I’ve been planning for James’ graduation for many years. I always figured it would be such an exciting time…and I was right. Here are a few graduation party tips to keep in mind for those who may be throwing their own homeschool graduation soon.

graduation party tips

#1. Consult your graduate.

I had grandiose ideas of what I thought would be a great party for James. You know – a huge party with speeches and toasts and well wishes. We’d have tons of BBQ and maybe some music playing in the background…even a fancy ceremony.

But, James had other ideas. He loves when people visit but he doesn’t like to be the center of attention. So, we had quite a few arguments over what his graduation should be like.

I finally agreed with my husband that since this is James’ big day, he should ultimately have the last say as to what the party entails.

#2. Throw in a surprise.

I found this company that offers cool video templates (RenderForest). You can get them for free or pay a small fee for a full, high quailty video.

James had no idea, but I put together this awesome video of him growing up. He was definitely surprised.

#3. Keep it simple.

I learned that through planning his party, the simpler we made it, the better it was. The key was to focus on James and to make it all about him. And, that’s what we did.

We had simple decorations, fried chicken (at his request), a cake, and a few other snacks. Everyone had a chance to sit down and talk, spend time with the graduate, and we even set up a few yard games for the younger guests to enjoy.

Everyone had a great time and we didn’t stress too much about it. Here are a few pictures of our decorations in case you need any ideas for your own graduation party.


graduation party tips
We printed letters for the sign on the printer and colored them in and then taped them to the wall.


graduation party tips
Yard games included frisbee tic tac toe. We used small baby plates (because we couldn’t find small frisbees). We sectioned out a tarp with painters tape and staked it to the ground so it wouldn’t fly away.


graduation party tips
We also had yard yahtzee and croquet.


graduation party tips
Balloons and streamers were our decorations. We hung them wherever we could.


graduation party tips
Sorry for the fuzziness, but here’s another shot of the balloons and streamers.


graduation party tips
We ordered pictures and a photo book from Shutterfly (along with his invitations) and placed them out where everyone could see them.

Just a quick note on the photo book. I fashioned it to be like a year book with blank pages so that others could write notes of encouragement and well wishes for James.


graduation party tips
We ordered his diploma from www.homeschooldiploma.com. It was beautiful!


graduation party tips
Lauren had a custom shirt made for James (he calls himself her guard dog when they’re out and about).


graduation party tips
His cake was made at our local grocery store bakery. It was delicious and inexpensive.

The key for us was simplicity and it really worked out well for us. The graduation “ceremony” was only about 3 minutes and the rest of the day was spent talking, catching up, and celebrating James.

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