomp and Circumstance”? Or should we be reserving this for their years?

As the mother of a preschooler about to graduate, in my opinion, it is a legitimate rite of passage. After all, in three months, he will be boarding a school bus and venturing off into the unknown world of kindergarten.

I remember before I had children of my own, laughing at my friends who were attending their child’s preschool ceremonies. Perhaps it’s just not something you “get” until you have kids.

I think my son has earned his moment of honor. He’s come so far since his first days at school, when he was so shy he would cry when I drop him off. Now, I have to beg him for a kiss, because he runs off to join his friends. I am very proud of him.

While there is no valedictorian, and there isn’t an official conferring of degrees. The graduates are, in fact, completing their study and moving on. And isn’t that part of the definition of graduation anyway?

So why not let the kids feel they have graduated from “little kid” school and feel the pride of becoming a . After all, it’s not like we’re sending out graduation announcements or asking him to be showered with gifts. In fact, our big celebration will be dinner at the —my son’s favorite restaurant.

What’s your take on preschool graduation ceremonies? How will you celebrate your preschooler’s big day? Tell us in the comment.

Tim May 31, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Objectively speaking, taking my own kid (and being a parent) of the equation, I'd say it's a joke. However, it's a harmless and as you noted above, it certainly has benefits without any drawbacks I can think of. Generally speaking, things that can be categorized as such are considered good ideas.
Stacey Schantz May 31, 2012 at 02:01 PM
I had a feeling this would be your opinion!!! But, in reality, I think it'll help our kids head off to Kindergarten with a little confidence... And what's wrong with that??? Getting on the bus that first day, isn't going to be easy!
Tim May 31, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Stacey: Completely agree. As I mentioned, it's completely harmless and they are certainly excited for it. Nothing wrong with it at all, just a bit silly :) I was initially speaking for the population that isn't in our shoes. Our views are always (initially, at least) skewed by our personal situations
Tim May 31, 2012 at 03:47 PM
"Why do you think were placed 15th thru 27th place compared to the rest of the world in academic performance" Lots of reasons. We can start with federal level attempts at regulated education, then take it down to a local government level with a continued lack of proper spending on education. From there, we can drill down to the parent level, how too many of them fail to instill the correct values re: education and hard work. This generation is one of entitlement, it's ridiculous.
Tracey May 31, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Trying to be totally objective here, if I had chosen to keep my child home and not send him to pre-school, would my child be made to feel inferior to those that went to pre-K and 'graduated'? So you could say in a way it's not fair, or you could say the pre-school is self promoting. However I am totally unobjective and so excited for it! The kids have been practicing songs all year to sing for us. I think they must feel a sense of pride for being the big kids and leaving pre school. Why not? I'll be a blubbering mess, like you, I'm just so proud of all the growing up they've done. Bring plenty of tissues!
Stacey Schantz June 01, 2012 at 12:29 AM
It's no different than the kid who doesn't go to college... You either participate or you miss out. Either way, we sure have big boys compared to when they first began school. *sniff sniff*
Joni Diedrich June 01, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Sounds like harmless fun to me.
Andrea H June 01, 2012 at 01:18 PM
My daughter has already had 2 PreK graduations over the last two school years, and because of her October 1st birthday, is headed off to PreK AGAIN next year. It's adorable to see them in their caps, singing songs and presenting parents with cute, handmade gifts. I agree with Tom, it is more of a "goodbye" ceremony and completely harmless. Although my daughter did say "Mom, didn't I do this last year?", to which I answered yes you did, and you are lucky enough to get to do it one more time next year!
Sue June 01, 2012 at 02:02 PM
If you look at the PHHS graduation thread, you will see a picture of a young lad in a homemade graduation cap. That was my son 13 years ago, and today he is graduating with the PHHS Class of 2012. Preschool graduations are a fun way to celebrate a milestone with your child. And make for good pictures to post on Facebook to embaass your child years later :)
Stacey Schantz June 01, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Sue, that's adorable! Congratulations to your son, and all the PHHS graduates today!!!
jenni May 27, 2013 at 04:07 AM
I understand the skepticism but in my opinion, it is more than "fun" and not at all a "joke". I am a preschool teacher and my class is approaching their graduation date. To us as teachers, the kids have earned the ceremony, the "pomp", the congratulations. In a daycare setting, the teachers have seen some of these kids come in when they were only months old. We have watched them learn and grow, come into their own, and decide who they are. They may be bringing home fingerpaints and sticker collages, but in 4-5 years they have achieved a lot more. They have learned how to be brave, when they are scared to leave their parents or get up and perform in front of an audience. They have learned how to be accepting, of their friends who like different things, look different, or have different families. than them They have learned how to communicate, what they want, need, like or don't like, and any idea rolling around in their heads. They have learned how to love, people that are not their family but have become close to it, and how to show those people they matter most. Now as five year olds, they are leaving their second home and extended families and that is a very big deal, especially in NYC where many will not end up in the same school as their comrades. It is a big deal, and it wouldn't be right to let that pass just as any other. It is a milestone that needs acknowledged. On graduation, preschoolers also learn how to feel proud of themselves. And they earned that too.


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