Monday, June 7, 2010

Homeschool Graduation: Yes, It DOES Exist!

I've been in contact recently with people at 
the very beginning of the homeschooling adventure--people with very 
young kids. They’re interested in how to begin, anxious to get it right from the very beginning. And they are very concerned about the not-uncommon lack of support from family and friends when it comes to homeschooling.

I want to share some encouragement 
with everyone.
 Our second oldest daughter graduated recently through the ceremony at the Florida Parent Educators Association convention. This is our second child to graduate high school, but 
our oldest had attended a high school of performing arts in New Jersey and so 
had a "traditional" ceremony; this was our first true homeschool 

There are so many people who will challenge your decision to 
homeschool as you go along, and one of the comments we frequently 
received was, "You're denying your child things like prom and 
graduation!" While I certainly believe that the benefits of 
homeschooling outweigh the very fleeting pleasures of things like 
dances and ceremonies, it is pretty wonderful that we can still offer 
our kids the option to participate in so-called milestone events. 
Within her senior year, our daughter attended several dances, including a prom, went on her senior trip and 
participated in a very well-done and lovely graduation weekend.
 For anyone who hasn't experienced a graduation ceremony through a homeschool convention, I can tell you 
that we were very impressed. On Friday, there was an informal but well-organized day of senior fun, where the kids met their fellow graduates, played 
games and swam. On Saturday, they had a mandatory graduation practice 
and then that night, a dinner and dance.

What made this uniquely 
homeschool-centric is that the dance was a family affair--it was multi- generational! There were little ones, parents and grandparents, not 
to mention the graduates themselves, alumni and siblings of various 
ages. It was pretty impressive.
The ceremony itself on Sunday morning was also amazing. There were 
touches that allowed everyone to get to know each graduate, even 
though most of them had not met each other prior to that weekend. There was a real sense of 
cohesiveness despite the fact that these graduates probably hadn't 
attended a single class together ever.

We had family come in from New Jersey, California and Georgia for weekend. 
Most of them hadn't experienced homeschoolers, other than my own 
family. Without exception, they came away with a totally different 
view of the homeschooling community than that which is popularly espoused in the world. One 
uncle is a retired college professor (he educated special needs 
teachers and still works within that sector). He attended the 
convention on Saturday morning. He was quite literally blown away. 
He kept saying to me, "I just had no idea."

So to everyone at the beginning. . .know that this journey will 
go faster than you can imagine. One day you're teaching phonics, and 
the next you're waiting for SAT scores! And know too that you are 
doing the absolute best things for your children by educating them at 
home. The payoffs are incredible, and when you watch your child 
receive his/her diploma, you have the gratification of knowing that 
you were not only supportive parent, you were also the teacher and the 
guide--a full participant in this amazing experience.

Tawdra Kandle is stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four children who range in age from 9 years to 21 years. She and her husband of over 22 years live in central Florida, where he is in seminary. Tawdra spends most of her precious free time writing and reading, and she loves to travel. She is also a resident writer for Taking Time for Mommy. View more of her Articles HERE. You can also follow Tawdra on twitter and her blog, Publishing Quest
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Tracy on Wed Jun 09, 03:46:00 PM 2010 said...

That is fantastic! I wish I had the courage to homeschool my boys. I think it would be very beneficial especially since my middle child has severe food allergies and I am really nervous for when he starts public school.


Homeschool Graduation: Yes, It DOES Exist!

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