As public schools gear up to reopen in September, many parents are raising concerns about the associated risks. COVID-19 is still a threat, and sending the kids back to school might put them in danger. As a response, parents are organizing pandemic pods, also known as homeschool pods, and many are enlisting the help of tutoring services.
How Do Homeschool Pods Work?
Homeschool pods are designed to provide kids with safe and effective education during the pandemic. Parents group their children with others of similar age, and they attend private lessons at a decided location. This could be at a parent’s house or a rented commercial space.
Keeping kids in a familiar group can help build the strong relationships naturally formed in public school. It’s also a great way to make sure no one accidentally comes in contact with COVID-19.
Lessons can be taught by parents, but some pandemic pods are choosing to employ teachers and tutoring professionals. As part of Tutoring…With a Twist*’s homeschool tutoring program, our twisted tutors are excited to work with homeschool pods.
Benefits of Homeschool Pods
New innovations in education always have exciting features, and homeschool pods are no different. Every homeschool pod is unique, and each parent can bring something special to the table.
Safe, Engaging Education
Social distancing is important for stopping the spread of COVID-19, but remote learning can be tough. Homeschool pods are the perfect solution to both issues. Kids can stay safe and reduce the likelihood of infection with smaller classes outside of public schools.
As long as students maintain social distancing beyond their homeschool pods, everyone can stay safe while receiving top-tier education.
Homeschool Pods Give Parents Control Over the Curriculum
In public school, the concepts taught to students vary between teachers, especially in younger grades. Homeschool pods allow parents to shape the curriculum as they see fit.
Parents teaching their own homeschool pods might choose to spend more time on a particular subject the students are enjoying. They can also use different techniques and materials that might not be as common in public school.
Homeschool pods taught by teachers and tutors can also have a customizable curriculum. With smaller class sizes, it’s easier to personalize the lessons according to the group’s needs and wants. This makes for a more intimate learning experience.
At Tutoring…With a Twist*, our twisted tutors are happy to teach homeschool pods in fun and exciting ways. Tutoring doesn’t have to be one-on-one—our tutors are teachers too! Tutoring…With a Twist* is happy to teach with the four VARK learning styles, as well as accommodate special education students.
Our twisted tutoring professionals love working with parents to do what’s best for the kids. If you’d like to learn more about what the twist can do for you, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re thrilled to get involved with your homeschool pods!
Homeschool Pods Allow Parents to Shine
Since parents have more influence over the curriculum in pandemic pods, they can bring their profession to the classroom. Each parent has a unique skillset beyond a public school’s capabilities, and they can teach these to the kids.
Carpenters can demonstrate the basics of woodworking to make a project such as a birdhouse. Web designers can teach the fundamentals of computer programming. Visual artists can give a lesson on drawing, painting, or any other art the kids will love. Get creative, and make learning fun!
Questions and Concerns Regarding Pandemic Pods
Well-organized pandemic pods are a great alternative to public school, but there are some things to consider before committing.
Homeschooling is a Lot of Work
To all the parents homeschooling their kids without help—you’re amazing! It’s not easy trying to juggle working a job, being a parent, AND being a teacher. This is especially true for parents planning to teach an entire homeschool pod.
BBC News points out the difficulties of trying to homeschool, advocating for the services of an educator. One interviewee, a mother of three, mentioned, “I’m not an educator. I was trying to support each of my three children in their schoolwork each day, trying to work out what they should be doing, trying to work out if they were doing it right, while fielding calls and taking meetings. It was so stressful.”
Parents without extra time on their hands might struggle to operate effective pandemic pods alone. If your schedule is tight, you’ll want some hired help.
Homeschool Pods Can Be Expensive – Tutoring Doesn’t Have to Be!
Many of the parents organizing homeschool pods are looking to hire teachers to facilitate classes. Hiring a teacher isn’t cheap, so parents can expect high rates.
A cheaper option with exactly the same effectiveness is hiring a tutoring professional. Tutoring…With a Twist* offers discounted rates for learning groups, so your pandemic pod can save money.
In an interview with CTV News, educational strategist Dwayne Matthews noted that homeschool pods can cost between $500 and $1000 per student each month. According to the New York Times, some homeschool pods in the United States can cost upwards of $2500 (USD) per student each month. As homeschool pods grow in popularity, we can only expect to see the cost to rise.
Quality education is worth the money, but it isn’t feasible for all families. Hiring one of our twisted tutors is a great way to get the same quality for less. If you’d like more information, we encourage you to learn all about the twist and see what it can do for you!
Risk of Infection in Pandemic Pods
While pandemic pods have a lower risk of infection than school classrooms, parents need to be careful. It’s important to limit the number of interactions that take place outside of the pod group to prevent COVID-19 exposure.
When interviewed by Global News, epidemiologist Colin Furness stressed the importance of closely monitoring group interactions. He raised questions, saying, “For the 18 hours per day that children aren’t in school, what is the effective bubble? Are parents being careful? Are kids playing with others outside the bubble? How many people are coming to the house/apartment?”
These are all key points parents need to factor in when considering pandemic pods. As long as parents remain vigilant, pandemic pods can be a safe and effective way to keep kids educated.
High School Students Need Credits
While most pandemic pods are focusing on younger students, high school students can participate as well. But, there’s a catch: high school students might not be eligible for graduation credits.
In BC, traditional homeschooling doesn’t award students with graduation credits. This is because the curriculum is unregulated and not necessarily taught by a certified teacher. However, there are ways of getting around this.
Thanks to alternative education, students can sign up for Ministry-approved courses and complete them online. Online school isn’t for everyone, but that’s where pandemic pods come in.
As long as students are signed up for online school, they can use pandemic pods to learn. This creates a healthy school environment and ensures students are getting credits for their work. Our tutoring services extend to high school students as well, and we look forward to working with your child’s pandemic pod!
Tutoring for Homeschool Pods
In an ever-changing education landscape, homeschool pods have the potential to be a source of grounding for families. No matter how you choose to manage your homeschool pods, tutoring can help.
Our tutoring team would love to help make everyone’s pandemic pods educational, exciting, and affordable. If that sounds like exactly what you need, feel free to contact us. You’ll be glad you did!
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*Services provided by With a Twist Education Ltd.