The Full Buck Moon of July 2024 – A Fun & FREE Educational Opportunity with the Kids!

Here’s another fun and educational activity to do with your kids that you can take advantage of in just a few short days! July 21, 2024 brings us the famous Full Buck Moon, and I wanted to share some information about this month’s celestial event that’s a great opportunity to teach your kids not only about this month’s full moon, but also about our closest celestial body in general!

What is the Full Buck Moon?

Every month, the moon goes through its phases, culminating in the dazzling display of a full moon. The Full Buck Moon is the name given to the full moon in July. This year, the Full Buck Moon will reach its peak illumination at 6:17am Eastern Time on this Sunday, July 21, 2024. But don’t worry, you don’t have to get up that early to see some of the Buck Moon as it will be rising at approximately 8:20pm on July 20 and definitely worth a look even if you don’t get up to see the it at its peak the next morning!

Why Do We Call It the Buck Moon?

The name “Buck Moon” comes from Native American traditions. Various tribes named each full moon to reflect the changing seasons and the natural world around them. In July, bucks are in their prime, growing their antlers in preparation for the mating season. It’s called the Buck Moon because this is the time of year when male deer, known as bucks, grow their new antlers.

Other Names for the July Full Moon

While “Buck Moon” is the most common name, different cultures have their own names for the July full moon. Some call it the “Thunder Moon” because of the frequent thunderstorms in summer. Others refer to it as the “Hay Moon,” marking the time when hay is harvested. Each name offers a glimpse into the way different societies observe and celebrate nature.

Fun Activities to Enjoy the Full Buck Moon

  1. Moonlit Nature Walk: Take your kids on a night hike and see if you can spot any nocturnal animals. Bring a flashlight, but try to rely on the moonlight to guide your way. It’s a great way to appreciate the brightness of the full moon.
  2. Stargazing Party: Grab a blanket, some snacks, and find a comfy spot to lie down and watch the sky. You can teach your kids about constellations and the different phases of the moon. My favorite app for spotting stars and constellations is Sky Guide by Fifth Star Labs and is completely free!
  3. Moon Journal: Start a moon journal where your children can draw pictures of the moon and write down their observations. Over time, they’ll notice how the moon changes shape and position.
  4. Lunar Legends: Share stories and myths about the moon from different cultures. The moon has inspired countless tales, from the Greek goddess Selene to the Chinese Moon Rabbit. These stories can spark your kids’ imagination and curiosity about different cultures. You can also read to them from Genesis 1:14-19 about God’s creation of the “greater light” and “lesser light” to help them learn more about His creation of our world!

Educational Tidbits to Share

  • Phases of the Moon: Explain how the moon orbits the Earth, causing it to go through phases from new moon to full moon and back again. You can use a flashlight and a ball to demonstrate how the light from the sun illuminates different parts of the moon. You can use this Simple Phases of the Moon Guide to help explain it to your children!
  • The Moon’s Surface: Talk about the craters and mountains on the moon’s surface. Ask your kids: Did you know that the dark patches on the moon are called “maria,” which means “seas” in Latin? Let them know that ancient astronomers once thought they were actual seas! NASA has a great handout you can print with details about the moon’s surface here.
  • Tides and the Moon: The moon’s gravitational pull affects the ocean’s tides. Show your kids how the high and low tides correspond with the moon’s position in the sky. If you want to dig into this topic a little deeper Astro Backyard has a great guide to the tides of the moon with even a video about it you can watch with your kids.

So, mark your calendars for this Sunday, July 21, 2024, and get ready for a fun time under the Full Buck Moon. It’s a wonderful opportunity to bond with your kids, nurture their curiosity, and instill a love for God’s creation. Happy moon watching!

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Backyard Family Camping – A Fun and FREE Way to Spend Quality Family Time This Summer!

A family camping trip doesn’t always require a long drive to a remote location. Sometimes, the best adventures can happen right in own backyard! Here’s a guide to planning a fantastic backyard camping experience, complete with a list of what you need for camping, some educational activities for children (this is a homeschooling site ;), fun story ideas for around the campfire, and more to make it a truly memorable family event.

