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A Stress-free switch to learning from home this fall

July 22, 2020

A Stress-Free Switch to Learning From Home this Fall

Over the past week, as millions of parents have realized that traditional in-person schooling may not be safe or available come September, a new twist on an old phenomenon has emerged. The continued spread of COVID-19 and resulting shutdowns have led to the rise of “homeschooling pods,” where small groups of parents join together and arrange to hire a teacher or private tutor to educate their children at home. 

Although the reason behind the explosion of interest in these pods is new, the educational model is not. Micro schools and homeschool co-ops have been around for generations in various forms. Parents who are looking to form COVID-related homeschooling pods and families who have been using micro schools and co-ops have many shared educational priorities: beneficial socialization opportunities, guidance from trusted educators, and connection to a community. 

At Prisma, we have created an approach to homeschooling that provides all of these benefits and more. As a locally-rooted, globally-connected learning network, we are able to provide our 4-8th grade learners with connections to local peers and a local Learning coach, while also providing world-class curriculum resources and opportunities to learn with other Prisma families across the country. 

What’s the difference between a Prisma cohort and a homeschool pod? 

Prisma cohorts and homeschool pods both involve small groups of families learning at home while connected to a local educator and peers. But Prisma includes several features that many homeschooling pods will not: 

  • A cutting-edge curriculum personalized to each kid. Instead of having to source and agree on curriculum themselves or figure out how to differentiate based on the different needs and interests of each child in the pod, families who join Prisma cohorts will have access to our flexible, hands-on curriculum. Learners master academic content in Math, English, Social Studies, Science, Arts & Culture, Tech & Design, and Self & Wellness at their own pace. 
  • Mentorship and support from award-winning educators. Forming a homeschooling pod means sourcing and vetting a qualified educator. You don’t need to worry about this using Prisma. Our founding Learning coaches have already been fully vetted and have been recognized as some of the best teachers in the country, and are deeply passionate about connecting with kids and helping them grow. 
  • The option to learn fully virtually when desired. All learning with Prisma can be experienced fully virtually for Fall 2020. However, families who wish to connect with other Prisma families to rotate supervision duties or for in-person socialization may choose to form their own “pods” within each cohort. 
  • Need-based financial support and scholarship funding. Many families want to find a safe and positive alternative to traditional schooling for the fall but may be concerned that private homeschooling pods will exclude families who can’t afford to split the cost of a tutor. Although Prisma isn’t currently free, we offer significant financial support and scholarships to include learners regardless of their ability to pay. 

Can my homeschool pod use Prisma’s curriculum? 

We have currently only announced five founding cohort hubs: Chicago, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, San Francisco Bay Area, and Tampa. If your homeschooling pod is based in or near one of these areas, we encourage each of you to apply and mention in your application that you are part of a pod. 

If we have not yet announced a launch in your area, we encourage you to request that we do using the “request a new location” button on our cohorts page. You can also contact us directly at info@joinprisma.com if you know that you have 10+ families interested in your area already. If we have significant interest in an area we are not currently serving, we may consider launching there in time for Fall 2020. 

How can I learn more?

Join us over the next two weeks for Live Q&A sessions to meet our founders and our Learning coaches. You can also check out our “Introducing Prisma” video or read our FAQs

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