So you’ve decided you’re going to build your own learning pod. You’ve created your group of students and families that are going to participate, and you’re ready to get started. This is an exciting situation, and one that will not only help your child succeed but also help give you peace of mind that you’re providing support for them.
However, choosing the right location for your learning pod is just as important as any other step. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of pros and cons of holding learning pods in different locations.
At Your House
Pros: In your own home, you know where everything is, and how to help children that may be studying there. You can also keep a better eye on your own child, and ensure they are benefitting from the pod as they should be.
Cons: Do you work? Is your work from home, or do you go to an office? The answer to these questions might mean that you do not have the ability to even offer your own house as a location for the learning pod. Even if you work from home, over half of working parents say they feel guilty because they can’t take full care of their children. Hosting the learning pod at your house might add to the stress of your work day.
At Another Family’s House
Pros: The burden will not be on you personally to manage the group which may be necessary if you and/or your spouse leads a busy professional life. A recent analysis of federal census data found that a third of unemployed mothers were not working because of the closure of schools. If this sounds like your situation, having the learning pod be at another family’s house may mean less stress for you and your family.
Cons: Whoever’s house the pod group ends up at must have precautions and plans in place to ensure safety. For example, parents must develop an evacuation plan as well as a COVID-19 health and safety plan. This may not seem like a con, but if you are unsure if the other family has these safety measures in place, it’s best to get in touch.
At Your Workplace
Pros: Some employers offer child-care support, and might be able to offer crucial aid for the learning pods. If you’re instead working from home, the situation might be similar to that of hosting the pod at your own home. They can learn while you work, and you can periodically check in with them.
Cons: 43% of working parents reported feeling guilty when not focusing enough on their work responsibilities, which could easily happen if the pod was at your workplace. Whether your current workplace is at an actual office or at home, trying to juggle multiple responsibilities may cause unneeded stress.
Pros: The chance of COVID-19 exposure is lower if you are outside, which makes this a safe option for learning pods. Learning outside can also be more fun for students, rather than being cooped up indoors. It can give the facilitator a chance to include physical activity into the learning day, which has been proven to improve academic performance.
Cons: Learning outside can be distracting for students, especially younger children or students with learning differences. Also, learning outside may be impossible for some areas of the country, as the weather continues to get colder.
Some families might find that rotating locations works best for the learning pod, as it can ease the burden of if one family handled it all. However you and your pod group decide to organize, the location of the pod can be a factor in how successful it is. The point of a learning pod is to help your child succeed in an otherwise uncertain school year, so it shouldn’t become an unnecessary burden for your family. We hope that by looking at the pros and cons of some possible pod locations, you can decide what makes the most sense for your family and group.