This year, our family is going to celebrate graduations from kindergarten to high school.
Thanks to our partners at ScholarShare for sponsoring this conversation!
It’s time for graduations… and this year we have many of them in our family. Big Brother is graduating from middle school and Little Brother is finishing up elementary school. And when you add in the cousins, we are going to celebrate graduations from kindergarten to high school.
The end of the school year and big life transitions can be really hectic and busy, with all the ceremonies and parties, but I think it’s also important to take some time to establish some meaningful family traditions to mark these milestones on the road to college.
5 Ways to Celebrate Graduations, Big and Small
- Celebrate with a special meal Keep it age-appropriate and let the graduate help plan. We made a big mistake when Little Brother graduated from preschool (seemed like just last year) by taking the extended family out to a crowded sit-down restaurant with a long wait. After a long morning and all the emotions that come with saying goodbye to friends and teachers, Little Brother ended up under the table in a puddle of tears before our meal was served. In hindsight, I wish we followed his request and gone to his favorite burger join instead.
- Make a book Sure, most schools publish yearbooks, but how about making a special book just for your child? You know all those photos you take on the first day of school? Or the band concert? Or the play? Or the last day of school? Gather up all the photos throughout the years and upload them to one of those photo book printing websites and make your child’s own personalized photo book. I did this when Big Brother graduated from fifth grade and and plan to put one together for Little Brother, too.
- Go on a special trip When Big Brother graduated from elementary school, one of his friend’s parents organized a sleepover for a group of boys – at a local hotel. No one family had to host all the kids, and the graduates had the grown-up experience of staying a hotel (with a few brave chaperones), swimming in the pool and ordering a late night snack from room service.
- Build meaningful collections If you have a daughter who likes charm bracelets, perhaps its adding a symbol of the rite of passage for each transition. Wouldn’t it be cute if you started one in elementary school and then added to it after she completes middle school and high school?
- Give a gift towards college Each one of these milestones brings students–and parents–that much closer to university. Grandparents and other relatives may be asking what to give the graduate. While cash is always appreciated, one way to make sure the money goes towards its intended use (and not pizza and video game upgrades) is to deposit it directly into a college fund. It’s easy for friends and family to contribute to your ScholarShare 529 account with the easy e-gift option.
Get $50 From ScholarShare for National 529 Day on May 25
This year, ScholarShare is celebrating National 529 Day with its second-annual “You Start It, We Match It” matching promotion. For one day, on May 25, if you open a ScholarShare 529 College Savings Account with $50 and sign up for ongoing automatic contributions of $25 or more per month, ScholarShare will match the $50.