Planning two homeschool graduation parties has been one of the happiest times in my life and yet overly emotional at the same time. I’ve gathered 21 amazing homeschool graduation ideas that will help your family to celebrate old traditions and make new memories.
Before I share them though, I want to tell you real quick what I’ve learned – so far. Every day life affects how we feel when the time finally arrives to celebrate a special time as homeschoolers.
For example, in my life the Mr. had to recover from a life-threatening heart attack and Mr. Senior 2013’s graduation was a bit postponed. After the Mr. recovered, we celebrated. You can imagine how eternally grateful I was for not just the family gathering, but for life itself.
When Mr. Awesome 2015 graduated, we savored our time living overseas in Ecuador and celebrated that time differently and uniquely. Although we focused on the achievements of Mr. Awesome 2015, it was again a time to cherish our family being together.
Your journey up to this point will also define what this time will be for your family. Don’t try to separate life from one of the happiest times for your teen. Embrace it and make your time with family, loved ones and homeschooling friends a treasured time.
Like your homeschooling journey where you lived and learned together, don’t forget to do the things on that special day that mean the most to your family no matter how seemingly insignificant they are to others.
What I’m trying to say is that this is also a celebration of your family and the unique homeschool lifestyle you chose. Let your party reflect those values.
From mundane to memorable, from fun food ideas to family fun, I hope you can use one of these 21 amazing homeschool graduation ideas.
1._Have your teen show a talent he has studied. He could play a musical piece or have a collage to showcase his art talent.
We recently went to a graduation and the graduate had a beautiful voice as a jazz singer. We enjoyed a film presentation of her singing. It was nice that it was a prerecorded film so that the graduate could enjoy her family and friends.
2._Mr. Senior 2013 loves to public speak and prepared a short speech at his party. I found that about 5 minutes or so is enough time to talk to his audience.
Mr. Awesome 2015 didn’t want to be in front of the people to make a speech, so we didn’t make him.
However, he did know that he would have to make remarks to express his gratitude for the volunteers of his party. That is all we required of him. Each kid has a different personality for sure.
3._ Several picture collages placed around were perfect conversation pieces and especially for our family and friends that were not homeschoolers. It showed what an enriching introduction to a wide range of learning topics we had covered.
4._ Everyone differs on food. We love having a gathering where we can enjoy a meal. For Mr. Senior 2013, I felt like we had the best of both worlds, ie. catering and budget-friendly meals.
I ordered food at a local favorite restaurant and had it delivered, but not catered. I saved hundreds of dollars by having everybody go through the food line buffet style.
For Mr. Awesome 2015, we provided some of the main dishes like turkey and dressing, but had several volunteers bring side dishes.
Also, don’t forget finger foods like crescent roll sandwiches, ham and cheese and minisliders made ahead of time. Those are great and fun options.
On another note, a taco, nacho or even potato bar are great ideas that please a crowd.
I went to one party where all the toppings for tacos were lined up down the table and everybody built their own tacos or nachos.
This idea is great if you’re short on cooking help because the items can be made ahead of time.
Use crock pots to carry food to the party because they can travel easy and be turned on low to keep food heated.
Make Family Time Memorable
5._Have a ceremony where you and the Mr. present your teen with his diploma.
6._If your teen has studied a foreign language, use some of the words he has learned as part of the decorations. Todos Bienvenidos!
7._If you’re hosting your gathering at home, have an area set up in your home, garage or media area for the kids to play video games together. They’ve enjoyed being with each other during the years at field trips and will love this if you’re planning a less formal gathering.
8._We love to dance group dances at any party we have. So the boys told some of their friends ahead of time the songs that we would playing. This allowed their friends to practice their polished dance moves ahead of time. Then they all did group dances together. It made for a lot of fun and laughs.
Also though because my boys took ballroom dancing in high school, they were able to make that part of the party.
9._Decide the dress and communicate it clearly to your guests. Mr. Senior 2013 wanted something a bit more dressy casual and Mr. Awesome 2015 was all about shorts and comfort.
Sometimes this is a time, especially by girls, to dress formal and wear that long formal gown they’ve been wanting to wear.
Let each kid’s personality dictate the night of fun.
10._Have a photo booth. We gathered up items from the dollar store and made some other props. Browse thrift shops for costumes and fun things to use in a photo booth.
This was so much fun because it allowed for friends to take pictures together as well as a whole family to get in on it. Even the little kids had fun doing this.
11._While some of our friends were having fun taking pictures, we had a prepared music list so that others could enjoy dancing. I didn’t just let the boys pick the music. We’re pretty selective, but too I wanted grandparents and older ones to join in. So we got music from different time periods.
12._If you don’t have a sound system you can borrow, some places still have a jukebox, which you can rent from a party or music supply place.
13._Don’t forget creating keepsakes like a program for the night. I wished I had done that but you have to remember, I have all boys. So in the scheme of things it wasn’t a big deal for them.
I think if I had a girl, she would like a few more momentoes.
A prepared program along with taking pictures of their homeschool classmates was on tap for the evening too.
14._And whatever you do also don’t forget to get a picture of you and your family for the special occasion. I had a list of photo ideas for the photographer that we hired.
Some photo ideas were non-negotiable meaning the photographer had to be sure to capture certain moments. Other ideas we had on the list were for fun things to take pictures of while the party was going on.
15._Don’t forget to put the ending time on your invitations.
I know some people forget to put the ending time on invitations and that makes it hard to clean up or pack up when everybody has been having so much fun.
However, because you and your family are probably doing most of the work, be sure you have enough time to shut the party down and not be dead tired the next morning. Okay, you will be but at least you won’t ever forget the party.
16._Remember to appoint somebody to record at the party AND to email different ones to follow up and get their recordings as well. If you like DVDs you can ask somebody to record and have a keepsake DVD.
17._Another graduation we went to the girl had a father and daughter dance.
The graduate was adopted by her grandparents and you could see her deep moving gratitude. The obvious emotion in the dance was full of meaning to all present and tear jerking because we all knew the story.
Create New Memorable Homeschool Moments
I know I’ve said it before, but each event should be unique to your family.
18._ Have a book or big board for your family and friends to write on for advice. One party the family had a huge poster board where all the family and friends could give their tidbits of wisdom. One party we went to recently, the graduate passed around a small book decorated by her for her special night.
19._As far as more fun food, we did a candy buffet at both parties complete with what each son really loved.
For the non-sugar eating friends, we assigned out a few deserts made with splenda. This was a big hit as not everybody can eat sugar. A lot of our family is diabetic. We have it on both sides of the family. So this night was one time to splurge – just a bit.
20._Another practical idea I liked by one family was to have a jar at the party. They ask family and friends to bring their favorite recipe to put in the jar.
Later the girl’s parents made a collage book out of it. Such a memorable and practical gift – a first cookbook.
21._Not every homeschool graduate wants to celebrate with others.
Some families I’ve known planned a special cruise or hike to their favorite vacation spot.
You’ll also love reading my 10 Days of Planning a Homeschool High School Graduation where I go into more detail and you’ll love these absolutely stunning and creative ideas from this Purdy Purdy Pink – Homeschool Graduation.
Tell me! What homeschool graduation ideas have you come up with or want to do with your family?
Hugs and love ya,