If you child is educated at home, you are quite used to making your own way. Unfortunately, taking the path less traveled does not provide a neat package of activities when the studies are “completed” and your graduate is ready to move on to college or career.
Some homeschool groups provide a group commencement ceremony for their members. If you are not part of a group to provide a ceremony to mark this milestone, making your own can be both a challenge and a gift.
Make it personal! Unlike a group commencement where everyone is dressed in the same cap and gown, and one or two people get to speak, yours can be a celebration of your child specifically, with words that actually apply specifically to her/him.
Here is a recent example of a homeschool graduation announcement. This announcement was accompanied by an insert providing details about the upcoming party. Initially the wording seemed hollow without the name of a high school, a graduation date and a “class of 2009.” The family chose not to include an introductory quote. Adding the future plans of the graduate filled it in nicely.
- Create a short ceremony during your party to express your feelings. Consider asking people who have been touched by your child to add a few comments. Perhaps your graduate could give a speech thanking those whom have been a good influence, and noting some memorable moments.
- Plan in something symbolic. What would your child consider an appropriate gesture or object to illustrate their transition from youth to adult, or their newly gained independence?
- Decorate with memories. If you have projects, writing samples, artwork, team uniforms, or costumes from your years of home schooling, display them proudly. A clothesline of garments from baby until now. Artwork from finger painting to raku pottery. And of course, photos old and new.
- Ask for help! Tap into your network of friends and family to provide dishes for the party, and ideas for the ceremony and speeches.
Enjoy this ending… and beginning. Make the most of it!