Are they “Graduating” or are they “Stepping Up”?


Are they “Graduating” or are they “Stepping Up”? This is the question of the day now that I’ve got a kid who’s moving from the kindergarten level of his academic career to the 1st grade.

I used to be in the camp of, “Graduations are for finishing high school, College and University, anything else is silly“. And get off my lawn.

But now, here I am, just days away from the preshus’ “Stepping up to Grade 1” ceremony and I can’t help but call it his Graduation Ceremony whenever I talk (or even think) about it. Political correctness be damned. My preshus has just finished two years of kindergarten, the first of which was quite hard for him. Reading came very slow to him and since it’s such a big part of the kindergarten experience at our school, we both struggled through JK trying to get him do his reading homework every night. Now, in SK, he breezes through his reading assignments like it ain’t no thang and I couldn’t be more proud of him. And I’m just tickled pink that the school is even holding a ceremony for the kids who are moving to Grade 1 because I didn’t think they even did that kind of thing anymore. Of course, I guess that’s why they call it a “stepping up” ceremony rather than a graduation ceremony. :-/

I will be that parent who celebrates each and every one of my children’s educational milestones because I remember how hard school was, and I know that for at least one of my kids, they will have it even harder. So why not celebrate their achievements every chance I get? All the enthusiasm I can show for school will rub off on my children and hopefully foster a love of school in them. It’s the best thing I can do for them as a parent. I never want them to hate school or take their educations for granted. We may not have all the money in the world to shower them with gifts and trips and experiences, but gosh darn it I WILL do all I can to make sure my kids love school, and to celebrate all of the milestones with them, large and small.

And if it means that I have to correct myself mid-sentence every time I tell someone we are preparing for my first-born child’s graduat- um, I mean, Stepping Up ceremony, that so be it.

Happy Graduation Day Stepping Up day to everyone!


  1. These early graduation ceremonies aren’t for the kids, it’s for us – to mark the important milestones of our parenting. Sending a child off to school takes the most valuable part of our life, an extension of ourselves, away from us. When they graduate, even from SK, it validates that we’re doing right by our kids and they’re thriving.

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