It’s been about six months since quarantine happened and with school being in session online for two to three months, there are still a lot of concerns about whether or not simply being on Zoom is enough for younger children.
Is my child actually learning and retaining all the information that is being taught to them?
Is being at home a distraction for them?
Is it safe enough for children to physically go back to their school?
A solution that many parents have found to ensure that their kids get better learning is being a part of a Learning Pod. It’s a small group of five to six children together in one physical setting. The learning pod gives the idea of them being in a “physical” learning environment that is safe and follows all social distancing requirements.
JMG Sportwise’s Safety Protocols are based on CDC guidelines and any other precautions the parents in the pod wish to incorporate.
- Temperature checks are always taken once they arrive.
- Classes take place outdoors when at all possible.
- Social distancing at 6’ apart is enforced and kids have fun playing games that don’t require them to be close together.
- Face masks are worn at all times and extras are provided if something were to happen to the mask that the child originally came in with.
- Kids will only bring and handle items/equipment that are their own. Any toy or item that ends up being shared is immediately disinfected right after being used by staff.
- Hand washing is always required and hand sanitizer is available.
As one of the teachers working in a learning pod, I do believe that this option is really helpful for younger children and their online classes if one can afford it. The kids and parents find it helpful that there is someone that can be an extra eye/helping hand when it comes to their schooling. I’ve helped the kids with homework and answer any questions they have if they can’t reach their teacher while in their breakout rooms. The kids are engaged and have a lot of fun because their friends are physically with them. They learn and play together.
My kids have input on how they’d like to spend their time after school. In our pod, Fridays are our fun days. If it’s too hot outside, they plan water days as a way to destress from school. Sometimes they all decide to dress in certain attire because it was brought up in the middle of a conversation during their lunch break or while playing games. One time the kids had an animal day where they brought their favorite stuffed animals and dressed like them. It was nice getting to see them take charge of their environment as it helps them become more independent and confident in their learning.
Overall, learning pods are great and an amazing option to consider to help children with their online schooling. Things aren’t completely “normal”, but at least with these in-person pods, the children can be with others their own age. They play and socialize and sometimes help each other during school. The staff overlooks and ensures that their children are focused and really comprehend what they’re learning online as well as exercise with them during breaks. We also run Sports Pods that meet once a week after school to get the kids exercising!
We know times are tough and financially it may not be feasible. In order to help families in need JMG has been working closely with parents to create pods that are affordable and still cover them liability-wise as most pods are held at someone’s home. We are also raising money through gofundme to hold a free learning/sports pod for families in need!
If you are fortunate enough to already be in a pod and wish to help other families that are struggling right now please visit and donate to https://www.gofundme.com/f/free-educational-pod-for-families-in-need
By Lauren Alvar
Post Graduate and JMG Coach, Degree in Early Childhood Development