Essential Items for Backyard Camping

To ensure your backyard camping trip goes smoothly, make sure you have the following items:

  • Tent: A comfortable, weather-appropriate tent with enough space for everyone.
  • Sleeping Bags and Blankets: Keep everyone warm and cozy during the night.
  • Camping Chairs: For sitting around the campfire.
  • Flashlights and Lanterns: Essential for nighttime activities and finding your way exploring around the backyard (and maybe a walk around the neighborhood) in the dark.
  • Cooking Supplies: A portable grill or campfire setup, along with marshmallow roasting sticks.
  • Food and Drinks: Easy-to-prepare meals, snacks, and plenty of water.
  • Insect Repellent: To keep the bugs at bay.
  • First Aid Kit: Always be prepared for minor injuries.
  • Games and Activities: Board games, cards, and outdoor games like frisbee or cornhole.

Educational Activities for Children

Why not turn your backyard camping into an opportunity for education! Here are some educational activity ideas you may want to include in your experience:

  • Star Gazing: Use a star chart or a stargazing app to identify constellations. Discuss the stories and myths behind them. (see the link for our post all about Star Gazing)
  • Bug Hunt: Provide magnifying glasses and bug containers to explore the insects in your backyard. Teach children about different types of bugs and their roles in the ecosystem.
  • Plant Identification: Use a free plant guide such as PlantNet to identify different plants and flowers. Discuss their importance to the environment and any interesting facts. You can also get PlantNet free in the Apple and Google App Stores.
  • Nature Journaling: Encourage children to draw or write about their observations in a nature journal. This can include plants, animals, weather, and their feelings about the experience.

Fun Story Ideas for Around the Campfire

Telling stories around the campfire is a classic camping activity. Here are some story ideas to captivate and entertain your family:

  • Adventure Tales: Stories about famous explorers or imaginary adventures in far-off lands.
  • Family History: Share stories about your own childhood camping trips or interesting tales from family history.
  • Mythical Creatures: Invent stories about fun, mythical creatures. Invite your kids to make up their own stories!
  • Bible Stories: Read the epic stories of Noah’s Ark, David and Goliath, Daniel in the Lions Den, and others for fun and exciting read around the campfire.

More Ideas for a Memorable Backyard Camping Trip

  • Campfire Cooking: Make s’mores, hot dogs, or even foil packet meals for a true camping experience. Involve the children in the cooking process.
  • Outdoor Games: Play traditional camping games like hide and seek, capture the flag, or flashlight tag.
  • Nature Crafts: Gather leaves, twigs, and rocks to create nature-inspired crafts. Make leaf rubbings, rock paintings, or a nature collage.
  • Nighttime Fun: Use glow sticks or string lights to create a magical atmosphere. Play shadow puppet games with a flashlight.
  • Morning Routine: Wake up early to enjoy the sunrise and have a simple outdoor breakfast together.

A backyard camping trip is a wonderful way to bond with your family, introduce children to the joys of camping, and enjoy being outdoors without leaving home. So gather your camping gear, prepare some stories, and get ready for an adventure in your own backyard!

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

Simple and FREE Summer Activity – Exploring the Night Sky!

Summer is the perfect time for homeschooling families to explore new and exciting activities that are both educational and fun. One activity that combines the magic of the season with a wealth of learning opportunities is stargazing. The long, warm nights of summer provide an excellent backdrop for this activity (make sure to bring your mosquito repellent!). Here’s how you can turn a night under the stars into a fun and educational experience with your family.

Preparing for Your Stargazing Adventure

Choose the Right Night: Clear nights are ideal for stargazing. Check the weather forecast to find a night with minimal cloud cover. It’s also helpful to pick a night with a new moon, as the sky will be darker and the stars more visible.

Find a Good Spot: Look for a location with minimal light pollution. This could be your backyard, a nearby park, or a more remote area away from city lights. For where we live we have to drive for a little bit, but it’s worth it for a great view of the stars. The darker the sky, the more stars you’ll be able to see.

Gather Supplies: You don’t need much to enjoy stargazing, but a few supplies can enhance the experience:

  • A blanket and/or lawn chairs for comfortable viewing
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • A flashlight with a red filter (red light is less disruptive to night vision)
  • A star chart or a stargazing app (many free options are available) – My personal favorite app is Sky Guide – simply look it up in the app store – it has a FREE and a paid option but I do the free and it is amazing.
  • Binoculars or a telescope (optional, but a telescope especially can enhance your experience)
  • Notebook and pencils for drawing constellations and taking notes

What to do on Your Stargazing Experience

Identify Constellations: Using a star chart or a stargazing app, help your children locate and identify constellations. Start with the more prominent constellations visible during the summer, such as the Big Dipper, Cassiopeia, and Scorpius. This activity teaches children about navigation, mythology, and the history of astronomy. The Sky Guide app will even give you the mythology behind the constellations!

