If you have a child in school, you’ve probably heard about learning pods by now.
Learning pods are a new schooling system that were created in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting school closures. Many parents are turning to learning pods to assist in their children’s online education.
A learning pod is a small group of students who’ve been assigned to study and learn together on a regular basis in a shared space. These learning pods function as micro-schools in the sense that a few families choose to teach their children in the same setting each day, with an instructor leading these learning activities.
These pods typically consist of 4-6 learners, who are of similar ages, with similar classes, and learning levels -- and their remote education is supervised by the same teacher or tutor each day.
The reason why many parents are opting for learning pods this school year is so their children get to socialize with kids their own age on a regular basis, while having that extra attention each day from an instructor who is monitoring their classes and school assignments. It’s a great option for working parents.
Learning pods supported by Jill’s Tutors help connect your child to small groups of 4-6+ kids, led by a certified teacher or teacher-in-training to form a socially distanced, co-op learn-at-home experience!
So, what are some of the most common questions about learning pods that we’ve gotten? Check out those questions with our answers below!
Q. How much does it cost?
A. Rates for learning pods vary by the size of the “class” and what the teacher/tutor will accept to take that class on. At Jill’s Tutors, we’ve seen that rate as low as $3.00 - $5.00 per hour, per child!
Q. Is the teacher/tutor taking precautions?
A. At Jill’s Tutors, we like to suggest that families follow the COVID Care model when accepting new learners to their learning pod groups. This model is built on trust, to create a healthier social experience for everyone in the pod.
Care stands for the following:
C – Container: Ask yourself, who is in your current circle? What are the risk factors? Is there anyone you are regularly exposed to 6 feet or less, are there any essential workers in that group?
A – Agreements: What do the people in your “container” need to have in order to feel safe? Are their people in this group who cannot consent (i.e. essential workers)?
R – Risk Tolerance: What is your risk tolerance? Is it 0 (very low, very cautious), somewhere in between, or 5 (very high, not taking precautions)?
E – Etiquette: What measures will be used in your container to reduce the risk of spreading or transmitting infection? Will children wear masks and gloves, and/or socially distance?
Q. Does the teacher provide the curriculum?
A. It all depends on the situation. Some families want to easily integrate back into their schools once they re-open, so they are following the school’s virtual learning program and the teacher or tutor is there to assist with that work. Other groups are opting for full home-school setups, where the teacher determines the curriculum based on state standards.
Q. Do I have to license my learning pod?
A. If you are not careful in the setup of the learning pod, it is possible that your learning pod may be labeled as a “childcare facility.” If that happens, the state may require that you be licensed to operate.
However, in Texas, there are exemptions that parents can apply for. The easiest exemption to apply for is the “parent on premise” exception, which simply requires that a parent (perhaps a parent who is working from home) is in proximity to the learning pod. Regardless, if you are forming a learning pod, we suggest you speak with a lawyer about the liability involved.
Q. How do I find a teacher/tutor?
A. The best way to find a teacher or tutor for your learning pod is by word of mouth, Facebook or LinkedIn teacher groups, or services like ours, Jill’s Tutors, who can help match you with a tutor for your pod.
Q. What do teachers/tutors expect to be paid?
A. Payment varies on the tutor or the teacher’s schedule and their experience. We’ve seen rates for learning pod instructors’ range anywhere from $20/hour to $50/hour, split among the group.
These COVID-19 school closures have impacted every area of our lives, and especially our children’s lives when it comes to their education and their social activities.
Learning pods are an excellent option for busy parents who want to keep their children from falling behind, without breaking the bank.
At Jill’s Tutors, we’ll connect your child to a small group of 4-6+ kids led by a certified teacher or teacher-in-training. Simply give us a call at 512-598-5135, email us at email@example.com, or visit our website jillstutors.com to get started today!