If you are like most other parents with school age children, you are spending the final days of summer worried about your child’s education this coming year. For many, the possibility of returning to school full time is a dwindling possibility. For others, this was the final push they needed to dive headfirst into homeschool.
One of the most common concerns among parents who are choosing to homeschool, or try their hand at a virtual or hybrid schooling situation is the desire to ensure their children are still able to socialize with friends and classmates.
Enter, homeschool pods.
It’s a fairly simple concept. You choose a group of students at a similar education level to your child and agree to share some of the responsibilities of educating each other’s children. While it may seem easy, there are many variables and challenges in navigating this new phenomenon. We’re here to help you work through some of the basics to creating a successful pod.
Determine The Purpose Of Your Pod
Parents can use quaranteams or pods for many reasons. If you have a group of students who are able to successfully manage schoolwork, you may want to consider starting a social pod. If your child needs more guidance, you may want to focus on finding other parents who can help your child succeed. Finding the right fit and outlining the goals of the group in advance is a key to success.
Determine Your Quarantine Guidelines
Every family has a different situation and is approaching social distancing a little differently. Making those decisions for your own family is challenging. And making those decisions when it includes others only adds to the dilemma. Some families include high risk individuals who must be more cautious, while others include first-responders or essential workers who do not always have the luxury of avoiding risks. However your family is handling the quarantine, be sure to be honest and upfront with your potential ‘pod mates’ and lay down some ground rules to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Create A Schedule And Choose A Location.
Once you have your team in pace, figure out a schedule. For some groups you may be together daily, for others it may just be weekly. Putting a schedule in place will help parents who are also trying to navigate a return to work or other responsibilities.
Pods are usually hosted by the parents involved. While outdoor settings are ideal for safety reasons, they may not always be practical.Think through the reality of day to day life. If one family has two parents working from home, their house may not be the best option for a group of excited kids. The schedule and location needs to practical and feasible, but not necessarily split evenly between the group.
Enlist Outside Help
The conversation around homeschool pods has led to much discussion about hiring outside help and the feasibility of that for many parents. Hiring a full-time teacher or tutor can be expensive and out of reach for many families . If you have more independent children, or more involved parents, you may consider a less expensive option of outside help. Enrichment providers like Snapology offer small private classes for homeschool pods or quaranteams. The great thing about their programs in particular is that they offer academic enrichment, social development and fun in every class. They can also do so at an affordable price and the company has tons of locations all over the US & Canada.
This school year is a little scary for everyone. Don’t get stuck trying to make things perfect or make them feel like normal. We are all going to be navigating this together. We will all make mistakes, we will all have successes. Let’s just commit to supporting one another as we try our best to build a better future for our children.