A Homeschool Graduation Ceremony Versus a Family Celebration
What is the difference between a graduation ceremony and a graduation celebration? Does a homeschool family have to have both?
Homeschooling tends to blur the lines between various events in a child’s school career. For example, grade levels aren't hard and fast, and multiple subjects can be merged into a single unit study. Once your homeschooler is a teen, the distinction between a graduation ceremony and the graduation celebration is another example. These two events have different purposes for a high school graduate, but as a homeschooler, you may want to combine them into a single event.
The High School Graduation Ceremony
The high school graduation ceremony is the occasion when your child receives his or her high school diploma. It’s formal and full of ceremony. Typically, it is an emotional time for parents and children alike.
Usually a large venue is reserved for the ceremony. Attendees sit in chairs where they can easily view the stage. Slideshows may be shown and a memory table displayed. There’s usually a guest book for people to gather signatures, memories, and comments of hope.
Pomp and Circumstance may be played as the graduates enter, wearing the traditional cap and gown. Speakers may be asked to deliver a message to the graduates, and the graduates themselves give passionate speeches.
Mothers weep as they watch children — now nearly adults— receive a high school diploma.
Some graduation ceremonies are simple with a few congratulatory words. Other ceremonies are huge affairs with an orchestra, famous speakers, and valedictorians.
While a short reception may follow the high school graduation ceremony, the purpose of the high school graduation ceremony is to award the diploma to your teenager and watch your child turn into a full adult in the eyes of society.
The Family Graduation Celebration
The family celebration has a different purpose altogether. Your high school senior doesn’t receive a high school diploma at the family celebration. The celebration is a party where family and friends come together to celebrate your teenager's achievement of high school graduation.
The party can take many forms. It can be an intimate gathering at a fancy restaurant or a large barbecue at a favorite park. You can rent a venue and put up decorations by the dozen or stay at home and enjoy a quiet dinner with your closest friends.
There are many options for hosting a wonderful family celebration for your teenager. Choose one which reflects your family and your teenager's preferences.
Combining Both into One Graduation Event
As homeschoolers there’s no reason to have a separate graduation ceremony and family celebration. You can always choose to combine the two events into one large event if it fits your teenager’s and family’s needs.
For instance, if your family loves to host barbecues in your backyard for family and friends, why not combine the party and the ceremony? Gather everyone together in the living room for a short presentation. Speak a few words about memorable events that occurred and have your graduating teenager say a few words about their future plans. Hand your teenager the high school diploma and move on to the party when you spend the evening celebrating with family and friends.
On the other hand, if your teenager has her heart set on a full high school graduation ceremony, concentrate on creating a beautiful ceremony. Make it big. Make it formal. Make the high school graduation ceremony memorable. Instead of complicating matters by hosting a separate large party for everyone to attend, have a simple reception after the ceremony.
As homeschoolers, you can choose to combine the graduation ceremony and the graduation celebration into one large event.
Bring out a lovely graduation cake, a vegetable tray, and other treats. Offer drinks to the guests and encourage everyone to stay, mingle, and offer words of congratulations to your teenager.
The high school graduation ceremony and the family celebration serve two separate purposes for the graduating teenager. However, as homeschoolers you always have the option of emphasizing one purpose over the other.
You can enjoy a large, beautiful, and formal homeschool graduation ceremony while keeping the family celebration small and intimate. You also have the option of holding a short and simple graduation ceremony while enjoying a large and lively family celebration.
There is always the third option of hosting both a magnificent homeschool graduation ceremony and an elaborate family celebration. After all, your teenager only graduates from high school once. Why not go all out and create wonderful memories for your senior as they begin their adult life?