Parents look into ‘pandemic pods’ for co-parenting as remote learning continues

Parents help others with remote learning

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The first day of back to school is quickly approaching.

Many parents are looking at options of how to best help their kids learn at home while also continuing to work themselves. It was one of the biggest challenges this spring for working parents.

And as remote learning is continuing for most school districts -- parents need help.

Families are now turning to co-parenting in groups or ‘pandemic pods.'

A new Facebook group is working to connect one parent to the next to start forming pandemic pods for this school year.

“Virtual learning in the spring was a bit of a disaster,” said Melinda Wanke. “I’m blessed I get to work from home but the reality is that we’re still working.”

Working parents say the work-life balance was nearly impossible for them to handle during the spring remote learning.

They say they needed to find a better way to educate while also keeping their jobs.

And for many families, paying for full-time childcare or daycare isn’t an option.

“It is challenging having to wear that mom hat and professional hat every day,” White said.

The idea behind Pandemic Pods is that parents will help raise, and in this case, educate each other’s children, putting the phrase ‘it takes a village’ to new heights. Essentially it’s a group of parents who either take turns helping the kids with home learning or split the cost of a tutor while the parents work.

“There are families in our neighborhood that are looking to do a rotation, so each parent has one day and rotates through the responsibilities,” White said.

“Our group is for everyone, we want to grow the group, the more people we can have in the pandemic group, the more people we can help overall,” said Kay Fisher, who started the Facebook group.

Fisher was interested in the idea after joining a similar group based in California, which gave parents ideas and strategies of how to do this best.

As a natural connector, Fisher realized she was already trying to connect her network of friends to each other to help her friends out. She realized why not help the greater community as well.

“While it’s helpful to reach out to your own sphere if everyone gets together and networks from there,” Fisher said. “It wouldn’t be the individual people are only reaching out to their sphere. So as a community we can all get together, there will be more diversity.”

Right now, Fisher is working on making individual pages for each school so parents can find families who will have similar remote learning classes and schedules.

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