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Celebrating Homeschool Milestones and Achievements

by David Engle | Nov 29, 2023 | 4 min read

As a homeschooling parent, you’ve seen the benefits of home education. And hopefully, your child is experiencing the academic success they deserve. But are you and your student actively celebrating homeschool milestones and achievements? If not, you should…we’ll tell you why and how!

Why Homeschool Success Is Worth Celebrating

If you or your child once attended a traditional brick-and-mortar school, you’re likely aware that these schools celebrate student success regularly. At the end of each semester or marking period, most schools announce academic achievements such as honor roll, dean’s list, or superintendent’s list for students with the best grades. And it’s a pretty incredible honor. Students get to show off a signed certificate that forever marks this impressive accomplishment. They also have confidence in knowing what they can achieve in school.

At the end of the school year, similar awards are presented to outstanding students. Student-athletes are celebrated for their achievements. And high school grads with excellent grades and college scholarships often are recognized during an awards ceremony. Rightfully so. These students deserve the accolades they receive for their hard work and dedication to school.

What about homeschoolers? There isn’t a school board or superintendent to present awards and recognize success. There are no scheduled ceremonies or awards nights. Why not? Homeschooled students work just as hard as other students and deserve recognition for their achievements, too. And there are so many ways to do so.

Celebrate the Big Achievements

Of course, the big achievements should be celebrated, such as finishing the semester with straight A’s or an outstanding GPA. Graduations, regardless of grade level, are also worthy of celebration. If you like the idea of your student having a document to commemorate these milestones, you can easily print out a certificate or diploma using any templates found online

Go the extra mile and print it on cardstock, do some amateur calligraphy to write your child’s name, and maybe even emboss it to make it “official”! You’d be surprised how much confidence students gain from looking at a shelf or a wall when they’re struggling and seeing a “certificate of achievement/excellence” earned through hard work.

Aside from a document of the achievement, you can also celebrate it with:

  • A party with friends and family
  • A field trip of their choice
  • Tickets to a sporting event if your student is a sports fan
  • A weekend ski trip in the winter or a camping trip in warmer weather
  • An all-day trip to an amusement park

These celebrations can stretch beyond just grade-related achievements. Make sure you recognize extracurricular activities and accomplishments like sports milestones or championships, dance recitals or competitions, community service, theater productions, spelling and geography bees, and more!

Recognize the Little Things Along the Way As Well

Sometimes, it’s not just the big events that deserve recognition. Little wins during any school day are often worth calling out and celebrating. Think about situations like your student struggling in a particular subject. Say they work and study hard and get a good grade on an exam—that’s worth celebrating! Or maybe the entire semester of science was difficult, but your student put in the time and effort to get a solid grade–that’s also worth celebrating! Perhaps your child is having a tough time with one small lesson that requires lots of review–then, one day, it finally clicks. Celebrate that!

These don’t have to be big parties or events. Here are some ideas to celebrate the smaller homeschool achievements.

  • Let your student pick the dinner menu one night.
  • Offer to have them help you bake (and eat, of course) some cookies or cupcakes.
  • Have them choose what’s playing for your weekly movie night.
  • Treat them to ice cream or for lunch one day.
  • Give them a small gift–like an inexpensive toy for younger students and a fancy coffee for an older student.

Even small rewards like these show your student that you’re paying attention to their progress and appreciating their work in school.

Make Celebrating Homeschool Milestones a Regular Occurrence

No matter how big or small, celebrating homeschool milestones and achievements of your homeschool student should be part of your routine. After all, they’re putting in the same effort and hard work into school as non-homeschooled students…if not more! Let them experience the same type of recognition as public school students for their dedication and commitment to achieving good grades and being a well-rounded student and person. It doesn’t take much to put a smile on their faces and inspire the confidence they need to succeed.

David Engle
Hello, and thanks for reading! I’m David Engle--dad, husband, sports fan, and writer/editor. As a father for the last 18 years (father of two for the last 14), I consider myself to be pretty well-versed in all things related to education, childhood, and parenting, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to share some insights and knowledge with fellow parents. I have been a professional writer and editor for a quarter of a century (it pains me to admit that) and have been writing in the educational space for a number of those years. I reside in southern New Jersey with my wife, two kids, two dogs, and three cats. Never a dull moment.
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