2019 CHEM GRADUATION ~ 25th Year

Specifications for Our Commencement Exercises 

Graduation Particulars ~

CHEM graduations focus on God, the parents, and the graduates.   The graduation ceremony is very Christian in nature and is held in a local church for that reason.  The graduates wear caps & gowns, and a commencement speaker gives encouragement to graduates and guests.  Parents give their graduate a public blessing before presenting them with their diploma.  After the ceremony, there is a reception and a time of fellowship with family and friends.  

Vision & Purpose for Graduations ~

The purpose of coming together for these graduation ceremonies is for thanksgiving and celebration!  It is a time to publicly thank the Lord for the privilege He has granted us to home educate our children and to thank Him for the mercy and grace He has poured out on us to accomplish this incredible task.  It is a time to honor our children for the sacrifices they have made to take a different path in pursuing their education and applaud them for their dedication in reaching this goal.  It is a time for parents to confirm and bless their children as they take their next step into adulthood.  It is a time of honoring the parents and celebrating the fruits of their labor.  It is a time for the graduates to honor and thank their parents for their unselfish sacrifice on their behalf.  It is a time of encouragement to the home school community as they share in the hope and joy of this special occasion.  It is a time of ministry to our families and friends as we give testimony of the saving grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is a time of great rejoicing!  (This Vision & Purpose is always included in the printed program handed out to family and guests at the ceremony.)

Why Participate in a Graduation Ceremony ~

Graduation truly brings a completion to your child’s education.  It’s a time to show your child that their home education is complete and you believe that as young men/women they are ready to be sent out.  As home school parents, we often feel that we just haven’t quite finished, as there’s always another book to read, project to do or something.  Graduation brings our homeschooling to an end.  It serves a purpose of stating to family, friends, and the community at large that this young person has completed the course of study prescribed by his/her parents.  Just as a traditional school has a ceremony publicly stating that a group of students has completed their requirements for graduation, so you as a homeschool parent can make a public statement, by publicly acknowledging that your student has completed the course.  A difference is that “a group” doesn’t recognize or authorize your child’s completion, but you, the parents, exercising your God-given authority, announce your own child’s accomplishment publicly

CHEM's Leadership

In years past Christian Home Educators of Michigan was active in hosting annual homeschool conventions, Creation Science seminars, new and used curriculum fairs, and homeschool graduation ceremonies. Many of the board members individually helped in the fight for the homeschooling freedoms we enjoy in the state of Michigan today. But, due to a variety of reasons, the board members stopped being actively involved in 2001 and the hosting of various events no longer takes place, except for graduation ceremonies. Since then CHEM exists solely to host annual graduation ceremonies. In 2007 the CHEM board ceased its oversight completely and CHEM was simply a graduation committee. The graduation co-committee chairmen, along with the help of others who volunteer, handled the graduation details each year, much like one would do for a wedding, with a rehearsal, ceremony, and a reception, while continuing to maintain the original vision the prior board members (and their wives) set for these Christian graduation ceremonies.

Beginning in the fall of 2017, CHEM welcomed new leadership with Maribeth Schmidt as the Director.

Who Can Participate in the CHEM Westside Graduation ~

CHEM hosts a yearly graduation ceremony so homeschoolers can celebrate together and bring glory to God in the process.   Families do not have to volunteer to help the previous year in order to take part in our ceremony.  CHEM does not certify, issue, or approve graduation diplomas as the graduates do not graduate from CHEM, only with CHEM.  Diplomas are awarded by the parents to their own graduate based upon completion of the graduation requirements and standards they have established for the home education of their own child.  

Eligibility requirements for participating in the CHEM Graduation Exercises:
1.    As a service to the homeschool community, CHEM hosts a "Christian" graduation ceremony for homeschooling families who:
a.   have a child who has completed the parents' graduation requirements.
b.   homeschooled that child.  To be "homeschooled", the majority of the student's education must be privately funded and provided at home rather than in a classroom setting.  Students whose education is home-based but provided by a publicly funded school would not be consider "homeschooled" for the purposes of participation in CHEM Graduations.
c.   live on the Westside of Metro-Detroit.  Available spots will be provided to Westside homeschooling families first.  Any family not living on the Westside of Metro-Detroit and wishing to participate in our Westside Ceremony will be put on a Non-Westside waiting list.  In addition, a Westside waiting list will also be maintained if we reach 25 potential Westside graduates who've expressed interest in participation.   The "Westside-only" registration ends 12/31/2019.  Westside, Eastside, and others outside the metro-Detroit area may begin registering 1/1/2019, provided space is still available.  Note: preference will be given to families who have participated with us in past years.
d.   are accepting of our format.  Participating families need to have read and be accepting of our format as stated in this document, "Ceremony Specifications" and this year's 
CHEM 2019 Graduation Information and Guidelines PDF.

