Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Perfect Homeschool Graduation Ceremony

The only high school graduation ceremony I remember attending was my own.  I don't remember most of it.  After deciding to have a high school graduation ceremony for my oldest child, who has always been homeschooled, I had to come up with a plan

We live in Germany in a military community where, for some reason that I can't figure out, there are very few homeschooled high schoolers.   So, my high school aged children were not in homeschool coops and didn't really participate with the homeschool group that my younger children do.  I had to do something on my own.

Last year my cousin, who's son is not homeschooled, went to a homeschool graduation ceremony for her son's best friend. 

She said it was awesome. 

Awesome.  That's what I wanted too.

I've never been to a Homeschool High School Graduation Ceremony.  So, why did my my cousin say the one she went to was awesome?  What made it awesome?  What did they do?  And, the real question was could I copy it, or some of it, and have an awesome ceremony too?

Before resorting to total copying, I Googled "homeschool high school graduation ceremony."  I didn't find much.  So, I tried Goodling related topics but I couldn't find anything that gave me a template for what to do.  I like templates.  I was getting frustrated.  So, I asked my cousin to tell me what the ceremony was like that she attended. 

She's a superb writer.  It's what she does for a living.  So she described the evening in a way that I could picture it.  It was awesome because it was personal and shared with close friends and family.

Setting was the family home.  Son walked in to "Pomp and Circumstance" wearing a gown and Mickey Mouse ears.  He is a "theater person" my cousin said, so The Ears were not unexpected.  Mom spoke about the homeschool years with her baby which was a happy-tear jerking speech.  Dad said a few words.  Valedictorian spoke.  Mom gave the diploma. Then the theater-friends roasted the graduate which was, of course, hilarious because...They. Are. Theater people! Then food.  Families hang out and have a great time socializing and celebrating!

Let the copying begin!

I would have loved to copied the part about having the ceremony at my home.  Trouble was we were moving from Germany to Virginia at the same time our son was graduating and the only time we could have the event was after the Army moved all of our household goods out of our home and gave us temporary mattresses to sleep on until we moved into the military Guest House.

I decided to have the event at a restaurant, have the ceremony first, and then who ever wanted could stay and eat (no-host) or just hang out. I would have preferred having everyone at our home and providing food for them.  Another option would have been to have it at our church and cater the food.  That just seemed much more logistically challenging and a little boring to me.  We ended up at a German Bauhaus (brew pub).  That was a once-in-a-lifetime setting.  The podium was a beer barrel.  It screamed "authentic-German."

We added an event unique to our family which involved my husband presenting a sword to my son.  After I give you the template for our commencement program I'll tell you a little bit about what we did during each segment ; hopefully, it will rival my cousin's description.   One can hope. 

While it may not have been "perfect," it was perfectly extraordinary for our family.
Look for "The Perfect Homeschool Graduation Template"
coming next!