Homeschool Graduation Reception Ideas

By Wannikki Taylor
Bake a personalized graduation cake for a reception dessert.
Bake a personalized graduation cake for a reception dessert.

Though your graduating home-schooled child did not attend school in a traditional sense, you still would like to honor him for his accomplishment. Invite family and friends to attend his graduation ceremony and plan a exciting reception to follow. Reception guests will have the opportunity to congratulate him and relish in his accomplishment.

Themed Festive Decorations

The decorations for the graduate's reception should reflect his personality. Because he did not graduate from a traditional high school, select the graduate's favorite colors with accents of black and silver for the party's color scheme. Place creative centerpieces on each table, such as balloon bouquets. Simply gather Mylar number balloons, in the graduate's class year, with latex balloons and tie them to a weight to create the bouquet. Consider incorporating the graduate's interests into centerpieces, such as stacks of books for a bookworm or footballs for a sports enthusiast. Reserve a table for memorabilia with framed pictures of the graduate through the years and a book for party attendees to write encouraging messages and leave gifts. Adorn the walls with a personalized graduation banner with the graduate's name and class year.

Creative Party Foods

The reception's menu will ultimately depend on the time of day and your budget. If you are planning the reception for early afternoon, consider making your own foods and keep the menu light. Create bite-sized sandwiches filled with salads or spreads. Use cookie cutters to make the sandwiches in graduate cap and diploma shapes. Include your graduate's favorite snacks, such as tortilla chips and salsa. Additionally, a simple taco or burger bar will allow the attendees to assemble their own sandwiches. For a nighttime reception, consider a catered affair. Decide whether you'd like the reception to be a sit-down dinner or buffet style. Ensure that the graduate has say in the menu selection to incorporate his favorites. As a low-cost alternative, you can enlist the help of some family members to prepare menu items. The reception dessert can be a tiered cake with a fondant graduation cap on top or a sheet cake featuring the graduate's photo.

Words of Well Wishes

Though your graduate spent his school years being taught at home, he will still have several people he encountered who would love to have the opportunity to give him words of encouragement, advice or reflect on shared memories. Plan an organized program for reception attendees to share a few words. Before guests get up to a podium to speak, have the graduate walk in and let everyone give him a standing ovation. Ask reception guests to think of creative ways to express their feelings to the graduate, such as singing or playing musical selections, creating posters or bringing something of significance to the reception. For example, an old overnight camp buddy could bring along a flashlight given to him by the graduate to evoke the memories of how their friendship begin. Remember to record a video to capture the speeches and compile a personalized DVD as a keepsake for the graduate.

Forms of Entertainment

The primary focus of the reception will be highlighting the guest of honor but you'll still have to keep the guests entertained for the duration of the party. Consider engaging the guests in simple games they can play at the table. For example, create a trivia sheet for the guests to answer several personal questions about the graduate, such as his favorite ice cream flavor or sports team. Immediate family should be disqualified from playing. Let the guests write their names on top and collect the sheets to decide what person got the most correct answers. Think of a big prize to give to the winner for knowing the graduate best. You could also hire a disc jockey or a local live band to play the graduate's favorite tunes and let the guests dance the night away.

About the Author

Wannikki Taylor is a professional writer with a Bachelors of Arts in journalism from Temple University. She serves as a children's columnist and covers family entertainment for several print and online publications. She specializes in games, crafts and party planning ideas for kids and their families.