Each spring, homeschooling parents around the world celebrate graduation. Banding with other families, they successfully hold homeschool graduation ceremonies that rival many high school and colleges. What does it take to organize a full-scale graduation for thirty-five (or less) to a hundred (or more) graduating seniors? Lots of pre-planning, plenty of committees, and dedication to the cause.
Pre-Planning the Ceremony
Usually, the planning starts at the beginning of the school year. During the month of August or September, parents and seniors meet to decide what they want the ceremony to look like. Besides the basics, like when and where to hold it, they discuss the elements of the ceremony. Some ideas include:
- Keynote Speaker
- Musical Presentations by Students
- Speeches by Students
- Presentation of Scholarships
- Presentation of Diplomas
Another key factor to consider is who will be in charge. One person—or one couple—should be responsible for overseeing meetings and the final program. Someone who has already graduated a child is a good candidate, but don’t rule out someone graduating his or her first child. Good organization skills and communication go a long way in planning a homeschool graduation.
Organizing a graduation doesn’t happen overnight. Families usually agree to meet monthly. During each meeting, they work on various aspects of the ceremony to make sure everything is in place for the big day. The need for everyone to pitch in is paramount. Having a few families that shrug off their responsibilities causes undue stress on the rest of the families. Teamwork is key.
By forming committees, each part of the ceremony is handled by a small group of parents. Types of committees can include, but are not limited to:
- Obtaining a facility and decorating it
- Finding a photographer or videographer
- Planning senior activities during monthly meetings
- Securing a speaker
- Yearbook committee
- Bulletin committee
- Cap and Gown committee
- Rehearsal dinner
- Music planning
The possibilities are as varied as the imaginations of those involved. Simple ceremonies need fewer committees. Keep in mind the number of students graduating, too. Large groups will need a larger venue with more decorating, and therefore more people on the decorating committee and the cleanup committee.
Dedication to the Cause
As noted, committees often meet monthly to work on their assigned jobs, or to report on work done between meetings. Decisions are made, reports are given, and everyone knows what’s going on each step of the way. Parents dedicated to the cause create the best possible graduation ceremony for their children.
A Homeschool Graduation to Remember
If you’ve never been to a homeschool graduation, I highly recommend you attend one before your child reaches their senior year. Make notes on what you like about the ceremony, and what you would leave out. Talk to your child about what they’d like to do at their graduation. Then, when the time comes, you’ll be ready to help pre-plan the ceremony by participating on a committee and being dedicated to doing the work.