Track the Moon: Observe the moon’s phases over several nights. Discuss how and why the moon changes shape and its impact on tides and calendars. Drawing the moon’s phases in a journal can help children understand the lunar cycle and its significance in various cultures.

Planet Spotting: Look for visible planets. During summer, planets like Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn can often be seen with the naked eye or through binoculars. Use a stargazing app to identify which planets are visible on a particular night and where to find them.

Meteor Showers: Check for any upcoming meteor showers. The Perseids, which peak in mid-August, are one of the most famous meteor showers and are known for their bright meteors. Watching a meteor shower can be an awe-inspiring experience and a great way to learn about comets and space debris.

Star Stories: Share stories and myths associated with different constellations. Many cultures have fascinating tales about the stars, which can spark your children’s imagination and interest in history and literature. Encourage your children to create their own stories based on the patterns they see in the sky.

Post-Stargazing Learning

Reflect and Record: After your stargazing session, have your children write or draw about their experience. They can document the constellations they saw, the phases of the moon, and any other interesting observations. This reflection helps reinforce their learning and keeps a record of their discoveries.

Research and Projects: If your children show particular interest in certain stars, planets, or constellations, take some time to research those topics further. Create a mini-project or presentation to delve deeper into the science and mythology behind what you observed.

Creative Expressions: Encourage your children to express their experiences creatively. They can write poems about the stars, create artwork inspired by the night sky, or even build a model of the solar system. These activities help them process their learning and showcase their creativity.

Happy stargazing!

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

Celebrate Memorial Day with these FREE Virtual Military Museum Tours!

Memorial Day 2024 is on Monday, May 27, and as home educators we want to make sure our kids not only learn the history and significance of Memorial Day, but celebrate in a way that is enjoyable and helps them retain the knowledge they learn.

From Wikipedia:

Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the U.S. military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. From 1868 to 1970, it was observed on May 30. Since 1971, it is observed on the last Monday of May.

This is a day to remember ALL veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our nation, from 1775 to today, and is incredibly important to pass on to future generations. Here are some engaging and fun ways to learn, celebrate, respect, and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation:

For more American history make sure to check out A Patriot’s History of the United States: From Columbus’s Great Discovery to America’s Age of Entitlement!

Here are six FREE Virtual Museums you can visit with your kids to help them learn more about the battles and sacrifices of our armed forces:

Museum of the American Revolution Virtual Tour: This is an amazing 360 degree panoramic virtual tour of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, PA, the birthplace of liberty, where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Learn about battles such as The Battle for New York and the aftermath of the war with a visit to the writing and ratification of the Constitution.

The American Civil War Museum: has several online exhibits including the 15th Amendment and right to vote, the Confederate Flag, the Richmond uprising and more!

National World War I Museum & Memorial: This museum has several different exhibits including a guided tour with retired Colonel R. Dudley!

National World War II Museum: There are all kinds of amazing virtual exhibits including virtual tours of Tokyo, Berlin, and the military equipment used to defend freedom and beat the Axis powers!

Vietnam War Pentagon Virtual Tour: To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War the Department of Defense created an exhibit on the third floor of the Pentagon. There you learn the history of the United States’ involvement in the war through videos, photos, and more. Now with the virtual tour you can learn about various operations and events as you see what you would see if you were there in person!

National Museum of the Marine Corps: In this virtual museum of the USMC you can see how Marines are made, the history from the beginning through various wars, and a combat art gallery.

Have a safe and blessed Memorial Day!

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

Get Hundreds of FREE Audiobook Titles Just In Time for Summer!

As the school year winds down and summer approaches, us homeschooling families are gearing up for a season with a *bit* more relaxation, exploration, but also continued learning, even if at a slower pace. Whether you’ll be going on a long road trip or simply looking for ways to enrich your homeschooling curriculum, LibriVox is a treasure trove for those wanting great audio books without paying for places like Audible.

What is LibriVox?

LibriVox is a volunteer-driven initiative that offers free audiobooks of public domain works. LibriVox has a huge collection of audiobooks narrated by volunteers from around the world. Founded on the principle of making knowledge and literature accessible to all, LibriVox is a valuable resource for homeschooling families seeking to cultivate a love for reading and learning.

There are a TON of great titles on Librivox, including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Pride and Prejudice, Treasure Island, The Adventures of Pinnochio, and SO may more.

There are several genres available on Librivox as well, from classic literature to children’s literature, history and biography, and even philosophy and religion.

You can head over to Librovox HERE to see all of the amazing works available for free!

