If you’ve never attended an MPE homeschool graduation ceremony, you’re missing out on one of the highlights of our year!
Since our May 12 graduation ceremony is coming up, you may be surprised to learn how this event can benefit anyone interested in homeschooling, even if you don’t know any of the graduates.
Remember the reasons you chose (or are interested in) homeschooling.
Many of the advantages typically associated with homeschoolers – character development, strong academic records, closer-knit families, etc. – come alive during the homeschool graduation ceremony.
We take the time to collect individual profiles and descriptions of each graduate, written in their own words.
It’s always fun to see the diverse array of backgrounds, extracurricular activities, and future plans from the class because they’re all unique – just like the graduates!
Enjoy the collective experience of graduating with a group.
A homeschool graduation ceremony also reminds you that homeschooling doesn’t have to mean isolation. Your children can still have the collective experience of graduating with their friends and making new connections.
Throughout the year, they’ll meet with their peers to plan the event and choose valedictorians who will give the class speech.
Our graduation classes are typically more than 30 each year, a far cry from the 14- or 17-person classes during the 1990s!
Honor the mentors and friends who helped you homeschool.
One beautiful tradition we’ve kept through the years is our “rose ceremony,” where graduates can hand out roses to mentors, family members and friends who have made a difference to their education and experience.
(You can read more about the rose ceremony in this article by The Lion.)
It’s also a great way to pay tribute to people who may be outside the homeschool culture, but who have made a meaningful contribution to the homeschool graduate’s life.
I used the rose ceremony to honor several professors and great friends I had made at my local community college.
You could also consider extended relatives and others who have heard about homeschooling, but rarely seen it in action.
Take part in the special blessing pronounced by parents to graduates.
Just like homeschooling, every family is different … which is beautifully displayed at the ceremony through the parental blessing.
As each graduate receives their high school diploma from their parents, they get to listen to a special recorded message from their parents.
Each parent can choose ahead of time what they’ll say, provided it fits within a certain timeframe (otherwise we might be there all night)! Be sure to bring a few tissues, just in case.
Find encouragement to help you on your homeschool journey.
So many people have told us they attended the homeschool graduation ceremony not quite knowing what to expect, only to leave with a greater inspiration, purpose and vision for their own homeschooling!
Especially on the days when classes seem to fall apart and the daily grind can appear overwhelming, having that big-picture mindset from the graduation can really help you through another school year.
Share the collective cost of a graduation ceremony.
MPE assists in contributing to the following costs of each graduation: facility, reception, and printed programs.
If you’re looking for a way to provide that school-type graduation experience for your children but are concerned about logistics, we can help!
Serve the next class of homeschoolers (calling all high school juniors!).
Another tradition we have is for our high school juniors to volunteer their help during the homeschool graduation ceremony. They can serve refreshments, help with setup and cleaning, and mix and mingle with their peers.
It’s a huge blessing to the senior families, and a way to pay it forward.
After all, next year a new class of juniors and their families will help your graduation run smoothly, so that you can enjoy the festivities!
If you’d like to help, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to get signed up.
Enjoyed this article? Check out our infographic about how homeschool graduates compare with their peers.
We originally published this article in May 2016. We have updated it for timeliness and detail.