Lifestyle continues to reach out to businesspeople all over South Florida to ask questions about the impact COVID-19 has had on their businesses—and what the future holds. Today, we check in with John Edelson (pictured left), founder and president of Fort Lauderdale-based Time4Learning.
Business backstory: Prior to moving to Fort Lauderdale in 1998, John Edelson had spent decades in video game development and technology in Silicon Valley and London. His goals in starting Time4Learning were to revitalize the homeschooling space by using video game development to drive meaningful learning—and to deliver the best education possible to the rapidly growing national trend of homeschoolers.
The impact: “Since mid-March, registration for new homeschoolers has doubled at Time4Learning. Steady growth has continued as the pandemic forces millions of families to explore their K-12 school choices for the 2020-2021 academic year. Homeschooling is now thrust into the mainstream and is no longer a fringe education option. We expect a big burst in August as people have to make their decisions about the fall. As more parents realize the benefits of homeschooling, we expect the growth to continue. Unlike the improvised remote learning that most schools offered, parents are considering the alternative of using a seasoned online homeschooling system since it provides more engaging instruction, activities that build critical thinking among other skills, and provides integrated reports.”
Moving forward: “We pride ourselves on being a company that stays ahead of the curve to consistently offer the most effective, easy-to-use, engaging education for K-12. Historically, we’ve mostly marketed to families that are thinking about homeschooling and taking six months or longer to make a decision. The tidal wave of interest at this time has really forced us to better package the essential information on homeschooling to what people need to know to make an informed decision quickly. One common fact about all parents: They want to do the best they can for their children, but they have limited time for research and usually want to play it safe. The massive inflow of inquiries has forced us to learn to present the Time4Learning homeschooling option in a much clearer way. In doing so, we’ve become more focused on what is most important to the parents and students.”
What he’s learned about himself: “This period has reinforced how important it is for me to be a good listener. Partially, this is for internal management, where we have about 100 staff here in Fort Lauderdale going through all sorts of stress and difficulties while also doing their best for the company. In terms of our broader community, I have had the opportunity to speak with many Time4Learning parents. It’s been inspiring for me to hear how these families have been impacted by our system and the gratitude in parents’ voices. But even as parents say that we are the best system they’ve ever seen, they also make recommendations for future enhancements. These conversations remind me that our educational system has vast room—and need—for improvement. This period has helped me rededicate myself to constantly improving the Time4Learning educational system.”