Graduation is an exciting event for both a student and their parents! FED holds a graduation ceremony in May of each year. Based on the FED goal of building a stronger homeschool community, our yearly graduation ceremony is open to both FED families and the local homeschool community. This event is planned by the coordinator identified by the FED Board, with input from the families of the graduating seniors, using the guidelines established by the FED Board.
Table of Contents
- Graduating Requirements
- Applying to Graduate with FED
- Graduation Timeline
- Costs, Guidelines, and the details
As the homeschool teacher, you can graduate your homeschool student(s) when they have met the requirements you set forth for them. FED does not oversee that process nor will we ask for you to prove that your student has met a specific number of credits or classes before allowing them to graduate. We do ask that all parents certify on the application form that they have considered their homeschool's requirements for graduation and that the student applying for graduation has met those requirements.
In addition, FED does not oversee the requirement for individual families to determine if their Senior is graduating with Honors. These are decisions left to individual homeschooling families.
FED encourages families to consider the TEA requirements when determining if their student is prepared to graduate, especially if the student might be college-bound. The Texas Homeschool Coalition lists the current Texas Education Association's guidelines for public schools on their website here.
All families who apply to participate in the FED graduation must agree to the following:
- To review and agree to abide by our Statement of Faith and Code of Conduct as published on our website
- To review and agree to abide by the guidelines FED has set forth in this document
- To recognize that all expenses for the graduation events are divided equally among the families participating. A budget is provided to the families by the end of October, but this is subject to adjustment based on the exact costs. Coordinators will be open with all families on exact expenses and any outstanding fees are expected to be paid prior to graduation day. The FED Treasurer collects funds and is responsible for distributing them as needed.
- To actively participate in all planning activities and volunteer as needed to ensure a successful graduation
It is not a requirement that a student applying for graduation attend or have attended FED.
The FED Board reserves the right to review the applications for graduation and deny participation.
All families who wish to graduate must submit an Application for Graduation. This application will be received at the initial information meeting and FED families should complete it and pay their non-refundable graduation deposit by the due date provided. Non-FED family applications may be accepted through mid-November as space is available. The number of graduating seniors may be limited by the FED Board each year based on logistics and co-op needs, with FED students receiving priority, so submitting your application early is recommended.
The FED-appointed Graduation Coordinator will work alongside the parents to guide them through the planning process. The following timeline will be followed as we prepare for graduation activities.
- The coordinator will confirm the established date of graduation, checking with local school calendars to ensure there is no conflict.
- The coordinator and the FED Board will work with Hoblitzelle to confirm the availability of their facility for graduation. Should Hoblitzelle not be available, the coordinator will work to identify and secure an outside facility.
- The coordinator will obtain a list of the FED Seniors and organize the initial information meeting, where application packets will be distributed.
- The coordinator will post to the external Family Education Days Facebook page as well as other Homeschool Facebook pages with a notice of our graduation date and the process to apply to participate
- The coordinator will host a graduation planning meeting with all families committed to participating. At this time, the application and non-refundable deposit of $140 will be due. Guidelines from this page will be used to make necessary decisions related to graduation.
- The coordinator will adjust the graduation budget based on the final number of participating students. Expenses will be shared among the families.
- Cost of graduation attire, including cap, gown, tassel, and stole, will be included in the initial deposit of $140. Families will be asked to make an additional payment of $140 in February.
- A lunchtime meeting will take place for parents to turn in their graduation attire order forms. The order will be placed and families can pick up their attire in January, when the spring semester begins.
- The final deadline for both FED graduates and outside graduates to apply and join the graduation ceremony will be the end of the fall semester.
- A lunchtime meeting will take place so parents can pick up their student’s graduation attire.
- Senior T-shirts will be voted on and ordered.
- The coordinator will work with the Choir Director to ensure the Choir is prepared to sing at graduation.
- Families should order their student’s diploma and graduation announcements early in the month.
- Families should also schedule their individual senior photo sessions.
- Group picture day will take place on campus at the end of the month. These pictures are used for the graduation program and group slideshow.
- Families will be working on selecting the pictures and song for their individual senior slideshow. This will not be due until April, but takes some time to organize. Families can also begin working on their student bio for the program..
