Celebrating Your Child’s Homeschool Graduation

Congratulations! It’s been fun and challenging, yet you and your child are nearing the end of homeschooling. As you get closer to the last day, here are a few things you may want to do when celebrating your child’s homeschool graduation. 

Celebrating Your Child's Homeschool Graduation -

Create A Budget For Your Graduation Celebration

Consider everything you want to do for your graduate. You may want to keep it simple and just take him out to a restaurant for dinner with parents, or you may want to do everything mentioned in this article. Either way, you need to sit down with your spouse and budget for each item.

Celebrate With Other Graduates

We have had a few different Youth Pastors over the years at our church. One of them had a Sunday where all the graduates were to stand on stage in their respective caps, gowns, and tassels from their own schools. Then, each was named, recognized, and given a gift from the church. 

After the service, cake and beverages were available for everyone. Check with your church to see if any of that will take place and what they like the students to wear. You may need a cap, gown, and tassel for this event.

We are in a local homeschool Facebook group that has a homeschool graduation event. The students walk down an aisle of seated family members to get their diploma from a homeschool parent. We have not chosen to participate in that as of yet, but I would imagine you would need a cap, gown, tassel and diploma.

Host A Graduation Party

We have hosted three graduation parties, and this year we will have a fourth. I have four more homeschoolers coming along in the future as well. I like to invite lots of people, so we rent a park shelter with lots of picnic tables, a kitchen, and nice bathrooms that is not far from my home.

Invite Everyone

I recommend inviting way too many people and having the party last four hours so people can come and go. I usually do this from noon to 4 p.m. This gives me a few hours in the morning to set up and some time afterward to take down and return the key to the drop box after locking up.

Isn’t that a lot of work and food? Why would you do this? Yes, but it is so worth it! Usually, guests bring a card and money. This is a great way for your child to have a nice pile of cash to get started with in their adult life. 

Isn’t that greedy? No! I didn’t ask them for anything. I just asked them to come have a meal and celebrate with us. It was their generosity that blessed my child. Around here in Wisconsin, the lowest gift was usually $20. People we don’t know as well like to write a check with what year it is, like $20.22 for a person who graduated in the year 2022, for example.

Don’t you run out of food? Amazingly, no! It seems like the guests are often running to several graduation parties in one day, so they are often full from another party or don’t have much time to eat. We do usually run out of cake, however. And for one very hot party, I sent someone to get more bottled water.

No one supported us homeschooling, will anyone even come? Yes! I feel ya! They do actually come and bring nice gifts! It seems that the toughest people on me gave the largest dollar amounts. 

The tough ones on me as a homeschool parent, were some of the few to ask, “So, what’s your plan after graduation?” to my student. Two of my graduates said they were going to work and not go to college. Amazingly, guests supported them and liked that they were not getting into all that debt. 

Inviting People

Invite all of your child’s friends and co-workers and their families, as well as all of your relatives, friends, co-workers, club friends, church friends, neighbors, etc. Invite them on Facebook and send an invitation in the snail mail, if possible.

Renting A Shelter

You have to rent the shelter as far in advance as you can to get the date you want. I prefer to have the party date as close to graduation as possible, but I have one child who graduated in 2020, so the village wouldn’t let us have that party until August!

Party Food and Beverages

We are allowed to bring our own food and beverages, so I get a really large cake from Sam’s Club with whipped frosting. I get big cans of beef and put them in crock pots and roaster pans. We also serve the hardier type of weiners in water in other crock pots. 

I order buns from a bakery in advance. I usually make my own veggie trays and have large bowls of cut watermelon, chips, and bottled water near some flavorings that guests can add to their water.

You could also order all of this catered, or you could ask extended family members to each bring certain items.

Party Decor

We like to get plastic tablecloths from the Dollar Tree and tape them to the tables in the colors my student chooses. I always order a few decorations and a fold-out card box from Amazon. 

I like to have a table where I can display photos of my student. My graduate and I create a stand-up display board and show photos from each stage of life. Sometimes, we will add extras like 4-H ribbons, trophies, certificates, sketchbooks, etc.

Party Extras

We bring along outdoor games for guests to play, like corn-hole. If you have a playground near your shelter, be sure to bring sun hats and sunscreen for your younger children. 

I bring along all of our camp folding chairs to have extra seating for guests. For our first graduation, I brought extra toilet paper, but I found out that our shelter has a closet with lots of extra, so now I don’t.

Order A Gown, Cap, Tassel, and Diploma

When thinking about what to order, consider where your child will wear or display these items and ask your child what they would prefer and what color. Yes, the color can be a choice. My first graduate just wanted a black cap and yellow tassel as well as a diploma. My second graduate chose a black cap and gown with a green and gold tassel, plus a diploma, as well as a business card-sized diploma.

There is an amazing company that provides all of these items for graduates, and they do quality work. You can read about them in my Product Review of A Homeschool Diploma. That article also provides steps on how to order.

Dinner With A Gift

We like to take the graduate to any restaurant of her choosing and just my husband and I join her there. At this special dinner, we give her a card and a gift. We always include some money in the card, but the gift has changed depending on the child.

A Graduation Vacation

We also offer a vacation to our graduate. We tell them to keep it under a certain dollar amount. If they would like to do this vacation with the whole family, we add that budget to our family vacation budget for the year to make it happen. 

Our first graduate had the whole family, plus Grandma, go with her to The Creation Museum and Ark Encounter in Kentucky. Since we live in Wisconsin, we rented a big white van and drove there, staying in hotels nearby.

Our second graduate wanted Dad to take him to Vegas when he turned 21, so we had to wait a few years to celebrate, but that worked out since that student had flight benefits from working at an airport.

Our third graduate had Mom and an adult sister go with her to the Mall of America and stay in a nearby hotel.

This year, our graduate is still deciding what to do, but it sounds like he is leaning towards a family vacation somewhere.


I hope this post has given you some ideas of how you can celebrate with your graduate. Please do something. You have both earned it!

Amy Marohl

About the author

Amy and her husband have eight children and several pets and live in a small town in Wisconsin, USA. She has been homeschooling her children since 2005. She is a lifestyle blogger at NeededInTheHome - Homemade. Home Interiors. Home Life.

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