LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Learning pods are becoming a popular alternative to solo virtual school for kids and going to school in a classroom. It involves small groups of kids learning in one house, and this trend has caught on in Lubbock.
Lindsey Gage is a single, working mother. Her son is about to start first grade. She wants to continue with virtual learning in the fall, but she didn't want him to miss out on studying, and playing among peers.
“There’s this socialization component of education that is so invaluable. There’s also a little bit of peer pressure in those environments and you see someone catching onto a concept and you want to learn it too,” said Gage.
So now, her son will be learning virtually with three other first graders in a learning pod in the living room of a friend’s home.
“I pitched the the idea with another couple that I’m friends with that they were also considering virtual learning for their son going into first grade and so we kind of hatched the plan,” said Gage.
A national Facebook group, “Pandemic Pods” shows that at least 35 thousand other people are thinking about the idea and exchanging ideas online to make it work.
Lindsey says this with this method, they hope to limit exposure to the kids. The kids will be learning virtually with the teacher of their school district, but when it comes time for the kids to do a task the teacher assigned, the four families have hired a tutor and parents will chip in their part a couple hours a week.
“So it was really just born out of need for all working parents,” said Gage.
Linsdey knows tutor will be an extra cost, but hopes for the social and physical health of her child, it will be worth it.
“We’re able to split the costs four ways across four families. It makes it a little bit more manageable.”
Dr. Lampe is a professor of pediatrics and is with Texas Tech Physicians and says it's too early to tell if this is a safer option than being inside a classroom, but he says if you're going to try this out, find people you trust.
“Your neighbors, church groups, social groups,” explained Dr. Lampe. “But for socialization, I think this will prove to be a good experience for children.”
Dr. Lampe encourages people to look at the Covid-19 numbers in your city and look at the age of the child.
"Kids fortunately don't get as serious diseases . And while they can catch it, under the age of 10 years, they don't appear to transmit it as easily to adults and even to children. The degree of how much… we think it's less right now but that is subject to change"
For Lindsey,, she says she's just trying to make the right decision for her particular family.
“It takes a village and I feel fortunate to have found mine.”