Learning pods explained


The 2020 school year is underway, but families are still working to tackle the various challenges COVID-19 has brought to the education landscape. Will their child’s school change learning models later on this fall? Will the learning model change in January? Will the learning model not change for the rest of the school year?

For parents who are uncomfortable with the uncertainty, many have turned to learning pods. The beauty of learning pods is that there is no one way to create one. From being teacher-led to parent-led, from three children to 10 children, learning pods have helped create more options for families.

Check out the video from 74 Million for their explanation on the “year of the learning pod.”

Interested in pursuing a learning pod for your child? Below is some information that should help get you started.

Self-Directed Pods.

If your learning pod or micro-school is choosing its own curriculum and each family is directing their own children’s schooling, it likely qualifies as a homeschool in Minnesota. Read more about the requirements for homeschooling and get tips from HSLDA here. Note that homeschoolers may be eligible to receive limited tax exemptions from the State of Minnesota to cover costs related to instruction, field trips, and parental time. Additionally, Minnesota homeschoolers may still be eligible to participate in classes, sports, or activities at local public schools.

If your learning pod contains more than two families and will have teachers leading unique classes just for your school, it may qualify as a private school. You can read more about what Minnesota classifies as a private school, how they’re regulated, and how to start one here.

Learning Support Pods.

If your child is going to be enrolled in remote learning through your local public school and supervised by an adult in your learning pod, you do not need to register as a homeschool or private school. Keep in mind that you have multiple online learning options, including several free, full-time online schools that are available to students statewide. You can learn more about those here.