Just because you are homeschooling doesn't mean your kids have to miss out on special celebrations and milestones. When the twins finished kindergarten in late September, we had a special kindergarten graduation to celebrate. (Wait, did I say late September?!! *GASP* Do I mean to say that I do NOT follow grade levels like the school system does?? Why, yes, that is exactly what I mean. :)
Anyway, we had a little graduation celebration, and I must say, homeschooling multiples sure does make things like this double (or triple!) the fun. :)
Besides the hat, I let them wear clothes they liked that were still "nice" and didn't want to make it too formal. It is just kindergarten, after all! (We don't wear shoes in our house, hence, the bare feet.)
We didn't have a huge crowd of people or anything, but we did invite their great grandparents to come, and they really enjoyed the whole thing. Depending on how much preparation you want to do and how much room you have, you can invite as many or as few guests as you like. My husband ended up getting the day off by accident, so it was nice that Dad got to be there, too.
My entire family is clearly enthused about having their picture taken. :)
- Before the graduation, I had each of the twins pick 18 papers (6 sets of 3) from each subject: 3 to keep for themselves for the memory box (and also for state records), and 3 to give to each grandparent (or aunt/neighbor) to show what they did for the year. I then stacked each complete set (3 from each subject) and stapled them together. They gave 1 set to each of the grandparents that came to the graduation. Their great grandparents really liked having these keepsakes. (We kept the other sets to give to the other grandparents/relatives that weren't able to come so they could have a set also.) I also printed off their creative writing stories that they had dictated to me. All the rest of their work went into the recycle bin.
- As part of the ceremony, I had the kids "show off" some of what they had learned. They both counted by 10's and 5's to 100. Sonlight recommends that they recite their learned Bible verses to give them experience at public speaking, so we attempted that, too. I say "attempted" because this didn't exactly go according to plan. They forgot quite a few of them in the heat of the moment, but with a little prodding they did remember several, too. I had intended to do a review of them the day before, but we were out getting supplies for the graduation and I completely forgot. Oops!
- If I had it to do over, I would have had them recite the "30 Days Hath September" poem that they had learned, but didn't think of it until later, well after it was all over.
- After they did their reciting, I had them stand on one side of the room and wait for me to call their name. I then called them up one by one, using their full name. When they each came up, I handed them each of the Certificates of Completion that come with the Sonlight Instructor Guides. (One for Language Arts K, one for Core A, and one for Science A. If you do not use Sonlight or just want a different certificate, scroll down to the end to see a couple of links for ones you can print off yourself.) After handing them the certificates and telling them what they were for, I told each one how proud I was of them and gave them a little kiss.
- After getting their certificates, I had them move their tassels to the other side of their hats and we all clapped. (And took pictures, of course!)
- After the "ceremony," the twins got to make a Graduation Day keepsake. You can print off your own and get a full tutorial over at snackpicks.com. The keepsake asks questions on one half like what grade they are in, what is their favorite food/color/book, etc. and they stamped their handprint on the other half. They told me their answers and I wrote them down for them to copy so it could be in their own handwriting. Ideally, we will make these keepsakes every year to see how they change from year to year. It also makes a good cover for their kindergarten schoolwork we stapled earlier to help us organize what work came from what year. (Remember all those sets of 3?)
Because the only guests were us and one set of great grandparents, we took the lazy way out and took the kids and the grandparents out to eat afterwards. Depending on what time of day you have your graduation and how long it lasts, you may want to serve finger foods or just cake or other desserts. (Scroll down for a couple of cute food ideas!)
Other Kindergarten Graduation Party Ideas: