graduation

Dear Robert,

I knew that on December 12, 1994 — the day you were born, that this day would come. Your graduation day. I have mentally tried to prepare myself for this day now for 18 years, and yet I find myself looking back over your life and crying happy tears.

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graduation

I cannot believe that next week ends my son’s high school years. He will be graduating and moving on with his adult life. I honestly cannot believe we made it all the way through high school.

I promised myself that when we started this journey that I would see it through all the way. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would actually make it.

Robert

We started this journey in 6th grade, and while times have been tough and I have wanted to pull my hair out (especially when we were doing Math), I can say that I would not trade it for anything in the world.

Because we are finishing school, it’s time for a graduation celebration. Not sure how to put one of those on for your graduating homeschooler? Here are some tips that I have done to prepare for my son’s graduation party!

  • Get a list of all of his closest friends: You will definitely want to invite all of his closest friends to his graduation party. Make a list of them now and start calling all of them.
  • Set the date and time: Make sure to choose a date that is not a conflict with your teen. Be sure to check with jobs, social life, etc. Nothing would damper a party more than to have your teen be busy the night you plan his party.
  • Cook his favorite foods: This party is all about him or her so be sure to make their favorite foods.
  • Create a story board of their life: This is always my favorite things to put together. Kayla and I are working on Robert’s this week that will include tons of pics of him growing up. I know I am seriously gonna cry — I hope not.
Robert and some of his closest friends.

Robert and some of his closest friends.

  • Graduation Diploma: Present your teen with their very own diploma. You can go as fancy as you want or as simple. I looked online and found some for around $50, but settled on one for around $15 that looked as amazing as the other one.
  • Graduation video: Choose their favorite song and put together a graduation video.
  • Fun, Fun, Fun: Plan for an evening of fun — basketball, the movies, bowling — whatever seems fun to your graduate — go for it!

Those are my tips for planning a very fun graduation party for your teen. What tips do you have for graduation?

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Would you like to know how to prepare a high school transcript for your homeschool graduate?

Robert is graduating at the end of May and I have been doing quite a bit of research on how to make his transcript and diploma as official as possible. Even though he does not want to go to college right now, he might change his mind in the future, so I am doing everything I can to get that prepared for him.

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Here are some tips I found when preparing and creating a high school transcript:

Know what your state requires for graduation. After talking to some of my friends, we have discovered that graduation requirements are different for every single state, so do some research and make sure that your child has the proper number of credits needed to graduate.

Do some course planning: If you are just starting out with the high school years, do some course planning. This will help you see the bigger picture here. FiveJ’s has a great free planner that she created for her own child and has shared it with all of us.

If your child is already in the middle or at the end of their high school years, just map out all the classes that they have taken in the past, because you will need that list to fill out and complete his or her transcript.

Create a high school transcript: Using the information that you collected, now you can just drop it right into a high school transcript. You can create your own, or use this free sample that can be found here. You can also sign up for this free webinar from Lee Binz, who is amazing when it comes to chatting graduation, high school credits, and transcripts.

Make sure to include all information on your transcript so it is completely official. Include all of your graduate’s important information: date of birth, address, phone number, date of graduation. Put the name of your homeschool at the top, sign the bottom, and have it notarized.

You now have a high school transcript!

In my next post, I will share with you how to make an official high school diploma for your homeschool graduate.

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I cannot believe in just two short months I will be graduating my son. It seems so unreal to me that he is 18 and ready to go out into the world as a man — and a high school graduate.

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When he started his freshman year of school, I did some searching on the Internet to make sure we knew exactly what we had to cover for him to graduate. I noticed that most states have their own list of credits, so be sure to check that list to get the correct credits. However, a well-rounded high school program would include the following academic courses that are considered the core program:

  • 4 years of English
  • 2–4 years of Math
  • 2–4 years of Science
  • 2–4 years of History
  • at least 2 years of a Foreign Language
  • Electives (these will make up your remaining credits needed)

If your child intends on going to college, you definitely will want to make sure that you have covered all of the above subjects and then some. If they are not intending to go to college, then you can focus more on the general academic studies with focus on a trade. For my son, he has opted to not go to college, but to follow in the family trade and work with his dad in construction. For his last year of school, he has pretty much been his dad’s right hand man — and he is really loving it.

What classes will my child need to take for college?

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The following is a list of classes that your child will need to take for sure if he or she is planning on going to college. You need to make sure to include a physical education class somewhere in there.

English:

English I, English II, English III, and English IV. This must include strands of reading, writing, speaking, listening, observing, inquiry, and using technology as a communication tool. English must be taught every year of high school.

Math:

Algebra 1. Algebra 2,  Geometry, and one higher learning math class. The courses should include teaching on number and computation, geometry and measurement, probability and statistics, and algebraic ideas.

Science:

Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. The courses should include teaching on lab-based scientific investigation experiences and include the content strands of biological science, physical science, earth and space science, and unifying concepts.

History:

American History, World History, World Geography, and a Civics and Government course (the civics and government courses are half semesters but we had so much fun learning them that we stretched each one into a year long study). In Kentucky, only three credits are required but must include teaching on historical perspective, geography, economics, government and civics, and culture and society.

Foreign Language

The most three popular foreign language courses are Spanish, French, and Latin. My son chose Latin and took 3 years of it.

Electives

There are tons of great things that homeschoolers can use as electives. I will be covering that later in the month. The electives will make up whatever total number of credits your child is lacking.

Have you already started tackling this list of credits with your child? If not, it’s time to get started!

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I still cannot believe that I just wrote that, and yet — my oldest will be graduating this year! Since I have to go through the entire process of graduating him, I thought I would share that journey with you all in a series of posts  called “Graduating Your Homeschooler” coming up in March on the blog.

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During each week in March, I will be tackling subjects that surround graduating your teenager. I have had all of these questions myself and have done research, so I am quite excited to share with you in hopes it will help alleviate any stress you may be feeling about going through the graduation process.

Graduating Your Homeschooler

Topics that will be covered are:

  • What Do I Need to Prepare for Graduation: I will be discussing things like credits, graduation requirements, knowing if your child is ready for graduation and more.
  • Creating a High School Transcript: A lot of people stress over this one, however, it is really very simple to create if you have the right records from grades past.
  • The High School Diploma: The diploma is one that stumps a lot of parents as they are really not sure what is accepted and what is not when it comes to that. I will show you different ways to provide your student with an authentic looking diploma that will be accepted by any work place and any college or vocational school.
  • Electives: What electives can I include and what can be used as an elective. There are SO many day to day tasks that can be transferred as electives for your child’s graduation report and transcript. I will show you what you can use and how to describe them.
  • Preparing for a Graduation Party: I get asked all the time how my son is going to graduate. In this post, I am going to share my tips and tricks and what we plan on doing for Robert in May.

I look forward to sharing all of these posts with you starting on March 1st, so be sure and head back here on Friday for the first post!

Do you have any tips and tricks for graduating teens?

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