2.    The total number of graduates that can participate in our ceremony each year is limited:
a.   first, by the seating capacity of the church facility we are able to secure, and
b.   secondly, to a maximum of 30 graduates, due to the length of time a larger ceremony would mandate.

3.     We realize there may be unique circumstances regarding participation, thus CHEM reserves the right to determine, on an individual basis, which families can and cannot participate in our CHEM Westside graduation ceremony each year.

Location for the Graduation Ceremony ~

The Lord has provided us with Ward Evangelical Presbyterian Church in which to hold our ceremony.  Located at 40000 Six Mile Road in Northville, it is a beautiful facility with lots of seating in the sanctuary and a spacious room to hold the reception in!  We are blessed that Ward Church has warmly welcomed CHEM Graduation this year and we express our gratitude to the Lord for Ward's generosity.

Date of Graduation ~

Saturday, June1st, 2019 is the date for the 2019 graduation!  The ceremony is scheduled to start at 2:00pm and is followed by a cake, cookie and punch reception. 

Date of Rehearsal ~

In order to participate in the ceremony the graduate and both parents are required to attend a mandatory rehearsal to ensure that the ceremony will run as smoothly as possible.  This year’s rehearsal will be held at Ward Church on Friday, May 31st, 2019 from 7:00 to 9:30 pm.


Our Website, CHEMgraduation.org ~

All of our communication is through our website and email to our participating families.  Throughout the year be sure to look for emails that have CHEM and/or GRADUATION in the subject line as these will contain information about accessing the CHEM website as well as other information pertinent to graduation.

Maribeth Schmidt will be emailing you from this email address: chemgraduation@gmail.com


History of CHEM Graduation Ceremonies ~

The first CHEM graduation was in 1994 with 11 graduates.  At that time there were no caps and gowns and the planning was done late in the year. But newly elected U.S. House Representative Joe Knollenberg came to address the graduates.  In 1995, there were 12 graduates who wore royal blue gowns.  In 1996 the graduates themselves chose the colors of white, gold, and purple, which represent God’s Holiness, God’s Honor, and God’s Royalty.  They also chose verses corresponding with each.  After a steady growth, the number of graduates suddenly took a giant leap from 38 in 1998 to 58 in 1999.  This resulted in various changes being made to accommodate a larger number of graduates in the ceremony and many more guests at the reception.  In 2003, we had a special 10-year celebration ceremony, asking past CHEM graduates to join in “Commemorating a Decade of Educational Excellence, Faithfulness, and Commitment”.  By 2004, with over 50 graduates in each of the 5 preceding years, and anticipating even more, the graduation split into two separate ceremonies – an Eastside and a Westside one.  The Westside Ceremony had only 16 graduates that year–nice and personal again–but, with a jump to 37 grads the very next year, a 40 graduate maximum was instituted in 2006, to insure that the ceremony stayed personal (current maximum is 30 graduates).  Other changes over the years include: from black and white copied programs to purple-ink printed ones in 2000; then, in 2004, the jump to color printed programs.  In 2008, a DVD music/picture presentation was added to the ceremony, featuring the graduates’ senior and baby pictures–a very special moment of reflection for parents and guests.  In 2010, a homeschool band provided the music during the ceremony.  Also, in 2010, a power point presentation was created for word projection thus adding a nice visual during the ceremony while reciting and singing.  In 2011, CHEM created a new website, CHEMgraduation.org, for easy accessing of all the graduation information in one spot. In 2017 CHEM Eastside closed.

Over the years, the ceremonies were held at various locations with a variety of commencement speakers (some political, some religious, some from the homeschool community, some CHEM graduates) and has endured changes, but one item has remained constant throughout the years–the parents presenting the diplomas to their children and taking the opportunity to give a public blessing to their graduates. This result has been a wonderful time of honor and blessing for graduates and parents as well as friends and family alike.