As many schools have turned to virtual learning or some in-person classes and some homeschooling, working parents are organizing “learning pods” across the country. The pods, also known as “pandemic pods,” are typically a small group of children who assemble for in-person sessions taught by a tutor. These pods allow parents to keep going to work while also giving the children a means of social interaction outside the home.
How Do Learning Pods Work?
Typically organized by a group of parents, learning pods from home are a way of providing children with a great education outside of the school setting during the coronavirus period. Homeschooling is a huge burden on many working parents who often can’t afford to take off work to stay at home and teach all day. These learning pods solve that issue and also allow the kids to form friendships with the other children. Many children struggle with virtual learning all day and these in-person sessions keep them engaged with learning outside the classroom.
Learning Pods Guidelines
Many parents are worried about the safety of their child at school and the risk of contracting coronavirus. It’s much easier to keep a small group of children in a pod safe, which is the reason microschools are the next big thing. Learning pods usually consist of a small group of under 10 children where classes are often taught outside or in a socially distanced way. The tutors teach the children a standardized curriculum to ensure that they are following homeschooling guidelines.
Cost of Learning Pods
As they are in high demand everywhere, learning pods do come with a higher price point. The costs often decrease as more children are added to the group, but again, there can’t be too many kids because of the risk of spreading the virus. According to The New York Times, the cost per child can be anywhere between $30 and $100 per hour.
How to Find a Learning Pod
Looking for a learning pod for your child? All over the country, companies are springing up to offer learning pods and assist parents in finding the right educational fit for their child. No matter what grade your child is in, you can find a pod near you where they can safely learn with other students. Some popular companies to find pods include Learning Pods, San Francisco-based Outschool, Philadelphia-based Pupil Pod, and We Tutor At Home. As learning pods at home become the new normal, it’s worth doing some research to find the perfect one for your child!
Critiques of Learning Pods
Due to the high price point that many learning pods come with, families without extra resources have the potential to be left out of the loop. This can be devastating for families who don’t have time to homeschool their children all day and also can’t afford to pay for a learning pod. To help with this, some pod learning scholarships are being set up. For example, the Outschool Foundation aims to provide children from low-income families a high quality virtual learning experience along with providing cash support to build in-person learning centers. While we hope that “pandemic pods” won’t last longer than a few months, we don’t know for sure and until things start to get better, children need a safe way to learn and socialize.
If podding is something you’re considering, remember that feeding your pod could be a challenge. You will need to provide healthy lunches and snacks to a host of children, all with different tastes and dietary requirements. Coming up with a menu that suits everyone day after day could be a struggle. A healthy kids’ meal delivery service could be an easy fix!