Since 1984, CHEA has been hosting an annual homeschool convention that features workshops for homeschoolers at all stages, an exhibit hall with curriculum, resources, and services, children's and teen conventions, high school graduation, and much more. Join other homeschool families from across the state as you are encouraged and equipped for the school year ahead. This is an event you don't want to miss!
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Graduation Ceremony

We are excited to host our Graduation Ceremony at the 2023 Annual Homeschool Convention on Friday, July 14 at 7:15 p.m. Homeschooled students have the opportunity to participate in a traditional graduation ceremony – with all the pomp and circumstance – as family and friends celebrate your big accomplishment.

Graduation Registration closes Monday, June 12, 2023.


High School Graduation

Friday, July 14, 2023

7:15 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

Calvary Chapel Downey

12808 Woodruff Ave.

Downey, California 90242



If your question is not answered below, please email [email protected].

1. Who can participate?

All privately homeschooled graduating seniors are invited to participate. CHEA has always supported the right of parents to have 100% authority and responsibility over their children’s education. Thus, we leave the decision on readiness for high school graduation in the parents’ hands. CHEA’s graduation ceremony is just that; a ceremony. It is not an endorsement or approval of any school or student. We are simply joining with families to provide a formal graduation event to celebrate an achievement that parents believe a student has reached. If you are graduating or have a student who is graduating this year, then you are invited to join us.

2. Do graduates’ families have to be CHEA members to participate?

No, the graduation is open to all privately homeschooled graduating seniors whether they are CHEA Members or not. However, there is a $20 discount for those who are CHEA Members, and we would certainly love to have you support CHEA through Membership. If you want to join, you can do so at the same time that you register for graduation.

3. What is required to participate?

A parent’s consent is required as they are the ones who are conferring this honor. Participants will need to complete Graduation registration, which includes the registration fee, no later than June 12, 2023.

4. What if a graduate does not live in California?

We don’t require residency in any particular state in order to participate. Whether a graduate has met his/her state’s requirements for graduation is an issue parents are responsible to determine.

5. When and where is the graduation?

Friday, July 14, 2023

7:15 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

(Graduates must arrive no later than 5:00 p.m. for sign-in and rehearsal.)

Calvary Chapel Downey

12808 Woodruff Ave.

Downey, California 90242

6. How much does it cost?

Cost for the ceremony is $175 per graduating student. CHEA Members receive a discounted rate of $155 per student.

7. What’s included in the cost?

Event costs, such as the venue, formal ceremony, commencement speaker, program, photo montage, and cap, gown, tassel, and diploma cover, are all included in the registration fee.

8. Can you tell me more about the cap and gown?

Caps and gowns are a dark blue for all graduates. The length of the gown falls between the knee and the ankle. Graduates will receive their cap and gown at the rehearsal prior to the ceremony. The cap and gown may be kept by graduates after the ceremony.

9. May families supply their own cap and gown?

Our desire is to provide a beautiful and formal event. We strive to keep costs as reasonable as possible, and to keep the event manageable as well. Toward this end, graduates must use the cap and gown provided.

10. What should I wear under my gown?

Ladies usually wear a dress under their gowns, but nice pants and a blouse are also acceptable. Men should wear a dress shirt, tie, and nice slacks. Please no jeans or shorts or flip-flops.

11. What about the tassel?

The tassel has a 2023 emblem and makes a nice keepsake.  

12. Will Honor Cords or similar award designations be available?

While CHEA does not bestow honor cords, graduates are allowed to wear these as well as any other honor recognition they would like. While we will not be verbally recognizing these accomplishments, you may provide this information for your graduate’s page in the program. Graduates may also wear leis, corsages, or sashes (i.e., if a student earned a sash in karate and wanted to wear it, this would be allowed). Since this is a formal occasion, we do ask that the caps not be decorated.

