Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » HOMESCHOOL GRADUATION

    Filed at 8:06 am under by dcobranchi

    Here’s a nice article about a graduation ceremony.

    My kids are a long way away from this, but it’s something to keep in mind. What do y’all do (or plan to do)?

    We are “independent” homeschoolers (i.e., we don’t belong to any kind of umbrella group). I wonder if any of the umbrella groups allow independents to partcipate in theirs. Or, if maybe DHEA, the statewide homeschool association, ought to sponsor something. (Traci, that’s a hint.)

    UPDATE: And another one.

    “I’ve heard some home-school graduates do their own graduation ceremonies at home,” said 17-year-old Bonnie Teplik of Mesa. “We’re basically doing it like the rest of the schools.”

    It’s important to home-school graduates to mark their accomplishment.

    “If I was just handed a GED, saying, ‘OK, you graduated,’ I don’t think it would be quite as exciting as getting to walk down the aisle with a whole bunch of other people who’ve been through what you have,” Teplik said.

    11 Responses to “HOMESCHOOL GRADUATION”

    Comment by
    May 29th, 2004
    at 10:25 am

    Two weekends ago we went to a homeschool graduation for 9 graduates. Most of the graduates belonged to the local Christian support group, but others did not. It was a very nice ceremony. Each of the graduates participated in some way (sang, played guitar, showed a PowerPoint presentation of accomplishments of graduates, gave speeches, or read Scripture or poems). Each graduate also had a lengthy bio in the program explaining their homeschooling background and future plans. Most received multiple college scholarships and internships. All the graduates had the caps and gowns/diplomas and had cap/gown photographs in the newspaper graduation insert. The graduates also invited a local professor to be the commencement speaker.
    My girls were very excited about the ceremony and the possibility they could participate in something similar. We aren’t a part of a umbrella group either (or support group for that matter).

    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    May 29th, 2004
    at 10:32 am

    Well, let me be the requisite crank here: Graduation ceremonies are just another mindless aping of the public school system we’re better off without.

    In public schools, graduation ceremonies send a couple of very specific messages — your education is over, you’re complete, you don’t have to listen to your parents anymore, by all means go to college to learn a trade or field but don’t go out there and keep broadening yourself and perhaps come to question the system that produced you in the first place.

    We as homeschoolers know that education never stops, that there’s no such thing as true mastery of any subject — why celebrate an arbitrary point in a lifelong journey? Instead of celebrating what we’ve learned, why not hold a ceremony that looks forward to everything else we’ve yet to learn?

    Comment by
    May 29th, 2004
    at 11:19 am

    “…why celebrate an arbitrary point in a lifelong journey?”

    For most conventional high schoolers, graduation coincides with the year they turn 18. It marks the end of childhood much more than the end of learning, esp. for those who already have college lined up. Of course, the end of childhood is a blurry line. Still, there’s a heady sense of being launched out of the nest and into one’s adult life. I remember the feeling. Tim, if your children truly want some kind of acknowledgment at that point I hope you’ll support them.

    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    May 29th, 2004
    at 11:48 am

    Well, perhaps, Laura. I felt only relief from being freed from a prison that had long outgrown its marginal usefulness (school, that is, not home, which was a lovely place), and nausea at the hypocrisy that surrounded it.

    I tend to doubt my kids will even think to want a graduation, as our whole lives are a reaction against the schooling paradigm and are additionally pretty devoid of ceremony; plus, I think of childhood and adolescence as constructs anyway. If there is such a thing as childhood, my 12-year-old has already left it.

    Comment by
    May 29th, 2004
    at 1:05 pm

    My son – now a so-called senior in high school – shares Tim’s opinion. He chose not to participate in the local ceremony for homeschoolers. He did allow me to send out announcements to friends and relatives. Two other families and us (whose sons are also “seniors”) are going to host a cook-out for the grads. In short, we’re keeping it simple, as per young Wid’s request. I agree that it is an artificial milestone but I also think it’s good to have goals and closure, along the way, especially for young people.

    Comment by
    May 29th, 2004
    at 1:07 pm

    Should that be “we” instead of “us” …

    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    May 29th, 2004
    at 8:11 pm

    I’m not a total crank — I’m all for graduation parties!

