‘Pandemic pods’ popping up as the new and safe way to learn

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Posted at 9:41 PM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 12:03:38-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - When it comes to virtual learning and keeping kids engaged and safe, some parents are turning to alternatives. A new concept called a learning pod is becoming more popular.

Learning pods, also called “pandemic pods,” are what families, including the family of Sarah Turgeon of Virginia Beach, are turning to as their kids start a new school year virtually.

“He will be in a small learning pod,” Turgeon said. “It certainly is a peace of mind for me.”

A learning pod is essentially a small group of neighborhood kids learning together.

Turgeon’s son, Henry, will be starting kindergarten next week. She said the pod will ensure he has enough social interaction with other kids as he learns remotely.

“He’s been kind of by himself since March,” she said. “He’s inquisitive and sweet and bright and busy, and being with him all summer, I can see how much he needs interaction besides me and his dad.”

The way the pod will work is about four kids from the neighborhood will be tutored at the home of retired teacher Susan Anderson. She is keeping the group small to keep COVID-19 out of the classroom.

Julie Kelley is a working mom of two kids who will be in the same learning pod as Henry.

“I am so grateful to have Susan provide a safe option to have a closed pod, to be able to provide the comfort of a home to my children while they’re learning remotely,” said Kelley.

Turgeon, who’s an elementary school teacher, said this option allows her to focus on educating her students while also keeping Henry on track academically.

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“I knew I needed to find something that had a little wiggle room for him to play and to not just have me and dad tell him what to do all day,” she laughed.

With the uncertainty still surrounding schools, we could see more pandemic pods popping up.

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