Back in May we celebrated the Homeschool graduation of my son. It was such a joyous occasion! A lot of hard work and planning went into it. I was so thankful for all the ideas I found on the Internet to help me plan the special day and I thought I would share a few of the things I did.
We invited close family and friends along with our church family. It was a great turnout and I was so thankful for those who came out to support Dakota in this important milestone. We planned on having the entire ceremony and celebration outside, but since it ended up being so hot we changed it a little and had the ceremony outside, food served inside allowing people to choose to eat inside or out. We also did presents outside. We would of moved the entire thing inside, but did not have the space.
For the ceremony I had our pastor open with prayer. After that I shared a little bit about our decision to homeschool and some special memories I have of that first year. I then asked those that were there to share some of their memories or to offer words of wisdom/encouragement to Dakota. This was one of my favorite parts. I loved hearing every one's words of love. After that I shared a short story on persistence and offered some biblical words of encouragement to the graduate and then turned it over to Dakota for him to deliver his commencement speech. If you would like to see what he said you can click here. He posted it on his blog shortly after. After he completed his speech I had him stay up with me, I said a few more words and then presented him with his High School Diploma. After that we ate, visited, opened presents and just enjoyed ourselves.
I had an 8X8 photo album (with blank white pages) and asked everyone to write words of congratulations and/or encouragement. (Kind of like a guestbook). I haven't done so yet, but I plan on fixing it up with a pictures and memorabilia of the day as a keep sake for him.
Food and Decorations
I purchased a small cake from our favorite bakery and then made some cupcakes to go with it.
I loved this idea of chocolate graduation caps. I made the caps using mini peanut butter cups and a half of a mini hershey bars and the tassel is made with Airhead Extremes and Mini M&M's. I had a table set up with the cake and the cupcakes next to it on a cupcake stand. It looked really nice. Not sure why I didn't get a picture of the display. : /
I used some old encyclopedia's as accents on several of the tables.
I prepared the plastic ware with a graduation stamp set and some card stock! Perfect for grabbing all your utensils at once.
Here is what the outside decorations looked like - minus the picture display boards. I had two picture boards. One very large one for display on an easel and then a poster board sized one for on the table. Thanks to the wind they didn't stand very long, but we were thankful for the cool breeze!
I made little diplomas out of smarties and set them around in bowls. The kids that were there loved these!
Here is a picture of Dakota giving his speech.
Part of one of the picture boards.
I made little sandwich diploma's by removing the crust of a piece of sandwich bread, rolling it flat with a rolling pin, rolling it up with sliced turkey inside and tying it off with a piece of chive. We also served chicken salad on croissants, sub sandwiches and crock pot pizza.
Another picture of Dakota giving his speech.
I purchased the Diploma and the announcements from HSLDA. If you have a membership with them you get a discount!
I purchased his tassels here. They have every color imaginable and tons of other homeschool graduation supplies including diploma's and announcements.
If money is tight, try doing your own senior pictures. Spread out the purchase of your items so it is not a huge expense all at once. Be creative, make your own decorations and food!
I have a few more years, then I get to do it all again!