13. What about a diploma?

Since CHEA is not a school, we do not issue diplomas. We will be presenting congratulatory certificates in a diploma cover that parents can then create an official diploma for their own school (or get from their PSP) to put in the provided cover.

14. What is included in the program?

A graduation program will include the full name, photo of, favorite/life Bible verse, and information about each student. Participants will provide one portrait photo in high quality digital jpg format. Details for how and where to send photos will be sent to all graduation participants after they register. Each student will be able to write a 100 – 150 word essay (include any or all of the following: thanks to parents, your experiences homeschooling, your next steps, etc.) as well as their favorite Bible verse (include Bible version). We will also provide questions for the graduate to answer that will be used in preparing the personal page in the program. All information must be completed and submitted no later than June 16, 2023.

15. Will there be a photo montage slideshow?

Yes. Each student will provide four photos for inclusion in the slideshow:

  • A recent head-and-shoulders portrait of the student
  • Hobby photo – a picture of the student doing something they love (i.e. dance, sports, music, robotics, scouts, etc.)
  • Baby photo – younger than two years old; please no naked baby photos
  • Family photo – student with family

When selecting photos, please make sure all subjects are modestly clothed, i.e., no swimwear or shirtless males. Please make sure photos are at least 300 DPI. All photos must be submitted no later than June 16, 2023.

16. How many guests may graduates invite?

Each graduate is entitled to 15 tickets, by request. On the registration form, families will tell us how many tickets are needed. If graduates need more than 15 tickets, we will try our best to accommodate the request, but this will depend on the total number of tickets requested by all participants. Requests for more than 15 tickets will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, based upon the date we receive registration. All tickets will be available to be picked up when the graduate checks in on Friday at 5:00 p.m. Please note that the event will be open to all CHEA Convention attendees, but priority seating will be available to guests with tickets.

17. Do parents and graduates need tickets?

Graduating seniors do not need tickets; however, parents and other guests do. Again, if 15 tickets will not be enough for a graduate’s family and friends who would like to celebrate with them by attending the ceremony, register early and request the number of tickets that you need. All tickets will be available to be picked up when the graduate checks in on Friday at 5:00 p.m.

18. Is there a dress code for parents or guests?

This is a formal ceremony and parents will be on stage to confer the certificate. We ask they abide by these suggested dress code guidelines:

  • Ladies should wear a dress or nice pants and a blouse.
  • Men should wear a dress shirt, tie, and nice slacks.
  • Please, no jeans, shorts, or flip-flops.
19. What will guests do during graduation rehearsal?

Graduation guests are welcome to browse in the Exhibit Hall at CHEA’s Annual Homeschool Convention on Friday. The church cafe will be open, and food trucks will also be available.

20. Will guests be able to attend CHEA’s Annual Homeschool Convention?

While the convention is taking place at the same time, graduation is a separate event. Other than the opportunity to browse in the Exhibit Hall, a separate registration will be required to attend any other part of the convention.

21. Can graduates check in earlier than 5:00 p.m. for the graduation?

No. Check-in begins at 5:00 p.m., and no one will be available to check participants in until then.

22. What is the schedule of the day for graduates?
5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Check-in for all graduates
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Mandatory rehearsal for all graduates and their parents
6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Graduation seating open to all guests who have tickets
7:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Seating open to all Convention attendees
7:00 p.m. Line-up of graduates for processional
7:15 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. Graduation Ceremony
23. Will there be graduation announcements?

Graduation announcements are a nice way to let friends and relatives share in the graduate’s special accomplishment. However, we have found that it is more cost-effective for students to order their own announcement cards. There are numerous websites available from which families can order announcements, or they can design their own.

24. Are there good places nearby for a celebration dinner after the ceremony?

There are many great restaurants in Downey, but they can be crowded on Friday night. We suggest that if graduates plan to have dinner with guests after the ceremony, reservations be made in advance. A list of nearby restaurants is available here.

We are looking forward to meeting you. Please let us know if you have any questions. You can reach our Graduation Coordinator at [email protected].