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How To Keep Your Kids Learning All Summer Long!

The end of the school year approaching usually means less structure, lighter schedules, and lots more free time. At my house, we start wistfully watching the calendar around April, yearning for the glorious freedom of summer. For the first few weeks, we need to decompress and take it easy. But after some rest, I like to incorporate some of the principles and skills we’ve learned during the year into our days off. Here are some of the ways we continue learning over summer break, and great resources for you to do the same!

Reading

I’m a stickler about this one all year! Over summer vacation, I encourage the kids to read but I let them follow their own interests, rather than whatever their curriculum calls for. Some of our favorite titles can be found in these summer reading ideas for teens and elementary-aged kids.

Science

I love documentaries and thinking through the questions they often provoke! My kids also really enjoy watching experiment videos on YouTube. Sometimes we try them ourselves and sometimes we just watch. More general science concepts are well represented on these YouTube channels as well, and we always discuss and dive deeper into subjects of particular interest.

History

Did I mention my love for documentaries? Well, it’s been successfully passed to my kids and historical documentaries are a fabulous way to learn important lessons from the past. The big streaming services have a variety to choose from, though I find many to be inappropriate for children, so I pick and choose carefully. But YouTube can be another good option here, with a healthy dose of parental monitoring. These are our favorite, kid-friendly history channels!

Math

Math is just a part of everyday life, so it’s actually really simple to incorporate discussion and learning if you put just a little thought into it. Here are my favorite ways to keep practicing math over a break!

Bible

Scripture memorization is a foundation of education for us, and I’ve used many methods over the years with varying levels of success. This Scripture memory system has been the most effective, and it’s not strictly regimented, making it a perfect summer-time supplement!

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

Free Online Spelling Resources for Homeschoolers!

You may or may not be blessed with a knack for good spelling. My husband and I are naturally good spellers, making it challenging to have a child who is not. I approach it by simply correcting her as I grade her papers.  This year, she is getting formal spelling lessons. The best part is that the spelling lessons are free!

Here are some options for free spelling lessons:

Spelling City

Spelling City is an easy-to-navigate site filled with pre-made spelling lists. The lists are available to print or for use online.  The site also offers games and printable handwriting practice sheets.  While there is a paid version, the free version has a lot to offer.

Home Spelling Words

Home Spelling Words offers basic word lists & tests for grades K-7. You can also add your own lists. It also keeps tests scores and a grade report. This looks like it might work for kids who get distracted by lots of colors and flashing lights on the screen. It’s a basic, easy to use (with tutorials if you need them) program.

Splashes From The River

The Basic Cozy Spelling Course is offered for free from Splashes from the River. It is for ages 9 & up, as you will see if you check out the word lists. This is a course that is designed to go in a specific order, so if you pick and choose lessons, you might miss out on something. It has word lists and dictation sentences for applying context to the list words.

Garden Of Praise

Garden of Praise has Bible-based spelling lessons as well as some musical spelling lessons complete with MIDI files to accompany you. This really is a garden of resources for homeschool parents. Browse around and see if there is something else you might use.

Simply Charlotte Mason

If you are more inclined to skip the online lessons and get back to basics, try the Charlotte Mason style of learning spelling rules while doing copy work. SimplyCharlotteMason.com describes how to use living books, classics, or your normal textbooks to use “prepared dictation” to introduce spelling & vocabulary.

Discovery Education

You can use this Puzzle Maker page to create fun word game printables while using your own lists. For example, if you are doing a literature unit from Garden of Praise on the Boxcar Children Books, you can take the phonograms (rhyming word families) listed and make a puzzle out of them. Some kids won’t even know they are learning!

Master Spell (for Mac)

Master Spell administers spelling drills using over 3,600 included words and sentences spoken with a real voice and supplemental guidance using the Mac’s Text-to-Speech. Parents and teachers can record their own words and sentences too.

Big IQ Kids

Big IQ Kids has free spelling lists for grade levels 1-8. The student earns a coin for each lesson completed. The coins are good for spending in the game section. Some games are more than 1 coin, so kids have to choose between saving and spending. You can chose the option of having grade cards sent to you. This site also has free math fact practice, name the US states, and a virtual spelling bee with kids across the world, or in your own neighborhood! Overall, it seems that this site has some features for free (like grading & report cards) that other sites charge for. They do offer a paid version, but I think the free one is sufficient. (Please note that, for me, this website worked much better on FireFox than on Safari.)

I think there is something here for every kind of learner. Whether you want pencil-and-paper style, literature unit lists, or interactive online lessons, it’s here. Please comment if you have another one that has worked for you!

