Family Life

Michelle Duggar on Homeschooling Milestones

posted: 04/11/14
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Question from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan on Facebook: In lieu of proms and graduations, do you have special events that you celebrate in the homeschooling calendar?

We sure do. Each year we give standardized tests in May to all the kids that are in third grade through ninth grade. For us, it's really fun because we go over to the testing facility, the kids take their tests and then we'll celebrate with ice cream after they finish. That's a big milestone every year.

Later when they're finished with their high school education, I'll have them take the GED test. It's not required in our state, but I like them to do it because it's good for them to have that certificate. That's their equivalent of finishing their high school education. Some of them will finish it at 16 years old, but everyone is different. We'll always celebrate that achievement with our own special graduation ceremony.

We typically try to make it a family thing and invite friends and family. In our area, there are some homeschool organizations that will graduate a bunch of kids together in one big graduation ceremony. They'll have a ceremony with caps and gowns and diplomas, but we've never really participated in those events. Sometimes we'll have 150 people at one of our family graduations. There's a large enough gathering to constitute as our own big event!

We'll decorate and set up a table with projects from their school years - things like their first grade papers when they were learning to write and all of the letters and words were written backwards. And then we'll wrap it all up with a "This is Your Life" video presentation with images of them doing home school projects, or going on field trips, or sitting with me doing their phonics lesson, or maybe even working with Jim Bob on Mechanics 101.

It's a wonderful thing to celebrate their lives so far and their education. They've accomplished a big milestone and they're finished with taking standardized tests every year. But I let them know they're not off the hook because I want my kids to never stop learning. There are opportunities to learn everywhere.

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