As a parent, deciding to homeschool your child may be a difficult one. Aside from working out where in your home your child will get taught, there is also the time to make sure that lessons can be delivered.
Soon enough, your child may begin to ask certain questions about what other kids in their age group are doing, especially in high school. When they ask, ”What about prom?” you should have some ideas ready.
Prom can feel like a milestone in your child’s life, and you should be sure not to let them miss out.
However, there is such a thing as a homeschool prom, and here are some ideas for how to make it special.
Have Prom With Your Homeschool Network
If you have built up a network of other homeschooling parents, you could create your own joint prom. Perhaps pool together some funds to rent out a venue and then decorate it yourself.
The event need not be expensive either; as you can find out which jobs various parents can do and hold it as your own private event at a local space you can rent out.
Much like a school prom, you can still have the music, decorations, and dancing yet on your own terms.
Join A Homeschool Organization And Join Their Prom
If you live in a remote area or recently relocated and are yet to build up a homeschooling network, you can join one.
Many homeschool organizations offer proms to their members with all the perks of one at high school. This may mean having to organize transport and perhaps accommodation, yet your child will still enjoy prom.
Invite Your Child’s Friend Group And Give Them A Second Prom
Just because your child is being homeschooled does not mean they cannot spend their prom with other kids.
Find out when the local high school prom is and organize yours on an alternate date.
Like a birthday party, send out invites to your child’s friend group and have them enjoy a homeschool prom alongside their own.
Create Your Own Theme
A lot of high school proms can seem a little generic and unimaginative, but that does not need to be the case for yours.
Make a list of your child’s interests, or perhaps elements of history lessons they really enjoyed, and try to create a themed prom that you know they will revel in.
It does not need to be formal, and it could be something exciting like the Roaring 20s, especially if you can fit that into a history lesson around the time. Perhaps a masquerade ball to learn about alternative culture.
Themed Dress Up
One of the great joys of prom is the chance to dress up, and you can do that for your homeschool prom and then align it with your chosen theme.
This is especially true for girls, as their prom dress may have been something they have dreamed of for years.
For their homeschool prom, perhaps give them a full day of pampering for the full experience, too.
Boys should not feel left out, and you can spend a full day finding that ideal suit.
Themed Party Food
Just like a high school prom, you will have to cater to every attendee’s dietary restrictions, yet you can get more specific with their culinary preferences.
Once you have made a note about any possible allergies, you can start creating some delicious party food. Again, this is another aspect of the prom that you can align with your theme.
Host A Catered Dinner
To create a homeschool prom that they will remember, create a thoroughly grown-up occasion. Perhaps an elaborate sit-down meal instead of mere snacks and party food to go with a masquerade ball theme.
Go even further by dressing some parents in tuxedos to act as waiting staff. Not only can this promote table etiquette, but encourages social skills in those moments between being served.
Ask That Attendees Bring Their Own Food
If your attendees are all from a homeschool group, then you can liaise amongst the parents to bring their own food.
That could be aligned with a theme for the homeschool prom itself, or it could simply mean a vast array of snacks and finger food.
This could be something simple like fresh fruit, something sophisticated like a cheeseboard, or something elaborate like a set of ready-made sliders.
Wear Whatever Footwear
High school proms can be so formal that they seem unnecessarily restrictive, so that should not be the case with your homeschool prom.
Consider a ‘wear whatever’ footwear rule so any attendee can wear whatever they want on their feet. That may mean not having to pay for shoes that your child might only wear a couple of times and can create some freedom in your event.
Lift the ‘no casual shoes’ and ‘no sneakers’ restrictions, and you may be surprised how well that goes down with parents and kids.
Don’t Hire A DJ, Be The DJ
DJs can be incredibly expensive to hire, and it may prove cost-effective to take on the role yourself.
You can even create a mix from your smartphone or tablet using some free DJ software like DJ Studio 5 and Mixx.
Even involve your child to help by recommending some of their favorite songs to include on the playlist. This scenario does mean hiring out audio equipment, but that will still work out cheaper.
Instead of worrying about what song choices a hired DJ may make, take control with your own playlist and mixes. To break the ice, you could even involve some led line dances to get attendees onto the dancefloor.
Take The Time To Teach Some Dances
Without being surrounded by their peers on a day-to-day basis, homeschooled kids may struggle with social skills.
One way to help them find some confidence is to encourage the attendees to learn some dances ahead of the prom.
That way, at certain points in the prom, you can play a certain song, and attendees can pair up to show off the dance they have learned.
That does not necessarily have to be a line-led dance, but that could be an option.
Decorated Selfie Stations
Another expense that typical high school proms have to deal with is not one but several picture stations.
You should still encourage attendees to capture their excitement at a homeschool prom, but encourage that with selfies.
Decorate various spots in your event space or in your own home, and put up labels and signs so attendees know where to take some candid shots.
Be Your Own Photographer
High school proms also tend to hire their own photographers, which can bump up the cost of the event. Instead of hiring a photographer, use your own professional camera (or hire one) to be the prom photographer.
Find a spot in the event space with a blank wall and insist that every attendee gets a photo. After the event, you can simply upload the photos onto a shared webspace or email them individually as mementos.
If you are keen on a professional photographer, then include this in the ticket price.
Find out how much it would cost to rent a professional photographer and how much it would cost for a photo CD for each guest.
These CDs can include a mix of formal and candid shots and can prove to be great souvenirs.
No Dates Required Policy
One of the pitfalls of a high school prom is the seemingly absolute requirement for attendees to go with a date. That can prove problematic as high schoolers have to pair up and, almost inevitably, some cannot get a date.
There is the peer pressure to contend with, yet your homeschool prom need not be so restrictive.
With a ‘no dates required’ policy, homeschooled kids can attend in their own groups without the pressure and the awkwardness of securing a date for the big night.
Further reading: Do homeschoolers get a diploma?
Of course, the easy way to get your child to enjoy prom while being homeschooled is to get a public school kid to invite them.
Check with your local schools if they allow this, as it could have a beneficial impact on their social skills.
If this is not possible, then plan early to create your own homeschool prom, just like you would your child’s lesson plans.
Choose a mood for the prom early on, whether it is a formal, sophisticated affair or a laissez-faire one with few restrictions.
Work out your budget early enough, as a lot of it can be spent on simply hiring out a venue. You can make cuts by cajoling parents to bring their own food, perform the role of DJ, and become a photographer for the event.
The ticket price should be reasonable, so make sure that everything is covered, including any special mementos such as a photo CD.
You may also like these homeschool yearbook ideas for your kids.