Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Graduation Announcements?

Our oldest daughter will be "graduating" from our homeschool.  I hadn't really thought much about it since she is already attending community college.  She passed the CHSPE (California High School Proficiency Exam) two years ago. In many ways, she has already moved on to the next step. 

I'm a little ambivalent.  My parents made me go to my high school graduation and I didn't attend my college graduation. (I regret not attending my college graduation since I think it would have meant something to my parents.)

There are no other seniors in our homeschool co-op or in our close circle of friends.  There might be a few other seniors in the larger homeschool support group but my older daughters doesn't really hang out there. So, a graduation ceremony seems a little too much.   Should we make a diploma and give it to her?

A friend suggest that we have party to celebrate and send out graduation announcements in the form of an invitation to the party.

So, what do other homeschoolers do when there children "graduate?"


abba12 said...

One of my favourite memories from that age was a friends 'graduation' from homeschooling. It's what I intend to do one day for our kids.

What they did was organise a fancy, adult type dinner party, family and close friends were invited (younger children were cared for in another part of the house, older ones attended, I think the dividing age was about 12). I think there was about 16 people for dinner total. Everyone wore their fanciest dresses etc, think prom clothes, and did their hair up etc. They got out candles and flowers and china, really went all out in making it a fancy meal. One of the families had a daughter that loved preparing fancy meals and catered, though I'm sure a reliable old spaghetti bolognaise made special with homemade garlic bread would go down just as well. We had wine since the legal drinking age here is 18, you could allow alcohol or do some fancy sparkling drinks or something. Great conversation etc, I think everyone really enjoyed themselves.

They invited the kids in at the end and brought out bakery bought graduation cake. The graduate gave a short speech, as did her mother, father and I believe one or two family friends asked to speak, no more than 15 minutes total, and they all had cake.

The family and family friends with young kids went home after that, but the friends of the graduate stayed for a movie and some games, etc.

I thought it was a really wonderful way to comemorate her graduation without doing some all out contrived graduation ceremony that just feels weird to everyone. The only part of it that was really a 'graduation' was the speeches, which were brief enough to not bore everyone, but held a lot of meaning as her parents spoke about their dreams for her, and the friends spoke about seeing her grow up, etc.

Another option for a less 'ruffles and lace' situation would be a barbeque, think 4th of july atmosphere, again with the 'graduation' part of speeches and cake at the end without the awkwardness of all attention being on the graduate and some contrived ceremony.

We never did diplomas, that always seemed so... artifical, they were meaningless, and just gimicky to us. But it might suit your family.

abba12 said...

I just stumbled across this on a blog I read regularly and immediately thought of you :)

Kat said...

Only one of our 8 have graduated from home school so far. We held a graduation ceremony at our church. We sent out formal announcements and had a huge reception afterwards. It was so special and not only was it a blessing to our family, all those who attended told us how memorable it was. Two years later, people still mention it from time to time. Our next daughter is getting ready to graduate and everyone is looking forward to planning her commencement.

When she reached the official "graduation age" our daughter had already finished her high school studies (at age 16), completed a three year correspondence course through a college in PA and earned her 3 year Bible College Degree. To us those accomplishments were all worthy of recognition. In addition to her father issuing her high school diploma we invited a representative from her Bible College to present her diploma. Both men spoke briefly.

Our Pastor, and close family friend, gave a charge to the graduate. Various people who have played an important role in her life spoke about special moments and memories. Six of her brothers and sisters did a presentation and, being musically talented, our daughter played a special piano piece. Her next younger sister, spoke briefly about how home school compares to public school and some memories of their time schooling together. She also made a video of life through the ages which we ended the ceremony with.

Several days before the ceremony our family suffered a miscarriage and we toyed with the idea of cancelling the whole affair. I, and all of us, are so glad we didn't. It took a very painful time and made a landmark memory.

Anonymous said...

If you think your daughter would love a party then that is the way to go. Some people are more private and would appreciate a more intimate recognition. For example a small dinner party or a night out with parents. You are likely the best one to decide what is right for her. Maybe even ask her what she thinks a graduation should be. You don't need to give your plans away and spoil a surprise, but she may give you the best advice as to how to honor her. Ask her to give you words like elegant, festive or intimate to describe how she thinks a graduation should take place. She is walking through the threshold of her adult years, so I am sure she has ideas as to what she wants and you will continue to challenge her by respecting her opinion. At the same time being sure not to put pressure on her to plan her own party or think of the burden of cost. You can better control those factors, which will be more pleasing to you all. As for a certificate, it is always nice to give a written acknowledgment to your children using your most sincere words and that can be in calligraphy on a scroll, but does not need to be. It also doesn't have to be a common document to be a treasure. Congratulations!!!

homeschoolchris said...

Instead of a graduation ceremony, how about a graduation trip with just the parents no siblings! Even a short weekend where you do something together will be a special memory for all of you!

educator said...

Many State Home School Associations offer graduation ceremonies. Check with yours.

Links To State Home School Associations

Rose said...

We had a small party for family and friends. It was lovely.

Henry Cate said...

We're looking at a party. We probably won't plan it until after our oldest is done with school.