- At the March family meeting, the coordinator will discuss the reception and decisions should be made related to refreshments and decorations.
- Items for the slide show and program should be turned in by the due date established. A sample of the program will be provided for families to approve before it is sent to print.
- The coordinator will be working to finalize the timeline for graduation day, including when families are able to set up their Senior tables.
- Parents should begin planning their student’s senior table. Black tablecloths will be provided.
FED strives to find a balance between having a graduation that is personal for each family/senior class with having a ceremony that fulfills FED’s mission and vision. As such, certain guidelines for graduation have been established by board policy and some decisions are left up to the families.
Facility Rental - Graduation will be held at Hoblitzelle each year, unless a conflict arises on their calendar. A portion of the Graduation Budget covers the fees associated with facility rental and sound technicians.
Caps and Gowns - Graduating seniors will wear black gowns and caps. The tassel color is up to the individual student and will not be uniform. In addition, the families of the graduating seniors can determine if they prefer honors stoles or tassels, which will be white in color. Students are free to decorate the top of the cap as they wish, as long as it meets the FED Code of Conduct. Students are also welcome to throw their cap at graduation, as long as they have written their name on the inside.
T-Shirts - Each graduating class can choose if they wish to order class t-shirts.
Group Pictures/Graduation Pictures - A photographer will be selected to take group pictures of the senior class. The coordinator will facilitate with the FED Board to give first priority for this role to a FED family. These pictures are used in the group slideshow at graduation. Pictures should be taken at Camp Hoblitzelle. Students can also coordinate with the photographer to take individual pictures of their seniors at that time. Preferably, the same photographer will be at graduation to take pictures for the families. The cost of the photographer for group pictures and at graduation is included in the Graduation Budget. Should families choose to have individual senior photos taken at the same time, that expense is not included in the group budget.
Group and Individual Slideshows - A group slideshow will be playing as guests arrive and find their seats. This slideshow will include group photos as well as a few individual photos of each of the graduates. In addition, a slideshow will be created for each individual graduate that will be shown while that graduate and their parents approach the stage. This slideshow will include 20 photos of the student and a song of their choice. The cost of the slideshow development is included in the Graduation Budget.
Programs - A graduation program will be created by a family volunteer or an outside vendor. The program will include an order of ceremony and a bio and picture for each graduating senior. Parents are also encouraged to include a short note to their senior. Each student receives 5 color programs to pass out to family members. Additionally, a QR code for the programs will be available for guests at the ceremony. The costs of development and printing are included in the Graduation Budget. Families requiring more color programs can request them at an additional expense.
Commencement Speaker - A commencement speaker should be identified for graduation. This is typically not a paid job, however, it is traditional to give the speaker a token of appreciation for his/her time. FED recommends this gift be approximately $100 in value and it is included in the Graduation Budget.
Reception - A reception is held following the graduation ceremony. The student council will serve coffee/punch/water and cake and/or cookies. The coordinator and the senior families will determine how the reception area will be decorated and the expenses for everything except those related to decorating the Senior Table are included in the Graduation Budget.
Senior Table - Each senior will have a Senior Table decorated as they wish. These tables can include photos, mementos, and other things of importance to the senior as well as treats/snacks and a place for guests to leave a personal message.
The families of graduating seniors should plan to arrive the night before to set up their senior tables and help the Student Council with the setup for the reception. Students will be provided with an area to get ready onsite.
The general order of ceremonies will be:
- Welcome and Prayer - FED Board Member
- Performance by the FED Choir
- Group Slideshow and Procession of Graduates
- Charge to Graduates
- Presentation of Diploma by each family to their senior
- Closing and prayer over the seniors - FED Appointed
The coordinator and families of graduating seniors can choose to offer other activities for the graduates through the Spring. Hoblitzelle has offered to host these events for us as needed. These may include:
Senior Service Project
Baccalaureate - Held the week prior to graduation. All student’s pastors should receive an invitation in February if this event will be held. Students can share a verse or short testimony during this time. This will be open to all students and their families as a time of prayer and encouragement. Praise and Worship will be led by students, if skills allow. This is a student coordinated event.