Reflections on Our First Graduation Celebration
By John Edelson, Founder and President of Time4Learning
After almost two decades of providing online education to homeschoolers, Time4Learning recently stepped into a new space, and hosted our first online graduation celebration for high school seniors.
Historically, we have not held such an event since we are a curriculum provider and not a school. Year-after-year, parents, and not us, award their children with well-deserved diplomas. Many states do not offer the chance for homeschool grads to celebrate in the same way as traditional schools. So, we forged ahead with this special celebration as a way to recognize the achievements of students and their families, especially during these very challenging times.
Wow – what a learning experience it has been for me, and for all of us at Time4Learning!
Our ceremony was simple, yet impactful. I was honored to deliver a brief congratulatory speech to the graduates via a video message. I emphasized how well-prepared they are for the modern world, having already lived the experience of navigating and succeeding on the “road less travelled” of homeschooling. I urged them to be sure to celebrate with their family and with the community of homeschoolers that they’ve been a part of.
Nearly 1,800 people viewed the graduation, with congratulatory messages streaming in from students, families, and friends throughout the celebration. The stream of comments took off and never slowed down throughout the ceremony. It was an outpouring of thoughts and emotion on a scale which we found humbling.
I guess it should not have come as a surprise to me. I’ve walked across a graduation stage three times and I’ve watched each of my three kids do it twice. On each of those occasions, I teared up and felt pride and the poignancy of this life turning point.
In this case, it was particularly emotional for two reasons. One, because of the triumph of finishing their K12 education despite the pandemic. Secondly, the graduation was a moment to think about their decision to homeschool and all the challenges, creativity, opportunity, relationships, and growth that this decision has engendered.
View the virtual graduation below.