Parents all over the U.S. are talking about pods. As parents deal with health concerns about reopening schools or seek to supplement their child’s distance or hybrid learning plans, many families have decided to pursue alternatives. Some have banded together with other families to form “pods.” These informal groups share resources, learning plans, and, often, tutors and teachers. But these in-person meetups may pose increased health risk to pod participants and their families.
A safe alternative is the digital learning pod. In this model, families still plan and interact together. However, in place of in-person activities, the kids’ learning takes place online in live, video-chat classes.
It’s not too late to create a digital learning pod. Here are 4 tips to help you get started.
- Form your pod. Gather 4-10 learners who share interests and/or skills. It helps if learners have similar academic abilities, too. Not every member of the pod needs to be best friends already. As kids learn together, they get the added benefit of socializing and building friendships.
- Assess your needs. Consider each family’s learning goals, and talk about the resources you have to work with. What curriculum might you have from your school? What subjects or enrichment are most important?
- Pick a schedule. Agree on the days of the week, times of the day, and dates when your pod will take classes. Also decide on how many classes you’d like to take per day and week.
- Discuss your budget. As families plan group child care and other solutions, it can be challenging to keep kids engaged and learning at a reasonable cost. Small-group classes can be more affordable than hiring a private tutor or in-home teacher. For families in need, consider seeking financial assistance with Outschool.org.
Note from Outschool: Laws about homeschooling vary from state to state. Be sure to learn about and follow all state laws and guidelines, including public health orders, before beginning any program.
Outschool is a marketplace of live online classes for K-12 learners. Outschool connects motivated learners, parents, and teachers to create great learning experiences.