Home Pod: Have you Ever Heard About It? What is a home pod? Well, it’s a teacher who will come to your home and privately teach their own curriculum, or assist your child in their new online school’s curriculum. Prior to 2020, I do not recall hearing this word. But now there are Facebook groups dedicated to finding such teachers and tutors.
For some, this is a dream come true, a way to work and have their children schooled at the same time. For many parents, the reality of the Fall semester has kicked in. Many parents are faced with tough decisions: work or stay home and lose an income to ensure their children’s education needs are being met?
Another option many parents are considering is homeschooling. Homeschooling is different from online or virtual schooling provided by their county’s school. Homeschooling is a parent-led curriculum and requires a letter of intent sent to your county’s school, along with various other state requirements that need to be met to homeschool. There are various websites that provide both free and for pay curriculum.
Online schooling through your district’s school will have curriculum provided by the county in accordance with the state. As far as Broward Schools, it appears there will be two schedules 8:00am – 2:00pm and 3:00pm to 9:00pm are the two options available at the time of this article.
Your county school is not your only online option. There are several established online schools that have existed from many years prior to COVID-19. FLVS, Connections Academy, and K12 are popular options and many provide flexible schedules for working parents.
No matter which option you choose, it is important to understand that not every family is the same. What works for your family may not be suitable for another. It is also important to remember that you and your children are not alone. Many parents throughout the State of Florida are facing these same decisions. Broward County also recently released a list of on-site centers which will allow students to work on schoolwork away from home.
Remember to be supportive and to reach out to parents and children who may not receive the resources that they would normally receive in a school setting. The same can be said for our teachers. Teachers are also in need of support especially from parents.
Broward school teacher Anamaria Moreno offers parents advice, stating:
“Last Spring, many of us [teachers] jumped online and got the job done not fully knowing how online schooling would be. We often had to call parents on the phone or email them to make sure everyone was on the same page. Please keep in mind that now teachers are starting with a new class of unfamiliar faces with a much more demanding scenario than the Spring. Please be patient, and be kind, and please remember that if a teacher calls you at home, it is not to hunt you down. We truly care about the success of your child. The beginning of school is always hard. Now it is even more challenging starting out virtually. Be a team member with your children’s teacher. We are all in this together figuring it out as best we can!”.
We certainly are all figuring this out the best we can. For now, it’s important to relax. Remember that your student is probably feeling anxious about the new school year as well. Maintaining a calm demeanor will help your child feel secure about their new online experience. Try to limit complaints and frustrations about the situation in front of your child. Let them know you will be supportive of this new venture. Take opportunities to socialize safely with them when available.
It is more important now than ever to be involved with your children’s education no matter which method of delivery their education comes from. Students learning online might have more distractions and less oversight. Try to make a fun dedicated space in your home for online learning. Just as a normal school day, try to limit distractions such as video games, phones and technology. The space can be a small corner in the kitchen to a fully dedicated room. Just like the children, do your best within your means during this time, after all, “The best thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” – B.B. King.
Rhiannon Samoyedny was born and raised in South Florida. She has lived in Oakland Park for over 25 years and purchased her home in Garden Acres in 2012 where she resides with her husband, two teenaged boys, a few rescue cats, and her dog.
Her professional career began as a project manager and estimator for a small Oakland Park construction company and she later went on to earn her degree in Court Reporting, where she later incorporated her own small business RS Reporting, Inc.
She has a passion for gardening and attends many horticulture classes and workshops. She is also an LGA (Local Government Academy) graduate, class of 2019, and an active community volunteer and activist. You can usually find her around town at various Oakland Park meetings and events with her notebook, so be sure to say hello.