September 2, 2020
Five (5) Basic Steps for Learning Pods & Micro Schools
If you are starting your own learning pod or micro school --- here are five (5) basic steps to take at the very beginning!
Wow! The world of education is spinning and changing almost faster than the speed of light! We hope you’re hanging on tightly! If you are thinking about creating your own micro school or learning pod or doing some old-fashioned homeschooling for your children, Children’s Concierge has some suggestions for you. We love this sort of challenge and think it can be great, great fun for everyone!
Here are five (5) things staff and I think are absolutely necessary to take when creating a Learning Pod or Micro School for educating your kids at home.
Have a look and see what you think --- We suggest you write down your own thoughts and ideas as you go along. You’ll surprise yourself when you look back and see the discoveries you’ve made.
#1 --- FLESH OUT YOUR OWN VISION!
Before you do anything else, even before you begin worrying, you need a vision of what you want your kids’ learning to look like. Here are some questions to help you think about this:
- What do you want your kids to learn? (There are no right or wrong answers for this!!) You know there are State Standards; every state has them and they are very useful tools. But, they are not the end all and be all. Every child in your state does not have to learn the very same thing at the very same time! They will survive and thrive if they miss a standard or two or three or if they address a standard sooner or later than prescribed! So, what do you want their learning to look like?
- Where are all the places you think it would be possible and fun for your kids to do some learning, while still honoring your vision of this learning?
- We have some ideas of for global travel with your pod!
- at are some of the resources it will take to make your vision happen?
# 2 --- DECIDE WHAT IS NOT IN YOUR VISION!
Now list everything you definitely do not want included in your vision of what learning for your kids should look like. I’m sure if you think on it for a bit, you’ll discover there are some things you’ve always considered “must have’s” that you really don’t think are absolutes in your child’s learning. And you’ll discover other things that you feel are actually very important to have if you want your child to be curious about the world and able to find his/her own way in it one day. I guarantee you will make discoveries!! Just trust yourself!
# 3 --- LEARN WHAT YOUR KIDS’ VISIONS ARE!
I’m guessing you’ve started to quiver with this one! Deep breaths! Yes, you absolutely MUST ask your kids to describe their visions for what their learning will look like. You’re no doubt imagining suggestions from them like “beginning school at noon”, “working for an hour or two a day max”, “no math”, “baking cookies everyday” or perhaps “doing on-line games for a good chunk of the day”. Well, you actually might get some suggestions very similar to these. Accept them all!
And then ask your kids where they would like to do this learning? Remember how much fun it was to read your favorite book under a sheet with a flashlight? Well --- maybe a desk is not so important after all?
And, baking cookies actually can be a math lesson.
# 4 --- LEARN WHAT IS NOT IN YOUR KIDS’ VISION!
This one could be fascinating and very enlightening! We’re putting our money on kids requesting “no tests!” or “no boring and uninteresting spelling words to memorize.”
Again, listen well and accept whatever they say!
# 5 --- BE CREATIVE! COMPROMISE WITH YOUR KIDS!
Ask your kids to “twist” some of their vision to fit your vision --- what, when and where --- and twist some of your own vision to fit your kids’ vision --- again, what, when and where.
Then really get creative and throw in some surprises. Here are some suggestions to get your creative juices started ---
- Create one off-the-wall thing for your kids to do each day --- walk up the stairs backwards; sing a song to the dog; make a convincing argument for having their favorite food for dinner three nights in a row, etc.
- Ask your kids to create one off-the-wall thing for you to do each day. No suggestions here --- I’ll leave this totally up to your kids!
- Let your kids plan their learning day and modify it together with them until it reflects a bit of their vision and a bit of your vision. (a quickly written daily plan helps everyone remember what was to be accomplished and helps them stay on track.)
- Plan together how your kids are going to show you they are making progress. Don’t think testing ---- think demonstrating by making, doing, showing, etc.
- Share the taking of photographs to document this time in everyone’s life. It truly is a memorable time!
I think you get the gist of what we have in mind ---
You do not have to have all the answers! In fact, you will never have all the answers! Go for it and see what happens!