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Teenage Milestones: Prom, Graduation, Both or Neither?


I asked Utah homeschooling moms their thoughts on whether they do a graduation and/or prom for their kids. Here is a collection of their responses!


We do a family party and it’s always been such a favorite thing!!!! And yes, I gave them a diploma, and I have them wear cap and gown, and we all say our favorite things about them. We do the cake and celebrate the hard work. I also make sure we get really nice senior pictures .


Our homeschool Co Op also has a graduation which the kids love. All of the families come together have a dinner and celebrate the accomplishment of our graduates. What I love about it is how the families come up and talk about their child. It is so personal and special. It is filled with so much love.


It really depends on the child. My boys wanted the opportunity to do both and so they did. Not sure what my daughter will want.


Nope. I didn’t do graduation for my 3 homeschool graduates. They were totally fine with it. My son went to prom twice at the high school and reported that the music was so loud you couldn’t think. He enjoyed the pre-prom fun though. My younger daughter enjoyed a homeschool prom. The oldest two girls (one graduated from public school) didn’t attend a prom. My husband and I both attended public school, but neither went to prom. It’s not something we would enjoy, so we saved our money.


My oldest has a graduation ceremony- she wanted that. She did not do prom and was fine with that. My second daughter could care less for either. They are both social but there just was no desire for this.



Mine have done many formal dances. I don’t know if any were called prom. I do require graduation because this has been as much my accomplishment as theirs.😂


I would so they don’t feel cheated out of experiences growing up.


Depends on the kid. My son is high school aged. He went to a local public high school homecoming this year with a girl he had just started dating who goes to school there. They stayed for 30 minutes and left because they said it was boring...he was not impressed...Lol. He plans to go to prom with her in a couple months, but he's not super excited about it, but he knows she really wants to go, so he's more than willing to go because it's important to her. So, I'd say whether a teenager "needs" those things is dependent on the teenager and what experiences they want to have in high school.


In Cody/Powell Wyoming, they do a gala. It's a dance/dinner/graduation party for all homeschoolers. We went to it a couple years ago. It was a great community event for the homeschoolers there.


I hate the fact that I didn’t have these things. My kids went to an all ages prom last year and absolutely loved it.


Need, no. Ours is termed a Ball and includes all high school grades or up to age 19. My daughter has a few friends of hers attend but doesn't know most of the almost 200 kids and it doesn't matter. The feel is much like a wedding reception but just with lots of laughing and dancing and being out. My daughter didn't much care about going but went because she had friends going, they're all pretty chill and laid back. Graduation will work the same way with a large class of kids and families she/we won't know. We're brought together out of the common interest of homeschooling and not about knowing who's who. I hear graduation is beautiful and so we chose to participate for my daughter to be with friends and also to mark closure...



We are LDS and so our homeschooled kids got to go to “Mormon Prom” and they loved it. Two of my girls attended a charter school for high school and went to homecoming and prom. If you can organize something, it is a lot of fun for them. And teens are at a social-emotional stage when peers are so important. It may be challenging for many to watch friends go to these events and miss out. But that’s not every kid. I say, if it’s important to your kid, gather some friends and host something even if it’s small.


What is a "Mormon prom"? Like who puts that together? Is it a stake dance activity held around the same time? Or did someone else throw it?


I raised my kids in California so maybe Utah doesn’t do it. But it’s put on by multiple stakes that are close together. It rotates each year which stake puts it on. It’s held at a church building. They go crazy with decorating. Main dance in cultural hall and games in the small rooms around the building. It’s free for the kids which is amazing because proms are so expensive. Better chaperoning and dress standards than a typical California HS. Some areas have started calling it “Priest Laurel Formal” but it was “Mormon Prom” for so long that’s what the kids still call it.


I was homeschooled from 4th-12th. Homeschool kids can participate in Prom and there are graduation ceremonies available. I attended a homeschool prom and my date was a public school student who confirmed the experiences were basically the same. I had a graduation ceremony in my backyard attended by all of our close friends and family. Honestly I don't feel like I was left out of anything. I also grew up LDS, went to dances sponsored by the church and participated in seminary that came with a graduation. As a society people seem to forget that anything exists outside the public school system/culture. Different experiences are not inevitably bad, they're just different.


Last year my husband and I put on an “end of the year” celebration/ dinner/dance and spotlighted and honored the Senior class 2022. It was really special! It would be great to make this a yearly thing in our valley!


I did! I was dual enrolled. I did Mountain Heights Academy for 99% of my classes and went to the local high school for orchestra and LDS Seminary. I walked at graduation and have an empty diploma from the high school, and walked and spoke at graduation and have my actual diploma from MHA. It's a great school, totally online, based on Utah. Check it out!


PROMS:

Syracuse Prom 2024- A Midsummer Night's Dream, April 26th- 7PM-11PM


GRADUATIONS:

I know there is a homeschool graduation at the LDSHE conference in Provo Canyon Conference is May 29-31 with a graduation ceremony on the 31st!


We love Mountain Heights Academy. They do both online clubs and in person get togethers. The in person get togethers are usually in SLC or Lehi as it's a charter school based out of the SLC area. Last year they did Prom at Thanksgiving Point and graduation is usually held at the Capitol Building. Editing to add that The Logan Library use to do a teen night. It's been on hold since the remodel but they are open now and have a whole section dedicated to teens. We love Mountain Heights Academy. They do both online clubs and in person get togethers. The in person get togethers are usually in SLC or Lehi as it's a charter school based out of the SLC area. Last year they did Prom at Thanksgiving Point and graduation is usually held at the Capitol Building. Editing to add that The Logan Library use to do a teen night. It's been on hold since the remodel but they are open now and have a whole section dedicated to teens.



 

Do you know of a prom or graduation near you that we missed? Or do you have a perspective that wasn't shared that would be useful for Utah homeschool moms to know? Be sure to share in the comments below!

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