Graduation: Organizing a Memorable Ceremony
At long last, your teen is finally graduating! Graduation is the official finish line of your child’s primary education, and you can certainly be proud of that! Start planning about six months before graduation to make your teen’s homeschool graduation ceremony a memorable one.
Create a Budget for Your Graduation Ceremony
The first item on the agenda is definitely to set a budget. Everything else you do rests on your budget, so create a realistic one. Include incidentals (like paper goods for your party) and work from there.
Choose a Theme
A homeschool graduation ceremony can be a formal evening or a laid-back afternoon. Whatever your cup of tea, you’ll want to choose a theme to make the whole affair cohesive. If you’re hosting a homeschool graduation ceremony for two siblings, consider one overarching theme with two mini-themes. For instance, for boy-girl twins, your overarching theme could be “royalty” and your mini-themes could be “king” and “queen.”
Order the Diploma
Whether you’re creating a homeschool diploma on your own or will have one sent from an accredited school, you’ll want it in your hands on the big day so you can present it to your teen. To ensure this, order it with plenty of time to spare. Double check any paperwork and forms you must fill out to be positive everything is spelled correctly. We suggest ordering your student’s diploma with enough time left for something to go wrong, just in case it does and you have to re-order. As symbolic as this document is, you don’t want to risk having any issues.
Save the Date
You don’t need to RSVP to your teen’s homeschool graduation ceremony, but you may want to write the date down so you don’t inadvertently double book yourself. Of course, your teen likely won’t let you forget the big day! One of the fanciest ways to remember the date is to order graduation announcements. You can order formal graduation announcements or you can create a photo announcement. The latter option allows you to include a senior picture (perhaps in your student’s cap and gown). If money is tight, print your own on high-quality cardstock.
Book a Venue
If you’re not having your homeschool graduation ceremony at your house, you’ll want to secure a venue. Relatives may have access to a space they’re willing to open up to guests, too. If you live in an apartment, there may be a clubhouse you can use for free or at very little cost. Alternatively, you may be able to use your church or a room on its premises. Whatever you decide, don’t forget to include the fee for the venue in your overall budget.
In some cases, it may be more feasible for your household to travel out of state to host your teen’s homeschool graduation ceremony. If the bulk of your family members all live near each other in another state, for instance, it may be pragmatic for you to visit them. In such cases, you may need to make hotel reservations in your destination city.
Schedule the Photographer
One of the last things you’ll do before hosting your student’s homeschool graduation ceremony is to book the photographer. Choose someone who specializes in graduation pictures and who won’t take an exorbitant amount of time returning your proofs. You’ll probably do best to ask around for recommendations. Also, if you’ll be traveling a good distance, you’ll need a photographer who is willing to travel. If costs don’t prohibit it, you may want to book both a videographer and a photographer.
In some ways, graduation marks the end of a journey. At the same time, it is only the beginning of the road. For a homeschooling family, graduation signifies the hard work of both students and parents and the ceremony is something you’ll want to remember for years to come. With some foresight, this occasion will be just that.
For a printable checklist of everything mentioned in this post, click the image below!
Tasha is a homeschooling mom to 5 and has been homeschooling for 14 years. Currently, her children's ages span from toddler to young adult. Tasha has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Social Sciences from Florida State University and is working on her MBA through SNHU/Berklee School of Music.