Homeschool Graduation

I first became aware of the beauty of homeschooling while attending my cousin's homeschool graduation ceremony.

The event was so much more personal than the graduation ceremony I participated in with my public school class of over 400 students. I loved hearing parents speak about their children's character, accomplishments and goals for the future. I loved viewing displays of their children's work.

Hosting a home school graduation ceremony is a great way to cheer your homeschooled teen on to the next chapter of life. Here is some information that will help you determine whether or not a child is ready to graduate, along with some tips for planning homeschool graduations.

Home School Graduation Requirements

Public school students graduate when they have reached a particular grade level and accumulated a specific number of high school credits. When homeschooling, we as parents are left to determine whether or not our children are ready to graduate from high school.

You may decided to graduate your teen when he or she has:

  • Completed all course requirements as prescribed by regulations in your state (if applicable),

  • Finished a set curriculum,

  • Met academic requirements of a local high school or prospective college,

  • Attained the necessary education and skills to pursue a desired career,

  • Spent a specified number of years in high school,

  • Reached a specific age,

  • Started taking college courses, or

  • Told you that he or she feels ready to graduate.

Your home school graduation requirements should be based on your knowledge of and goals for each child. My aunt simply graduated her children when she felt they were ready. For some, this was at age 17 or 18. For others, this was when they decided to enter the workforce or attend college.

Tips for Planning Homeschool Graduations

When planning your child's homeschool graduation ceremony, consider your family's values and your child's personality.

Homeschool graduations can be large or small, formal or informal, and feature multiple graduates or just your student. Some parents opt to have a nice lunch or dinner, others an open house for friends and family, and others a formal ceremony.

Here are some ideas for making your teen's commencement ceremony an event to remember:

  • Rent an auditorium or church and conduct a formal graduation ceremony with members of your homeschool group.

  • Hold a ceremony your home, a favorite restaurant, or a local church or recreation center.

  • Rent a graduation cap and gown and present your graduate with a diploma.

  • Play traditional Pomp and Circumstance, your child's favorite songs or arrange for a live performance.

  • Have family members, friends, coaches and mentors speak words of encouragement to your teen.

  • Send out graduation announcements and create a program featuring pictures of your child, a summary of your child's accomplishments, and favorite poems, sayings or Bible verses.

  • Set up a display containing your child's portfolio, a scrapbook, photos, projects, artwork, awards or trophies.

  • Create a photo or video montage of special memories and accomplishments.

  • Have a family friend or a professional videographer record the ceremony as a keepsake for your teen.

Your child's graduation ceremony does not have to be elaborate or expensive. Above all, remember to make the ceremony a celebration of your student and ask your teen how he or she wants to celebrate.

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