Monday, June 20, 2011

What About Graduation?

You may be thinking, like I do, that you don't want a graduation like the ones in the photos of my last post. After all, you're homeschooling because you don't want to be like the public school. And that's okay because there are options.

I used to think that was the only type of graduation available to homeschoolers, as that is the only one that I had ever heard about or attended. Until, about two years ago, friends from our church had a daughter who was graduating and didn't want to participate in that big to-do. So, they had a nice private graduation ceremony for her. They had it at our church on a Friday night and invited the church family, their family and a few friends. Her dad spoke and our pastor spoke. The girl gave a short speech and her siblings also participated, and her parents gave her a diploma. Afterward, there were snacks and English country dancing. It was a lot of fun. We really liked that idea and decided that was more along the lines of what we would like to do.

Then, this year, the Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania (CHAP) held a graduation for anyone who wanted to participate on the Saturday evening of our local homeschool convention. They had sixteen young people participate and it was similar to the large one in the photos of my last post, except that there wasn't a lot of congregational singing. It was kept simple by playing graduation music as the graduates entered. Then one of the graduates spoke, followed by a slide show of the graduates (about three or four photos of each graduates at different stages in their lives), and that was followed by one of the CHAP leaders, Mr. Bruce Eagleson, who spoke. Then the parents presented their graduates with their diplomas, while a speaker gave a short bit of information on each graduate. In an hour, it was over.

And, finally, there are some people who simply do a private family celebration, some take a celebration trip, and some choose not to do anything at all. So, you have options, and you can be creative. Make your graduation personal and what you and your graduate want it to be.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Homeschool Graduation

Here in our area of Pennsylvania, we have a large number of homeschoolers. We have many homeschool groups and co-ops available to us as well. We have a group of people who put together a homeschool magazine for us each and every month that brings us the latest information on all of the homeschool groups in our area, and they organize the yearly graduation.

This year there were 90 graduates and through our homeschool co-op and sports participation, as well as the people we know from church, we know 33 of these graduates.

Some of the graduates organize a praise and worship band, and they sing a song they have chosen for their graduating class and lead the audience in some congregational singing.

This couple started, what I believe is the largest homeschool group in our area, and this year they graduated their youngest child.

The keynote speaker was former Senator Sam Rohrer. He spoke about the attributes of God, and while he was speaking we heard a torrential downpour upon the roof and there was a bit of thunder as well, and Sam even found a way to put a little bit about the rain, thunder, and water right into his speech. He was very inspiring.

I was also very impressed with the speech given by one of the graduates. He spoke to the class about how important it is to stand firm for Christ and to continue to keep their eyes upon them in whatever path they choose to walk now that high school is finished. (I didn't not get a good photo of him.)

Then each graduate was announced by name, in alphabetical order, and they were met upon the stage by their parents. The graduates handed their moms a rose, and their parents handed them their diplomas.

Afterward, there was a reception in the fellowship hall where the graduates could be congratulated by friends and family.
Our dear friend, Emily, graduated. This is Emily and her older sister, Lindsay. They are part of our church family.

This young man has, (as my son would say), become a legend in one of the homeschool groups we were a part of for several years. He participated in the sports activities that my sons participate in, and he was always trying to encourage his teammates. He acted in all of the wonderful drama productions the homeschool group produced and was quite talented. He can act and sing very well. He was an inspiration, and we will truly miss having him at our sporting events.

This is our dear friend, Chelsea. She is leaving tomorrow for a missions trip to Jamaica. She is part of our church family.

This girl is so sweet. We have had the pleasure of getting to know her better this year as she was in Anthony's psychology class at co-op and I was the teacher's helper in the class. We will miss her and her sweet spirit.

We wish all of these graduates God's blessings in their future endeavors.