Eighth-grade Graduation

Updated on May 19, 2011
C.H. asks from Normal, IL
19 answers

My child is graduating from eighth grade soon. We debated back and forth about having a family party and finally decided to go ahead with it. My husband's family all lives nearby, but rarely gets together unless it is Christmas or Thanksgiving. I thought this would be a nice way to bring the family together for a nice, casual dinner (sandwiches, sides, drinks, etc.). My sister lives 300 miles away and has been wanting to visit this summer. I mentioned to her when the party will be and her response was "My children never celebrated eighth-grade graduation. It's required to finish eighth grade." I said, "It's just a chance to bring the family together. You don't have to come, I just wanted you to know." We're not going have a big bash, just a small family party. What's wrong with celebrating the little milestones in life? What would you/did you do for eighth-grade graduation? As you can tell, I was pretty taken aback by my sister's comments.

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answers from Washington DC on

I had a cake when my daughter hit 100 pounds. It was just the 5 of us. We also had a cataract party when she first got her cataracts at 3.
My son actually had the whole cap and gown, walk across the stage, "valedictorian" speech in 8th grade. So we had a party.
I say if you have a reason to celebrate then go ahead. THat's what makes life's good memories.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I wouldn't have thought to do anything for eighth grade grad, but I'm with you - any excuse to have a nice get together, and no harm in celebrating the little things! Have a great time!

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Albany on

Well I can see her point of view somewhat. My daughter is in 8th grade. There is no graduation ceremony, there is just a 'moving up' assembly during school hours, which since this is my third 8th grader, I already know is sparsely attended (of course I WILL go to it). We haven't had a party for the other two either.

However, I think it's really nice your idea of a small family get together, it's not like you're asking them every other weekend to come to your house bearing gifts!

I would not think too much off the comment and have a great time at the party!


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answers from Washington DC on

Celebrate! Enjoy the day.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Have the party and have fun b/c I'm a fan of any reason to get the family together for a party. NOT that your sister is correct here, but there isn't a "graduation" for 8th grade b/c it's kind of in the "middle" of their schooling. Most schools have a "moving up" ceremony so that the "accomplishment" of HS graduation isn't diminished.

You may want to consider having a "no gifts" line on the invite b/c there may be some people who are thinking exactly what your sister is thinking. Having said that, most people will bring her something small.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

Oh, have a party, celebrate, don't worry about your sister.

8th grade is a milestone in a child's life - leaving "little"school behind and crossing the great divide to High School. It's huge. Kinda' like the first step to adulthood.

My son's Bday is 2 weeks after school lets out - so we while we didn't have an 8th grade graduation party - we have a party that "kicks off" summer every summer.

Revel and be merry, and enjoy the family .

God Bless

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Hey any excuse to have a party is OK in my book! We did have an 8th grade graduation, but it was because I went to Catholic school and in that situation, most of the students part ways and go to a lot of different high schools. It's not like public school, where you end up with the same kids for four more years. My family didn't have a party, but my family and I were invited to party at a friend's house and her local extended family was there. Don't let your sister's comments get you upset - I would have said exactly what you said. Sometimes you just can't win - because you know that if you DIDN'T tell her, she would have been upset about that too!

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answers from Chicago on

My kids aren't old enough, but when I graduated eighth grade 16 years ago my parents had a party for me. If you want to celebrate, do it! Ignore comments like your sister's and be proud of your daughter.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I grew up in the big city....8th grade graduations were a part of our life.

Been living in a small town for 20 years now.....& I'm considered a freak because I have mentioned 8th grade graduations thru the years! It is NOT done here....& will not be considered by anyone. Sad.

We chose not to have a party....simply because I do think it's becoming a thing of the past. Some of the kids in our family attend Jr High....beginning H.S. in 10th grade.

Instead, we have family parties for 1st Communion & Confirmation....& then H.S./college graduation. We also do big parties for 13 & 16. That's enough!

