Pods got you worried? 4 tips for creating a digital pod that works for your family

For Parents Jul 28, 2020

Note from Outschool: Laws about homeschooling vary from state to state. Be sure to learn about and follow all state laws and guidelines, including public health orders, before beginning any program.

Parents all over the U.S. are talking about pods.

No, they’re not discussing the latest tech from Apple. Instead, they’re planning their children’s school year.

As parents deal with health concerns about reopening schools or seek to supplement their child’s distance or hybrid learning plans, many families have decided to pursue homeschool alternatives for this fall. Some have banded together with other families to form “pods.” These informal groups share resources, learning plans, and, often, tutors and teachers.

Yet, with COVID-19 cases still spiking around the country, these in-person meetups may pose increased health risk to pod participants and their families.

A safe alternative is the digital learning pod. In this model, families still plan and interact together. However, in place of in-person activities, the kids’ learning takes place online in live, video-chat classes.

It’s not too late to create a digital learning pod. Here are 4 tips to help you get started

  1. Form your pod. Gather 4-10 learners who share interests and/or skills. It helps if learners have similar academic abilities, too. Not every member of the pod needs to be best friends already. As kids learn together, they get the added benefit of socializing and building friendships.
  2. Assess your needs. Consider each family’s learning goals, and talk about the resources you have to work with. What curriculum might you have from your school? What subjects or enrichment are most important?
  3. Pick a schedule. Agree on the days of the week, times of the day, and dates when your pod will take classes. Also decide on how many classes you’d like to take per day and week.
  4. Discuss your budget. As families plan group child care and other solutions, it can be challenging to keep kids engaged and learning at a reasonable cost. Small-group classes can be more affordable than hiring a private tutor or in-home teacher.  For families in need, consider seeking financial assistance with Outschool.org.

Perfect for your pod

Outschool helps families organize virtual, safe, high-quality digital learning pods

Enrich your digital pod with Outschool

Outschool was founded with the mission of connecting all learners with passionate teachers and like-minded peers to create fun, inspiring learning experiences - live and online.

COVID-19 has made these connections even more important. And as families scramble to find creative solutions to meet their needs, Outschool is here to support you. By incorporating Outschool’s live online classes into their pods, families can expect:

  • Experienced teachers - Since 2015, Outschool teachers have supported families exploring alternative education options through live online classes.
  • Diversity - With small group classes, families can connect their learners with new people and perspectives. 92% of Outschool classes have learners from multiple time zones.
  • Variety - It’s challenging for any adult to teach all subjects and provide enrichment options. Outschool’s community of 5,000+ experienced online teachers offer a breadth of subjects they are passionate about.
  • Customization - Another challenge is finding a teacher that “fits” your learner or your pod’s needs. When your pod takes classes on Outschool, you can take one-time classes to get learn about a teacher's style before making a longer commitment.

Get ready for digital learning pods with Outschool!

More “pod” resources from Outschool

Many families are struggling to find teachers and tutors to meet their needs at a price that fits their budget. Additionally, in-person classes are not an option for some families because of health concerns.

That's why digital learning pods are the safe, affordable, high-quality option to keep your kids learning and growing this fall.

Outschool's team is building new (and collaborative) tools to support learning pods and help you:

Ready to start browsing? There are thousands of exciting class options in several formats for your learner and their pod.

Check out these semester classes, which are filling up fast

💡 For your budding engineer - Python Programming for Beginners, Hot Wheels Car Engineering or Botany & Plant Chemistry!

🎨 For your budding artist - Minecraft Architecture, Photography Basics, or Exploring Visual Art.

✍ For your budding writer - Percy Jackson Study, Novel Writing for Teens or Fables, Myths & Fairytales.

🎻 For your budding musician - Intro to Piano, Dancing for Musical Theater or Musical Sandwiches (!).

🌍 For your budding historian - Black History from a Decolonized Perspective, History of Disney Animation or All About Ancient Egypt.

Or see all semester classes here.

Try ongoing classes - perfect for bonding with your pod!

🕺Unleash creativity with Plant & Insect Drawing Club, Face Painting 101, or Beginner Ballet!

🧘🏽‍♀️ Encourage wellness with Advanced Stretching, Morning Yoga, Zumba for Kids!

💙 Cultivate friendships with LEGO club, Fashion Club, or ADHD All-Stars Club!

Or see all ongoing classes here.

There’s still time to build the perfect schedule of classes for your group's digital learning pod.

Get your free Outschool account today, and you’ll get instant access to our full library of live online classes. Plus, we'll let you know about Outschool's new pod features as soon as they’re available.


With thousands of options for classes, camps, and tutors, learners are inspired to connect with inspiring teachers, build new skills, develop new passions, and forge new friendships from home.