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Grads Are Fun!

by Margot F. | May 28th, 2014 | Elementary, School

file0002135280483-1Graduation is a time of celebration. Pupils graduating from elementary school deserve to have the event acknowledged by school officials and parents. In some areas, even graduation from Kindergarten is marked by a big celebration. How can you support your child appropriately?

In the 1990s, when my children finished Kindergarten, the typical response was, “Congratulations, now, let’s have a nice lunch.” Today, in some areas, the children graduating from Kindergarten have a big assembly with caps and gowns. Really? Certainly if this is the tradition in your school, help your child to be successful. However, remember, this is the first of many graduation ceremonies.

At the elementary school in my area, pupils graduate at the end of Grade 5 before moving onto middle school. There are a few events to mark the occasion, namely, a daylong field trip and another day spent at a water park. At the year-end assembly, graduating students receive t-shirts printed with the names of their fellow students and the year of graduation. Also, it is fun to take pictures of friends, favorite teachers and support staff and then put the pictures in a memory book or on a disc. These mementos are appreciated in the future.

Celebrating with a party of graduates is a good way to wrap up the year. Fortunately in our area the party was held at the school so that parents could attend. The weather co-operated so everyone could enjoy a barbeque and mingle with friends.

On the weekend, some parents might have family dinner where the child can choose the menu or go to a favorite restaurant. Receiving a card with a bit of money might allow the grad to buy a special gift. For some pupils, a trip to the bookstore was a big hit. Yes, mark the event but remember you aren’t even half way through to Grade 12.

In elementary schools that finish at Grade 7, there are higher expectations for the graduation ceremony, gift and party. For parents, it can be a challenge to support your child without feeling overwhelmed.

Schools tend to plan special events for the graduating class such as field trips to large water parks or an indoor climbing facility. Also popular are day trips to a special museum, aquarium or arts event.

Graduation ceremonies tend to be bigger for Grade 7 pupils. It seems appropriate for a girl to have a nice outfit that she can wear again. For boys, wearing a clean pair of pants and shirt might be acceptable. Unless it is the expectation at your school, pupils shouldn’t buy expensive outfits at this stage.

Year-end parties for Grade 7 students can be quite elaborate. School based parties tend to be planned with help of parents and support staff. Food and dancing can present a fun opportunity for everyone to mingle and have a good time. Private parties should be supervised by a responsible adult to ensure alcohol and drugs aren’t present.

Graduating from elementary school is exciting. Have fun!

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