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Putting together a graduation ceremony can be an overwhelming task. Add to that overwhelming task a devastating hurricane - enter Harvey, destroying the homes of many graduating seniors and you have the setting of our 2018 HEART Graduation. Through our faith in God and the organizational skills of former grad parents, our graduation was a joyous celebration.

Even though those in charge of our graduation committee lost their homes to flooding, they decided to persevere in their leadership roles with the help of others, including myself. We held to our October 15th graduation registration date. Registering senior families must sign a document reaffirming their consent to honor our organization's mission statement, agree to volunteer in some capacity with the ceremony and reception, and to pay a $150 fee. This fee covers the ceremony expenses, the reception, as well as the cap, gown and diploma.  

We've all read the stories about the college graduate with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt who is employed as a barista and barely making their minimum payments. It can make you question the cultural myth that everyone must go to college at 18 to have a shot at a good life.

Or perhaps, you have a child with no interest in spending four years and thousands of dollars doing something to which they are indifferent. Maybe we should step back and provide our young adults with unbiased, feasible options to college instead of merely lamenting it as a horrible decision. 

We all know the cost of a four-year degree is high and going higher, but maybe you and your teen have conducted a thoughtful cost/benefit analysis and know this is the right path to take. How can you control the costs of college and help your child achieve their goal without a mountain of debt?

There are many ways, but they don't hold the glamour of four more years of mom and dad footing the bill. What they do require is planning, sacrifice, and work. But if my children can get a degree with minimal debt, then it will be worth our time to pursue these options. 

Here at HomeschoolDiploma.com we are always talking about "Making Graduation Truly Meaningful". Why is that so important to us, and what does it actually mean? In this article I'll give some practical suggestions for a meaningful homeschool graduation - but hopefully also communicate a vision for what a homeschool graduation really can be.

Your child will soon be graduating homeschool and deciding what the next step will be. College, right? But why is college seen as the default next step for young adults?

Fortunately, most homeschoolers have been exposed to different options for furthering their education, but frequently we see college as the most reasonable next step. Why has college become the only blindly acceptable choice promoted by our society? 

If your senior is hesitant to have a graduation ceremony, commemorate the milestone of homeschool graduation by choosing a creative option that your teenager will enjoy. Your graduation event doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s.

graduation ceremony is a rite of passage. It is how our society recognizes that teenagers have come of age and are full adults. It’s a mandatory part of a public school education. Public school students, with all of their graduating friends and classmates, stand as a group in front of a crowd of proud family members. It’s only for a moment that they are alone in the spotlight, walking across the stage one by one. At the end of the ceremoy, they toss their caps into the air as a collective expression of joy.

For us as Christian homeschoolers, the graduation provides us with the unique opportunity to bless our child and remind them of their foundation of faith, while at the same time giving a testimony of God's goodness and grace to those around us. I think it is an opportunity that we should seize!

An acquaintance of ours, whose children are in a Christian school, heard me use the words "homeschool" and "graduation" in the same sentence and told me bluntly, "Homeschoolers don't graduate." Well, not every homeschooling student dons a cap and gown, but at some point they DO finish.

Bring the ancient Jewish tradition of the blessing into your modern homeschool graduation and impact your child in unforgettable ways.

There are many things we parents do to enrich the lives of our children. We provide shelter, food, clothing, and as homeschoolers, we have borne the responsibility for their education as well. But our children need more from us. They need our blessing.