The month of May is synonymous with homeschool graduation. But, wasn’t it just yesterday you were teaching your homeschool student the ABCs and 123s? And now they’re all grown up and headed to college this fall.
Suddenly, it hits you that this is no ordinary end of the year—this year is homeschool graduation, a truly special occasion, and not just for the graduate. You’ve poured your life force into this child for 18 years, so graduation day is also about celebrating your accomplishments.
In much the same way you have personally designed the homeschooling experience, there is no right or wrong way to graduate your senior. For practical purposes, you’ll want to prepare a high school transcript and present him or her with a diploma—both of which can be done with online tools available to THSC members.
As for how to present that diploma, options range from a traditional stage-crossing ceremony to handing off the diploma baton-style in a tandem skydive. Literally, the sky is the limit. We just counted up to 21.
Homeschool Graduation: A Solemn Occasion
Whether for one graduate or a co-op group of students, graduation can take the form of a traditional ceremony.
(1) Consider renting a meeting room from a nearby university or hotel.
(2) Invite a guest speaker, which could be a beloved relative or local public servant or celebrity.
(3) Encourage the graduate to display performing arts talents and give a speech. These elements work beautifully within the context of combined graduation and worship service. The added benefit is including your entire church family in the proud moment.
Homeschool Graduation: A Silly Occasion
Maybe your graduate’s idea of “dressing up” is shorts and flip-flops. And, putting him in a suit and tie would be a special sort of torture.
(4) Just roll with it and plan a graduation pool party, backyard BBQ or get-together at the park. A short but sweet presentation can be sandwiched between sand volleyball, frisbee golf and some hilarious graduation-themed games.
Homeschool Graduation: A Rare Occasion
You can also create a graduation event like none other by thinking outside the box.
(5) Make the day part ceremony and part graduation gift with a unique, culminating experience. Has your student been learning a foreign language? Stage the ceremony where he or she can put that language to the ultimate test.
(6) Maybe your student loved to research a particular historical period. What about a reenactment ceremony from Ancient Greece or Colonial America?
(7) Other culminating experiences could include a Broadway show for the aspiring performance artist or visiting the Google campus for techies.
Homeschool Graduation Parties: A Themed Occasion
Professional party planners—like our own THSC Events team—can attest that starting with a theme is a great way to flesh out an event idea. After high school, my daughter was taking a gap year to get a pilot’s license, so we settled on a flying graduation theme.
(8) For our “Clear for Takeoff” theme, we added cloud balloons from Amazon, topped with a jet airplane mylar balloon, a biplane watermelon filled with fruit salad, “partly cloudy with blue sky” punch, and we ordered a fairly inexpensive and huge sign from Shindigz.com.
Now, this May, for her college graduation, we’re going with (9) “The World is Your Oyster” and celebrating at a restaurant called Mermaids. A mound of golden, edible shells will top a two-tiered cake in sea-foam green with buttercream pearls all around.
I’m giving her an assortment of travel related items in a large clam shell container. And, in the center of the ensemble is a mother-of-pearl globe paperweight I bought from eBay for $26. Where there are oysters…well, someone once told me every girl needs a strand of pearls.
(10) Oh, the Places You’ll Go (Dr. Seuss)
(11) Sail Away/Take Flight/Adventure Awaits
(12) Keys to Success
(13) Words of Wisdom/Words to Live By
(14) Through the Years/Now and Then
(15) Sports team of the student’s college choice
(16) One Smart Cookie
(17) We Built the Best
(18) Nothing but Blue Skies
(19) Picture This: Your Future
(21) To God be the Glory
The Most Important Day in a Young Life
Even if you have a dozen kids, make every graduation special and tailored to the student. It doesn’t have to break the bank, but just the fact you clearly put great thought and effort into personalizing the experience will make it memorable for your student.
Now, to those of you who are a few years off from graduation or just starting out, this is the time to join THSC to take full advantage of our money-saving member benefits and homeschool support. Your day to help decide a homeschool graduation will be here soon enough!
What are some of your homeschool graduation ideas, experiences or tips you picked up from other homeschool families? Share them in the comments section below…