This round-up of pandemic pod learning solutions is sponsored by Treebath Outdoor Learning Pods.
What Are Pandemic Pods For Homeschooling or Distance Learning?
Since East Bay and California schools are in the middle of distance learning, parents are scrambling to round out their children’s academic and social lives. The emerging trend of pandemic pods as a support system may help participating families meet their needs to provide children access to in-person learning or play while minimizing the level of contact with others that school would have introduced.
These incompatible needs are driving many parents of the youngest grade-schoolers towards self-organized pods. Here are some local resources that will help.
Profile: Treebath Explorers
One possible solution to the outdoor learning pod challenge is to join Treebath Explorers, an entirely outdoors, drop-off nature enrichment program for kids ages Pre-K to second grade. Children reap the health benefits of nature and social-emotional connection while having fun together in local parks. Classes follow a Scandinavian, nature-forward curriculum and are limited to five students per pod.
Age/Grade: 9:30-11:30 am: Ages 3.5 – 6 years | 3-5 pm: Ages 5-8 years.
Locations: Joaquin Miller (Oakland), Glendale La Loma (Berkeley), and Golden Gate Park (San Francisco)
Dates: Session One is October 5 – 30th, 5 days a week
Price: 4 weeks cost $1200 for morning or afternoon sessions per child
Finding a Pandemic Pod Leader
If you’re already in touch with a skilled teacher or other trusted pandemic pod leader, you’re well on your way to creating the learning community that fits your needs. If not, here are a few organizations that apply their own vetting criteria to choosing a suitable caregiver:
Galileo at Home
For pods of 2-8 children in grades K to 5, Galileo staffers will serve up fun, enriching activities that boost kids’ innovation and confidence with optional homework help. Based on a pod leader relationship of 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, for 4 weeks in a row. Three hours can be anytime between 9 am and 6 pm. Priced at $1100 per week per pod.
Inspire Behavioral Learning Pods & Extracurriculars
Tutors for small groups are available for grades Pre-K to 5th grade for pod learning, schoolwork help, outdoor play supervision, executive function coaching, and behavioral support. Pricing is based on multiple criteria. Free 30-minute consultation to figure out if this approach might be a fit for you.
KidzToPros Home Learning Pods
Specializing in customizable pods with outstanding teachers, friendly students, and great learning outcomes, KidzToPros offers special services for distance learning pods (follows your school’s curriculum), micro-school pods (new, innovative curriculum), enrichment pods (after school recreation at home), and park pods (after school recreation at the park) for grades K to 5. Pricing is per hour based on 3 or 5 days of care.
PodSkool, Matching Service
Designed for parents with children 3 months to 3 years. Find a teacher for your pod or use this site to figure out legal and insurance paperwork. Pay your teacher $8 to $22 per hour based on agreed-upon criteria.
Scoot Education at Home
Children, grades K to 12, remain enrolled in their school’s virtual classroom and participate in a home learning pod with a Scoot teacher that provides help with lessons and maintains social-emotional relationships with peers. Pricing is per pod per day: $349/day for K to 6th grade; $399/day for 7th to 12th grade.
Steve & Kate Counselors at Home
For grades K to 7, a vetted Steve & Kate counselor can supervise up to four kids. Counselors can support distance learning and bring a bag of supplies to lead play-based learning for the balance of the day. Snacks and lunch available for an additional charge. Pay for the days you need $320/day for a full-day or $200 per half-day (per pod).
Swing Education, Bubbles
For grades K to 12, Bubbles by Swing Education will match you with a screened educator for your home education bubble group. Learning pods can be up to 8 children. They also offer in-person after-school enrichment. Pricing starts at $690/week for pods of 3+ and $38/hour for mini pods of fewer students.
For grades PK-2nd, Treebath Explorers class curriculum combines forest therapy with playful elements of the Swedish Outdoor Association’s sixty-year-old children’s program. Children discover the wonders of nature, learn about plants and animals, and develop a life-long respect for the world. Priced at $300/week for a four-week session (5 days of two-hour classes). Classes are offered at three Bay Area locations.
The Domus Academy Home-based Education
The Domus Academy pairs your home learning pod with a highly trained scholar, preceptor, who provides a personalized, home-based learning curriculum for grades Pk to 12 at your location. Each of these preceptors holds a graduate degree and can work with either three children in different age groups or 6-8 children within a two-grade age band (for example six 1st and 2nd graders). Pricing depends on many variables.
Treebath Explorers learning communities are offered at Joaquin Miller (Oakland), Glendale La Loma (Berkeley), and Golden Gate Park (San Francisco). It was founded by parents who had noticed the overwhelmingly positive impact being outdoors had on their children’s mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.