You’re homeschooling your teen, so… what about prom?
Think homeschoolers can’t experience prom?
You have options and I’ve done my best to outline them for you below.
Public School or Private School Prom. Your child may still be able to attend the local public or private school’s prom. This will be very much a case-by-case scenario, so if you’re looking into this option, don’t wait until the last minute. If you teen is friends with or dating someone who is attending the local school’s prom, your student can attend as their friend’s “plus one.” Of course, you’ll want to make sure this arrangement doesn’t hinge on the wishy-washy emotions of impulsive teenagers, lest your child be left all dressed up with nowhere to go at the last minute, but if you know and trust all parties involved, this is an easy way for your teen to experience prom with very little added diy effort from you.
If your teen doesn’t want to attend as the “date” of a friend, consider calling the school’s administrative office and see if they would allow your homeschooled child to attend prom on their own. If you are in a school district that allows your child to participate in extracurricular public school activities (such as sports or band), they may be willing to allow your student to attend prom as well. Just make sure to ask yourself (and your teen) if they will feel comfortable in this situation. After all, one of the things that makes an experience like prom memorable, is the opportunity to spend time with friends. If your student has few or no friends that attend this school, they won’t be likely to have a good time.
Homeschool Prom. Some homeschool organizations and co-ops host prom events for homeschooled students. Ask around with other homeschool parents in your area and you may find some good options. Additionally, Google homeschool prom + your city/state + the current year and see what results you find. Some options may require you to join the homeschool organization hosting the event, others may be available to any homeschooled student who wishes to attend. Again, the key is to plan ahead and not wait until the last minute. If this is a new group of people for your teen to spend time with, see if you can get a group of their existing friends to attend prom together. They’ll have a much better time if they have an established friend group to socialize with at prom.
Organize/Host a Formal Dinner/Outing. Maybe the above options don’t work for your family, or your teen cringes at the idea of attending a prom of any kind. Yet you both still dream of shopping for a formal dress or taking pictures in a tux and boutonniere. Formalwear isn’t just for prom! You and your teen can organize a group of their friends for a formal night of fun! This can be other homeschooled friends, or friends they know from sports, work, church, and the community. Plan on an appropriate number of chaperones too, to drive if necessary, and keep everyone organized, on schedule, and out of mischief. This event could take on a variety of options. If you have space and time, host the formal dinner in your home, and have the teens involved prepare skits and talent show presentations for the entertainment. Another option would be for everyone to make reservations and meet at a fancy restaurant. Afterwards, attend the symphony, a play, or go bowling and take fun pictures of your crazy formalwear and bowling shoes ensemble! The sky’s the limit for the unique ideas you could incorporate into an event of this kind, and you could make it work for a large or very small group.
I hope this list is helpful as you plan a formal experience for your homeschooled teen. Remember, the way we’re educating them isn’t an exact copy of the public school, and our special memories don’t have to be a replica of public school experiences either. Your child is unique, and homeschooling allows you to make their education and their milestones perfectly tailored to their individual needs and preferences.