Elton John's children are all grown up in rare back to school photo

The 71-year-old singer has two sons with husband David Furnish

Elton John has paid an emotional tribute to his sons Zachary and Elijah while sharing a photo of the youngsters on their first day of school. The singer's children were pictured outside their house, looking incredibly smart in their uniform and wearing backpacks filled to the brim with school supplies. Elton wrote: "Can't believe how time is passing. They are growing up so fast in the nicest possible way. I love them more and more each day. @davidfurnish #BackToSchool." His husband David shared the same photo and captioned it: "And away they go....... @eltonjohn #BackToSchool."

Earlier this year, the Candle in the Wind singer announced his plans to retire to spend more time with his family. Fatherhood is clearly important to Elton, who, at the time, told the Press Association: "Having had children and seeing how much joy they brought to us, I thought, 'Do you know what? I want to spend more time with them.' I have to spend more time with them. I'm their father, David is their father. They give us so much joy. I don't want to miss too much."

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Elaborating further, the award-winning musician added: "It was a pretty easy decision, to be honest with you. I just never thought that fatherhood could bring me so much joy, and I came to fatherhood late in the day, but it's been one of the miracles of my life. It seems to me something happens in my life every now and then which propels me to a different stage. This is a different stage and it's probably the most wonderful stage."

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"Can't believe how time is passing," Elton wrote

Elton, 71, and David, 55, entered into a civil partnership in December 2005 on the first day that civil partnerships could be performed in England. They welcomed their first son Zachary five years later in California via surrogacy, followed by their second son Elijah in January 2013 through the same surrogate.

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Elton and David with their sons Elijah and Zachary

There is no denying that Elton and David are doting parents, with the musician previously crediting his sons for changing "everything about my life". Speaking to The Mirror, he explained: "I've learned that the simplest things in life, like having a minute with them, are worth more than any painting, any photograph, any house or hit record. Before we had the children we just had our lives and we would spend money because we didn't have anything else to focus on." He continued: "We have really toned things down because we have enough stuff. There is nothing else we need."

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