A homeschool graduation can be any number of things, even as homeschoolers themselves mirror every color of the rainbow. Whether unschoolers, or classicists, co-op kids, or those tied to workbooks and DVDs, you’ll find them somewhere on the spectrum and their commencement ceremonies reflect that.
Ours was an affair with multiplied friends of the young and old variety. Many teens showed up, along with those from the grandparent generation. Petya, 17 years old, beamed.
“Pomp and Circumstance” played as he marched in to his audience, tassel swinging on the right side of his mortarboard. He chose to carry a Bible with him, the Book of all books, enjoying the freedom that he had in crafting the celebration. Life-size posters of him playing tennis stood on easels in the reception, along with balloons, a handmade cake, and food, food, and more food.
As valedictorian, salutatorian, class president and everything else, Petya brought a two-minute speech that had other mothers sobbing. I put my hand on his back and felt extreme heat emanating through his suit and robe. He felt like passing out, but kept going.
Receiving his diploma, he moved his tassel from right to left. The crowd cheered and photographers snapped away.
The fact that it was Russia Day, Dyen Rossiya, made it even more auspicious. In my two-minute address, I recounted how Petya had told me at 5:00 a.m. on our first morning together as a family ten years before, that he was ready to learn.
“Mama, will you teach me?” he asked in Russian, having never attended school.
And there we sat on the floor at a coffee table in our regional Russian hotel room as I taught him first to read and write in Cyrillic. Education! He was thrilled.
Similar to this night when person after person hugged him and congratulated him. All that hard work had paid off.
Pozdrahvlayoo, Petya! Congratulations as you commence to the next chapter of your life.
————Tags: commencement celebration wit a twist, Dyen Rossiya, homeschool high school graduation, Petya graduates high school, Russian adoptee graduates with honors, Russian-American son graduates high school