Parents pool resources, form education pods

Concerned about sending her daughter back to school this fall during the pandemic and about the isolation her daughter would have to endure while studying online at home, Natalie Baber decided to explore other schooling options.

“When it became clear that going back to school was not going to be an option for us, that is when I hit the drawing board,” Baber said.

Her fifth-grade daughter is enrolled in the Little Rock School District and opted for virtual-only instruction this semester.

Baber said she came up with the idea of getting a few of her daughter’s friends together to study their virtual curriculum under the supervision of a parent or grandparent during the school week. They would meet in one of their homes, or, some days, in space rented from a nearby church.

This would enable the children to have much needed social interaction as well as support for

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New Surge in Interest by Parents to Form Learning Pods

When four, first-grade girls got together this week to learn away from school, it was pure joy. Their parents had joined forces to form a learning pod, with some considering “podding” for some time, while others were frustrated with repeated delays in in-person learning at the city’s public schools. 

“I felt they were really happy to be together,” said Naomi Lev, one of the pod’s parents. 

What You Need To Know

  • Renewed interest in learning pods where parents bring children into a home to simulate in-person learning led by a caregiver or tutor
  • Learning pods have no official guidelines, tutors call it the “unchartered waters” of education
  • Some school are offering “podding” tips to help reduce COVID-19 infection pathways and promote equity in the school system
  • The second delay in in-person learning pushed some to finally consider forming a pod

“I think a sense of community is super, super important

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