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answers from Springfield on

I'm guessing by her comment that her kids are older and that she did not have a party for them when they finished 8th grade. She might fear they will be upset and ask why they didn't get a party? She might feel like she needs to justify her actions? Try to remember that her comments really reflect her insecurities, not your actions.

I grew up in Springfield, IL, and there are several Catholic schools, all of which celebrate Confirmation towards the end of 8th grade, and make a big "to do" about graduation. It is a big deal, lots of celebrating. Not sure the public schools do anything. There is no right or wrong, just how your school and the students and parents choose to handle it.

You can just say, our school does have a graduation, we would like to celebrate this milestone and it's a great excuse to get the family together. We don't see each other often enough, and we really miss it.

Celebrate! And have fun.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Some people don't understand because for them 8th grade isn't a transition to anything. It's the middle of jr. high. Some school systems have 7th, 8th and 9th grade in one system, then you move onto high school for 10th - 12th. So 8th grade is just another ho-hum middle of the journey year.

In the end it doesn't matter why you're throwing a party. If you want to toss a party together to see family, do it. Say, "We're having a BBQ in June! Please come help us eat all this food we bought! Also, there's beer. Come drink it." Then, while everyone is there you can also mention that your daughter is going to high school next year! You'll get a bunch of congratulations either way.

Or you can make the day all about your daughter. It's totally your call and your sister can come or not. Her choice.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Well, I think it all depends on where your kid is going after 8th grade.

My husband doesn't understand this concept either. See, in the city of Chicago kids are in the same elementary or Catholic grade school from K through 8th. They are actually 'graduating' from the school and after that, kids are going to different high schools - the all-boys, the all-girls, the coed, the public, the magnet, so everyone is going their separate ways. In those cases, I think it is absolutely appropriate to have an 8th grade graduation party.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Do what you want to do and don't worry about what other think. We celebrate 8th grade graduations (and have since I was little) and my sister who grew up in the same house as I did has never had anything for her kids, in fact it took my father to get her to have everyone get together for her daughters college graduation last weekend in AL. My other sister who now lives in FL their school system does not have "graduation" from 8th grade, but my husband and I always go down when each of her daughters have completed 8th grade to make it something special for them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Your response was great. I grew up with a large extended family and we celebrated 8th grade graduation in a similar way. Brush it off.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

There is nothing wrong with throwing a party.
Throw the party, do not let your sister rain on your party.
Take lots of pictures and enjoy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would 100% have your party! I remember feeling that graduating from 8th grade was a big deal, and my parents threw me a party and I did get gifts--mostly money, which I thought was awesome! It made me feel very special and I still fondly remember that time in my life. I think your response to your sister was perfect. Have a great time at your party and congrats to your daughter!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Everyone I know celebrates 8th grade graduations. I had one and that was a long time ago.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

For my kids, we did nothing formal. My daughter had a cute dress and got her hair done. We got my son a nice outfit. Of course we took pictures.
They had a dance at the school afterwards and that was pretty much it. We went all out for my daughter's high school graduation. We don't have a lot of family close by and we made reservations at her favorite restaurant.
My son is a sophomore, so we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
Anyway, if you want to have a party, have one. 300 miles is a long way to travel and if your sister isn't up to it, for whatever reason, that's okay. You invited her. She can attend or not.

My neighbor has a saying...."One monkey don't stop no show." It's something her elderly uncle told her once and she has adopted it as a philosophy. It's true.
Have your party. Do your thing. If it's a reason to get the family together, go for it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

If you want the party and the stuff that goes with it then just do it and don't listen to what others say! :) Any excuse you want to have a party is a good reason for a party :)
My personal opinion on "graduation" (which shouldn't impact your decision at all!). Is that there are .... not something I would ever do. I hear there is also prek, k, graduations also now a days at places? I only had HS and college graduations, I don't see why we celebrate it in the schools, its the middle of your schooling (unless a child is done with school at 8th grad but I don't see any parents celebrating that! LOL).

1 mom found this helpful
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