Some schools like to make a big celebration for 8th grade graduation, which is a special milestone in a boy's life. Graduation from 8th grade shows that the boy is ready to become more independent. High school is fast approaching but he still has time to celebrate his accomplishments during summer.
Gift cards are thoughtful because the boy can learn financial responsibility. Buy a gift card for a store that the boy loves. Or get a gift card to the mall so he can buy something from any store at the mall. Personalized gift cards show that you are willing to put forth some extra effort. Some companies permit you to upload a photograph and the boy's name on a debit card gift card that can be used anywhere.
A book is a thoughtful way to show the boy that he should focus on academics. Purchase a book about his favorite topic to give him something to read over the summer. Or buy a book about a subject in school that the boy is really interested in studying. Inspirational books that cover life lessons are appropriate. Other topics of books that you might purchase are public speaking and college.
Some electronics can help the boy focus on his academics in high school. For instance, buy him a nice new laptop computer so he can type his papers on it. Or buy a Livescribe Smartpen, which records audio, if the boy needs help with his note-taking skills. Some electronics are luxury items that can help him celebrate his accomplishments. A Smartphone is a gadget that some boys might enjoy having.
Celebrate the accomplishments of a hardworking 8th grade boy by taking him on vacation. He might be too young to vacation with his friends so you can plan a family vacation to a luxurious location, such as the beach. Or make plans for the boy to have a vacation with his friends to a nearby location, such as a park a few towns over from you. Alternatively, start a savings account for the student to take a vacation after high school to Europe.