I've been thinking about this a bit, spurred on by the annual rush of feel good graduation stories in the local paper.
What exactly is high school graduation for a homeschooler? The dictionary definition is either completion of a course of study, or the ceremony itself.
For real homeschoolers who aren't slaves to the government curriculum, when are you done? I suspect unschoolers will reject the notion entirely. For the rest of us, why bother drawing a line? Many homeschoolers will have mastered the standard high school curriculum by age 16. Do they graduate then? Or do they graduate at the age they would have if they were in school? They may have a year of college credit by age 17 or 18 - does high school graduation mean anything at that point?
High school graduation for the school kids really is nothing more than the release from mandatory attendance laws. Many of them are barely qualified to work the drive through at Taco Bell. Is this something to be celebrated?
For the motivated kids that did well academically, graduation was never really in doubt. Why the big celebration?
Is it all just a commercial conspiracy propagated by Hallmark and Jostens?
The phrase history of high school graduation brings up exactly 1 link at Google. That number will double when Google indexes this page tomorrow :)
I have a gut feeling that as I continue to read Gatto I'll be able to better answer this.