    Comment by
    J Aron
    May 30th, 2004
    at 12:31 am

    I dunno, we like to mark milestones – maybe it’s an extension of the bar/bat mitzvah thing.. when my oldest completed his high school studies we had a big backyard bar-b-que – invited friends and family – and my son enjoyed receiving his diploma in cap and gown and hearing pomp and circumstance.. we said a few short speeches and everyone had a great time. It created closure for his home studies and was a nice beginning to his formal college studies..
    The main difference between his graduation and that of the local high school was that it was short and sweet and tailored to our desires. Part of my husband’s speech went as follows:

    Imagine two ceramic vases. They are both similar in size. They both hold water and flowers. They both look good on your table. The first vase was made in a factory along with hundreds of others. The second vase was carefully and painstakingly hand crafted. Which one do you think is more valuable? So, while Hall High School of West Hartford is issuing hundreds of diplomas this year, Aron Academy Homeschool is awarding only one.
    David Aron, please come up and accept your high school diploma…

    Comment by
    May 30th, 2004
    at 10:58 pm

    Well, Daryl since you called me out…. let me remind you that DHEA is a political watchdog for protecting freedoms & best kept as such.

    I would say a homeschool support group would be a more appropriate group to handle a “graduation type” celebration.

    Our group has an end of year EXPO where all the kids ( preK-whenever 12th grade?) get a table to display anything that they’re proud of that they accomplished during the year. We also have a talent portion as well. All parents/ grand parents, friends & neighbors are invited to come & see & share what the kids present. We also give out a certificate for the completion of “THE YEAR”… not grade… It’s a wonderful time when we celebrate all that the kids have done for the year & how lucky we are as parents to be able to homeschool our kids. We also combine it w/ a potluck dinner.
    More than a few of us get misty eyed over the accomplishments of other kids as well as our own darlings.
    My support group hasn’t yet had a child actually graduate yet… Although it DE law once a child hits age 16 you are no longer required by law to count them in your attendance.
    So when does graduation start??? 16/ 18??? when you start college maybe more than a community college?? I tend to think more in line w/ Tim here. When do homeschoolers stop learning? I hope never!!!

    A graduation celebration with cap & gown is a payoff for sticking in a public school.

    My oldest graduated from a public high school last year. It was the hardest thing I ever did as a mother to help him finish 13 years of G-school & him only have minor emotional scarring & a temporary loss of the love of learning… He stayed w/ the last few years simply for “SOCIAL REASONS” he was captain 2 years for his lacrosse team & pretty close to having that diploma & entering the college of his choice. His school also had a student run radio station in which he did numerous jobs that led him to his college major.

    He is totally supportive of the homeschooling of his little sister. As he really had some tough times w/ bullying( we moved alot w/ my husband’s job) & teachers that were less than stellar. He was always a good kid & such paid the price as we’ve all seen witnessed here that other g-school kids have to pay.

    He just finished his 1st yr of college & it’s so good to see him love learning again. He even made the Dean’s List…. my kid that would never do his homework in high school because it was just busywork w/ no real point. He saw kids copy the same work from each other & get a different grade depending on how much the teacher like a student. Not that college is all perfect but at least there he’s free to think outside the box.

    My kids are 12 years apart my joke is that when I realized that meant spending 26 consecutive years as PTA mom I almost jumped off the roof. haha
    I just couldn’t keep putting energy into a system that I couldn’t really make a difference in for my kids…. the best I could do was to keep bailing out the water of the sinking ship as fast as it was going in & that meant never ever getting out of the education harbor & accessing the world for my son till college…

    By homeschooling my youngest we are actively sailing & charting the open waters ourselves. What joyous freedom!!!!
    I would hope that by age 16 she would be taking some classes at a local community college or perhaps dancing w/ a mojor ballet company… she may have her own business who knows… the point being she won’t have to wait till graduation to start living her life in freedom to choose what she wants to do.

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    May 30th, 2004
    at 11:16 pm

    Yeah, I know DHEA’s role. But, I think this is one area where we could offer something to the community with no religious strictures, no “umbrella” entanglements, and at little cost (to DHEA or the families). All too often DHEA is fighting against something. I think it’d be fun to be for something for a change. There are no statewide support groups. Even the Yahoo groups lists tend to be local.

    Yeah, graduations are silly and unnecessary and maybe even too “g-school-like.” But, if the kids and the parents and/or grandparents want/need an event to mark the transition, so what?

    Traci, if you and the rest of the leadership thinks this is inappropriate for DHEA, I might just take it on myself for 2005.

    Comment by
    Mordechai Saxon
    December 2nd, 2004
    at 4:35 pm

    Cap and Gown To You is offering a 10% discount to parents of homeschool students on all graduation regalia (caps, gowns, tassels, honor stoles, etc.). Just mention “home school discount” when you contact them. E-mail to homeschoolgowns@capandgowntoyou.com
    or call 412-422-GOWN (412-422-4696), or visit their website at capand...u.com/