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Homemade, Allergy-friendly Playdough with Baking Soda!

My kids have always loved playing with playdough! We had just about every mold, model, and extruder we could find, and they filled many love hours with imaginative and creative play in their early years. And with summer around the corner the more fun, non-screen related activities we have for the kids to do the better, and what kid doesn’t love play dough?!

I prefer homemade dough because of its low cost and ingredients I could pronounce, but many of the homemade varieties aren’t ideal for those with food allergies due to their use of gluten and wheat flour. So this homemade recipe uses baking soda and cornstarch, making it gentle on the skin and allergy-friendly!

Gluten-Free Baking Soda Play Dough

*This recipe is an adaption of the Arm & Hammer Play Clay recipe

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. The baking soda makes it fizz for a while before it starts to thicken, which is fun for kids to see! Once it starts to thicken, be vigilant because it goes really fast.
Take it off the heat as soon as it’s thick enough to stick together. Leave partially covered, off the heat until it’s cool enough to be handled.
Separate into equal balls and color with food coloring of your choice. Gel and liquid types both work well!

Food coloring typically comes in red, green, blue, and yellow, so have fun experimenting with different mixtures to get the colors you want. Your kids will love mixing red and yellow to get orange, and red and blue to make purple!

Extra fun options

You could also add ingredients like glitter for sparkly playdough! My personal favorite extra ingredients are essential oils, as I find their medicinal properties to be another great perk to this type of creative, unstructured play!

Simply add 2-3 drops of your favorite oils to your finished batch. For a variety of therapeutic benefits, include 1 drop to each ball after you’ve mixed the food coloring.
The possibilities are really endless here but some of my favorites that come pre-diluted for kids are:

Sleepyize – carefully blended with a variety of calming, quieting oils such as lavender and chamomile

Kidpower –  promotes feelings of positivity and confidence

Geneyus – for clarity, focus and, alertness, perfect for creative play

Find out where to get these great oil blends and learn everything you’ve ever wondered about essential oils by clicking right here!

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

Should I Feel Guilty Sending my Toddler to Preschool so I can Homeschool My Older Kids?

Should I feel guilty sending my toddler to preschool so I can homeschool my older kids?

I saw a similar question online and thought it might be helpful to write my thoughts on homeschoolers utilizing preschool to help them focus on their older kids’ education with less interruption. I think most of us would agree that there is nothing morally wrong with sending your kid to preschool, but us mommas sometimes can’t help but have some feeling of guilt when we drop our kids off for someone else to take care of, even if it’s only for a few hours, a few times a week.

While I certainly can’t tell you how to feel, I think reflecting on the idea of preschool as a whole might be helpful in deciding if it’s right for you. Those who have started homeschooling AND have more than one kid have all been there – you’re trying to get through a lesson with your six year old and your two year old fell and hurt themselves or is screaming for food or just screaming for a reason that you don’t know why! Certainly the playpen only goes so far in taking care of the little ones – none of our four kids ever wanted to stay in that thing, so I can certainly relate to wanting some help when you’re trying to stay on task with schooling your older ones. Here are some things I think are important to consider when deciding if preschooling is right for you. 🙂

Is the cost of preschool worth it?

This is of course something we all have to think about. If you’re on a tight budget then preschool can be difficult to afford, and doing a cost benefit analysis on the financial side is super important. You just might find ways you hadn’t thought of to make avoiding preschool work when you look at the cost of some of these schools! Plus, homeschooling becomes far less free when you have to pay for preschool. 🙂

Is the time taking kids and picking them up from preschool worth it?

This might be the thing that tips the scales one way or the other for you more than anything. When you think about the time it takes to pack a lunch, get all of the kids ready, get in the car, drive there, drop them off, drive home, and do it all over again when preschool is over you may realize the time and effort to do this is not worth it. Or, you may think it is. A simple time analysis can help you figure it out:

1. Estimate the time it takes to prepare to leave (packing lunches, getting kids ready for school, getting everyone in the car, etc.)
2. Add that to the time it takes to drive there, drop them off, and drive home.
3. Double that number (minus lunches and some of getting kids ready) and you have your total time
4. Save that number 🙂
5. Now estimate the amount of time lost per day schooling your older kids by having to pacify and attend to the younger ones.
6. Compare those two numbers and you have a somewhat quantifiable comparison to help with your decision.

It just might be that the amount of time lost per day attending to your younger ones is far less than the time to get kids to school and back!

