Distance learning has been embraced by some families, but others, however, have rejected it. Those families are instead choosing to form a small learning pod where parents are allowing their kids to de-mask and engage with peers.
Podding is a practice quickly gaining popularity across metro Detroit.
Whether you call it a micro-school or a learning group, above all, it's an alternative for parents who both can't send their kids to school and don't want them working on their own with limited adult supervision.
"e didn’t want to be in a situation where our child was trying to engage just with a computer," one parent told us.
That's what pushed four Ferndale families with four first-graders to build their own community. It adheres to each child's school curriculum and the lessons are still virtual. But here, the peer-to-peer engagement and human connection young students depend on is available.
Using Facebook, one parent networked to find other families who wanted their child in a pod community. The families would commit to social distancing and quarantining practices.
Then, they would find a place to meet. After calling around, they found Royal Oak's First Presbyterian had some extra space in the church.
One parent is the guide with the responsibility to keep kids on tract in the age of technology.
The students say they really like the pod learning and wish they could come here all the time.