From Our House to Yours
Our oldest son is 18 years old and just completed his last Heart of Dakota guide! It is hard to believe he is graduating. He has done every HOD guide from PreK through 12th grade, and the years have truly flown by. We are so proud of him! Homeschool graduations can be celebrated many different ways. To show one way, I thought for this post I would share some of the things we are doing for graduation.
Take pictures earlier in the year if you can!
Last October a good friend of ours took Wyatt’s pictures for graduation. Fall is a beautiful time of year here. I knew we’d be crazy busy this spring, so taking the pictures ahead of time really helped. Our friend just took pictures on her camera different places around where we live. God’s creation is always a beautiful backdrop!
We picked one dressy outfit and two casual outfits. I tried to stick with a similar color scheme. I washed, pressed, and set aside the clothes. We told our friend to just give us at least a few hours’ notice for when she thought the pictures would be good to take. This is something we can do when we are homeschooling, right?!? Having our son’s senior pictures taken ahead of time allowed me to be able to make the invitations for our open house ahead of time on Shutterfly. So, all I had to do was fill in the date of our open house later. My son chose his favorite photos for the invitations and picked a Bible verse for them. Easy peasy!
Choose a date that is different from the dates of public and private school graduations!
We picked a different open house date than local public and private high school’s dates. We can choose any date for our graduation! I love the flexibility of homeschooling! Visiting with family and close friends, we picked the date and time that worked best. Choosing a date other than the typical graduation gatherings helps family and friends be more able to attend.
Choose a place that can be set up ahead of time if possible!
We have chosen our garage for an informal outdoor graduation open house. This is common where we live, as summers are lovely, and we live on an acreage! Plus, it gives us a great reason to clean the garage, right?!? I don’t know about your garage, but ours could use a reason for a good cleaning! We’ve borrowed tables and chairs from my husband’s workplace.
Choose simple table decorations that can be reused for your other children who will be graduating someday!
As we live in the country, we have chosen red gingham tablecloths. I don’t have to spend much money on them, and I can reuse them. Each 6 foot table will have ball canning jars with Wyatt’s favorite snacks – cashews and M & M’s! I’ve made a family photobook each year for my husband for Christmas, so I’m setting a different photobook on each table too. There are many pictures of Wyatt with our family growing up, and I think this could be a good conversation piece!
I’m also planning on having a card table with red gingham tablecloth and with a premade poster for people to sign for Wyatt. They can write comments as well here, and I think it will be a neat keepsake of the party for him. I’m putting a red geranium on this table as well (thanks mom for that wonderful idea)! I’m also going to put his baby photobook on this table. Finally, the backdrop leaning against the wall will be a metal art wall hanging I made for him with all his senior pictures. This can hang on the wall in his bedroom after the party (thanks Carrie for this awesome idea)!
Choose food that won’t prevent you from visiting with guests!
I love to cook and to bake! However, I don’t want to be consumed with this so much leading up to the graduation or during the graduation. I want to be able to visit with family and friends and be there for Wyatt. So, we are making pulled pork ahead of time and putting it in crock pots for sandwiches. We are also putting baked beans in crock pots. Premade potato salad, chips and dip, coleslaw (thanks Cindy for this idea), and 2 kinds of layered cake from Costco will round out the menu. Lemonade, coffee (good idea, mom), and water bottles will be available as well.
I hope this has given all of you amazing moms some ideas to simplify graduation for your homeschool senior! What a blessing to be able to celebrate ‘pressing on toward the goal to win the prize‘ with our graduating teens!!! God bless!