Do you trust the preschool you’re sending them to?

Don’t forget that part of the reason a lot of us homeschool is we do not trust the public institutions that want to “educate” our children. Make sure you know the people running it, and that it will be a safe place for your child spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Even if a church is offering a preschool, make sure you do your due diligence because the people in charge may or may not be someone you’re comfortable with influencing your kids. Make sure to prayerfully consider it and talk to the people in charge in person. And a recommendation from a trusted friend is always a great thing to have.

What is the educational quality of the preschool?

If you do end up choosing to preschool your younger kids, a preschool education has the possibility of helping your future homeschooling quite a bit if they are effective at teaching the basics such as reading, writing, spelling, and some math. Look up reviews from other parents and talk to people in your area that you may know about the preschool you’re looking at and ask them how the education impacted their child. If they found it effective you could be helping yourself as well as your child quite a bit if they already start their homeschooling with you with a lot of the basics down.

That’s all great but… should I feel guilty sending them to preschool?

What I would encourage any parent that’s asking about this first and foremost is to bring it to the Lord in prayer. Take your time, sit on it, talk to friends and those you trust about the decision, and give it time. As I mentioned in the beginning, I do not believe it is an issue of morality in most cases, but when it comes to who we allow to care for our children we want to be extremely careful and discerning, and seeking the Lord and wise counsel is the best way to know if preschool is something that would be good for your family.

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

Homeschool Graduation: A Guide to Creating a Memorable and Meaningful Ceremony!

It’s that time of year when homeschoolers are planning for the upcoming graduation of their seniors. We know that there are endless possibilities for creating a special and meaningful event, and it can feel overwhelming at times. From intimate gatherings with close family and friends to larger celebrations with fellow homeschoolers, there are plenty of homeschool ceremony ideas to choose from that can truly honor and highlight the accomplishments of these graduates, and I hope this handy guide helps make your job a little easier.

Planning Your Homeschool Graduation Ceremony

Hosting your own graduation awards ceremony can serve as a platform to acknowledge the hard work and dedication by your student if that is their preference. If they prefer a larger event more like traditional school you can look up organizations in your area that hold graduation ceremonies so your homeschooler can experience a similar type graduation as students from other types of schooling. We are doing this with our kids and highly recommend it! Make sure to get your graduate’s cap and gown in time for whatever ceremony you choose.

And don’t forget to get your homeschooler their diploma as they will certainly want that for display and future proof of graduation. You can order a professionally made diploma or make your own. For homeschoolers attending college check out our post on how you can create your own high school transcript from home!

Homeschool Graduation Gift Ideas

When it comes to planning your homeschool graduation ceremony, personalization is key to making it a truly special event. Consider incorporating personalized graduation ideas such as custom photo displays, handmade decorations, or even a special tribute video. These touches will not only make the event more meaningful but also showcase the graduate’s journey and achievements in a heartfelt way.

Here are some of my favorite graduation gift ideas:

1. Gift Cards! – Gift cards are always welcome by graduates, especially cash cards and Amazon gift cards. 🙂

2. Get them an experience – Sometimes an experience if far more valuable than a gift. Find out somewhere your graduate wants to go or something they want to do and take them there, even if it’s pretty out of the ordinary!

3. Laptop Upgrade – These days everyone needs a laptop, so you may want to consider upgrading to a more recent laptop version. And a lot of them are actually more affordable than you may think!

4. Books – Why not encourage your graduate with some of those old-fashioned paper books or even an audible gift card or subscription to encourage them to let the joy of their learning journey continue! A great book for boy is 7 Men and the Secret of their Greatness by Eric Metaxas and for girls 7 Women and the Secret of Their Greatness. Both of these gifts accompanied by an encouraging message to the graduate would be a really special gift!

5. Headphones – whether it’s for their laptop or phone, having a nice set of headphones is a great gift to help make their work and play more enjoyable.

The After Party

Make sure to have a fun and enjoyable after party for your graduate. You can do it at your home or at your HOA clubhouse or a restaurant to name a few places. Some light decorations and balloons are a nice touch to make it feel more personal.

Mom and dad can get up and say some nice things about the graduate as well as anyone else. This would be a great time for a time of prayer over your graduate as well to send them off to the next stage of their life!

I hope this guide helps make your graduate’s day more special. Your graduate has worked hard to get to this point, so make sure to make it as meaningful and joyful as possible for your graduate!

***Be sure to join our How To Homeschool For Free Support Group for daily encouragement and more great resources for your homeschooling journey!***

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