PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - With online learning becoming the only option for many kids, at least for the fall semester, more parents are taking matters into their own hands by creating what’s called micro-schools or pods.

Instead of stepping foot inside a kindergarten classroom come fall, Christine Aldort will teach her child at home, along with a few other kids around the same age.

“I think especially for the younger kids, online learning is just not feasible,” said Aldort.

Aldort said that’s why she created a micro-school in her home, or pod as some call it, where a small group of students follow a home school curriculum or their public school’s online curriculum, but meet in-person with a hired adult or teacher.

“Parents who are going to be working, they need help with their kids, with the online learning, because they don’t have the time for it and it’s stressful and they need somebody there that’s going to help guide their child,” said Aldort. “Basically, just providing that safe learning environment, but also keeping our bubble small to try and keep it safe and everybody reassured."

It’s an easy transition for the mom, former in-home preschool teacher and also founder of the Facebook group Portland Micro Schools

More than 2,000 people have already joined in the last month, seeking pods to join or create in their area.

“I could see more and more posts coming up of people basically expressing anxiety and stress over, you know, what might happen with schools in the fall and what they’re going to do for child care if, you know, it’s not going to be full in-person school,” she said. “And I thought, you know, what I’m doing might work for other families too.”

The pods do come with a price.

FOX 12 saw ranges on the Facebook page from a few hundred dollars a week, to several thousand a month, depending on who oversees the pod, how many kids enroll and how often they attend.

Aldort said she’s brainstorming ideas, hoping this learning model can become affordable for more families.

“What I’ve been trying to do is encourage the creation of co-ops, so basically families would take turns depending on their work schedules and they’d swap days,” she said.

No matter what direction families take, Aldort said she’s happy people can now easily connect.

“I’ve talked to families who are heartbroken to know their kids first year of school, their second, their third year is not going to be what they expected it to be, so to provide any sort of help to them, that’s my goal,” said Aldort.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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