In this post, I share a selection from my book:
For many families, the point of a graduation ceremony is to recognize the graduate. Often the first step towards this party is having graduation portraits done. We had senior portraits taken two ways: casual with digital photography, and formal senior portraits with a professional photographer. If you have a digital camera and take 200 pictures of your child, surely one of them will be good enough to call a senior portrait!
Announcements are important if you want to let your friends and relatives know about the occasion. I recommend that you buy announcements early, because it can take a while for them to be printed and shipped to your home. For help with these, I recommend that you look at Homeschool Diploma. They are the best company to deal with and have everything that you will need. When I was ready to graduate my children, I relied heavily on their expertise. Remember to include a graduation photo with your announcement, as people love to get pictures of the graduate.
As you spend time organizing the homeschool graduation ceremony, consider the many options available. For instance, you can celebrate at home or participate in some kind of recognition at your church or other group. Many churches that I know have given teenagers the option to wear their cap and gown at a church recognition.
Many local homeschool groups or state homeschool groups offer graduation ceremonies, and there are also national events. One of the national events is actually at Disneyland! Plan ahead if you want to participate in these, as they often fill quickly. You can even participate in a group graduation, and then have an individual ceremony or reception at your own home. Ask your teenager what they would prefer, because we all have our own preferences. Unless you ask your child, you may not necessarily know what they want. I know some homeschoolers that didn't want to have any sort of recognition ceremony for graduation. Instead, parents and child went to a special dinner or lunch. Your homeschool graduation celebration should be whatever fits your family.
You can decorate any way you want. If you go to a party store, you'll find many things specific to graduation. Some of the decorations will indicate a specific year, but others won't. Some will simply say "Congratulations," so if you go to a party store after the graduation season (in July), you can buy discounted items in your graduation color and then use them for the following year.
As you plan your homeschool graduation ceremony, consider a few things to make it a little bit more fun. Playing "Pomp and Circumstance," the song that's normally played during graduation, adds to the festive environment. You can easily find that online!
Some people say a few words: a blessing, a dedication, praise, a list of accomplishments, Scripture. There are a million things you could do. I gave that task to my husband, because I knew that I was going to be so busy with the food, the party, and the emotions that I wouldn't be able to speak very well. One tip is to make sure that you write down what you want to say, because this is a really emotional time -- more emotional for parents than for the child! As parents, this is such a meaningful thing: the end of one phase and the beginning of another. At some point in the ceremony, make sure to present your student with his/her diploma, and shake their hands to make it very official. You want them to remember that they DID get a high school diploma!
When you think about throwing a party, it's common to have food, but you can also just have dessert or cake. When our sons graduated, we had a reception with some food. Other people might rent a reception hall or a church, or have their reception and graduation someplace other than at home. You might choose to have either a lunch or a buffet. You can choose a picnic or something formal. One tip is to choose a graduation color or a party theme early on. Every single wedding that I've been to has been very unique. Just like a wedding, your graduation can be unique as well.
Graduate Your Homeschooler in Style is one of my Coffee Break Books. What are Coffee Break Books? These are books designed for YOU - a busy homeschool parent feeling frustrated by something, and needing information NOW - all put together in an easy-to-read, short, simple format. Coffee Break Books are perfect for overwhelmed, sleep-deprived moms with a baby on their hip. Simple, large font makes them easy to read even when distracted or pulled in a million directions. They are designed to help parents tackle just ONE issue of homeschooling during just ONE coffee break! Each book combines a practical and friendly approach with detailed, easy-to-digest information. Never overwhelming, always accessible and manageable, each book in the series will give you the tools you need to tackle the tasks of homeschooling high school, one warm sip at a time.
Learn more about homeschool graduation in my video review below!
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