How to Have a Homeschool Awards Ceremony

Christina Parker Brown

You can have an award ceremony for practically anyone—a homeschool group, a play group, or several moms who want to honor their kids. The size of your group will depend on how you can incorporate these ideas. It is a group effort. As the children get older, they can help with putting on the ceremony.

The aim is to keep it simple but thorough, focusing on the end of the year, accomplishments, achievements, and awards. This is a great way for family members and friends to see what you have been up to during the year, to be involved, to celebrate your children, and to better understand the homeschool experience.

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Below is a list of various duties that are carried out by parents; some parents assume responsibility for more than one duty, as needed:

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Things to Think About

The Program

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The commencement program could include these components: procession, opening prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, Pledge to the Bible, group Bible verse, welcome, introduction/explanation of theme (if you decide to have one), performances/presentations, awards, slide show, and closing prayer.

Our Awards Night is always a fabulous night and lasts about three and a half hours, including setup and cleanup.

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I cannot express in words what this night has done for my children. It is my hope that these ideas will help you build up your own children. It is worth it.

Achievement Tables

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What to include: favorite books, crafts, projects, lapbooks, notebooks, scrapbooks, artwork, Boy Scout badges and awards, projects, papier-maché, posters, science projects/experiments, musical instruments, Keeper At Home pins, etc.

Out of the box ideas: One mom used a Barbie car to symbolize her daughter’s driving lessons and a piano music box to symbolize her daughter’s piano lessons. One time I printed photographs of my daughter demonstrating various ballet positions and attached the photographs to a piece of poster board. Several of our kids were in a play and I took a photo of them “in character.” The photograph was made into a poster print, and I framed it with a frame I found at a yard sale. One child made an Eiffel Tower out of Popsicle sticks. Favorite captured bugs or small, caged pets can be displayed as well. Anything goes. You want your kids to be proud of their table, so get them involved. Creativity is key.

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I really encourage my kids to be in charge of this. They are mindful of the things they do during the year, and we designate a box they can put their stuff in as the year progresses. Some things do not make the cut in the end. This year we did not have as many projects as we had in previous years, and I thought it would be hard to get much together, but they always seem to run out of room!

Performance Ideas

We have enjoyed performances by a trombone player, pianists, and a flute player. One child created a digital picture show to music in which she honored her mom and dad’s anniversary (very touching). Children have sung songs, played musical instruments, presented interpretive dance routines, recited The Gettysburg Address (a 4-year-old did this!), and recited passages from stories such as The Lord of the Rings. Children also have recited the Lord’s Prayer and the books of the Bible.

Children can present demonstration speeches or highlight something from their achievement tables or just tell about something interesting. They could also read a Bible verse, a poem, or a short story they wrote. Be creative.

Christina Parker Brown is a writer who has homeschooled since 2001 when her first of three children was in preschool. In 1998 she founded a play group that has evolved into a Homeschool Adventure Group. She loves to write about her faith, family, and adventures and considers herself as much of a student as she is a teacher. Contact her on her blog.  

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. Read the magazine free at or read it on the go and download the free apps at to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

Publication date: December 27, 2013

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