High school graduation is among the most cherished memories for a student. And who says only those who go to a “normal” school gets to graduate? Even those who get their high school diploma online can enjoy all the flurry of activities, the opportunity to wear a toga and cap and party! This rite of passage can be a grand affair for family and friends. This can serve as a fun and festive send off celebration as your child prepares for college, having finished high school early.
Planning a Graduation for Online High School Students
Here are some things you need to remember when preparing for this event:
- Graduation requirements. Before you start planning, you need to first make sure of your child’s eligibility for graduation. You can work with your virtual high school to determine whether your child has already completed the required course work in order to graduate from high school. It is best to work with an accredited online high school such as The American Academy.
- Graduation invitations. Have family and friends come over with a special invite that also announces your child’s achievement.
- Cap and gown. Make it more “realistic” for your child by having him wear a cap and gown, if he wants. While you’re at it, you can also encourage him to prepare a speech about his high school graduation.
- Diploma, grad pictures and yearbook. If you have been working with The American Academy for your high school credits, ask how you can get a diploma from them. You can prepare a graduation picture you can display during the graduation ceremony. This can be taken by a professional photographer. You can also prepare a yearbook with your child’s special memories. There are a number of specialty printing services that can prepare provide you with something very similar to a yearbook. Of course, you can also ask your child to prepare this, if he is so inclined.
- Other things you should remember for the ceremony includes:
- Program. You can put in elements to make your ceremony feel more like a graduation. Some aspects would include the graduation march, presentation of the diploma, the confirmation of the graduate and a speech from the graduate.
- Ceremony music. Sir Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance is a favorite. So is The Aida March.
- Graduation gift. You can look into the possibility of gifting your child with a special custom-made class ring.
- Thank you notes for guests
- Guest book
- Activity after graduation. High school graduation is a rite of passage. You can include a graduation night party to celebrate, or, you can go for a trip to the beach, a weekend at your favorite ski resort or any activity your graduate would enjoy to help make the graduation more memorable.
To help you plan, you should also consider the following:
- Type of occasion. Would your graduate prefer something formal or informal? Something during the day or at night? Would he like friends to attend, or does he prefer just the immediate family to celebrate? Would he like it in your backyard, beside the pool or a reception hall?
- Who will be involved in the preparation? Will the graduate want to be the party planner or the surprise guest? Will he want to get involved in the details of the program or would he prefer to leave these up to you?
- Budget. Of course, the above aspects need to be considered with the budget in mind. If money is an issue, you can get creative in doing more with less. Some ways to save include:
- Merge two events. The great thing with an online high school education is that you can graduate anytime within the year. You can have the party coincide with another occasion – such as your child’s birthday.
- Choose your venue. Instead of going all out in a fancy event hall, why not look for places you can get for free or for a low rental cost? Some locations you can consider would be the park, a community room or recreation center, a friend’s poolside area or a church.
- Get crafty. For a less formal event, you can opt to print the invites yourself, or send your guests an e-mail. You can do the same with the graduation décor.
- Borrow. You don’t have to buy your child his gown and cap. Is there anyone who has a gown and cap you can borrow, or do you have connections with a local school so that you can rent one? If you need to buy, shop early (or after the graduation season) to avail of discounts and sales.