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San Marcos families to create outdoor learning pods for distance learning

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jul 30, 2020

SAN MARCOS, Calif. (KGTV) - A group of families in San Marcos is creating some outdoor learning pods when schools open with distance learning this fall.

Like for so many others, distance learning in the spring was an exercise in distraction for the Holman family: Lauren and her husband, both working from home, along with 5-year-old Isabella, and 7-year-old Bradley, who tried to focus during class.

"Any time the live meetings with his teachers would go more than 20 or 30 minutes, he would start to get distracted," said Lauren Holman.

Meanwhile, Lauren was trying to juggle her kids' needs with her job as a full-time online teacher.

"It was overwhelming and hectic, definitely a lot of stress," said Holman.

That stress was revisited when she heard about schools opening with only distance learning.

"Internally I freaked out a bit, saying this is impossible," said Holman.

So, she looked into what was possible. She and eight other families are creating two different learning pods.

"We have a small group of trusted families," said Holman.

In one pod were Isbaella and three other kindergartners. In another, Bradley and five other 2nd graders. All are classmates at Twin Oaks Elementary.

"The parents will act as facilitators. I equate them with a substitute teacher who helps execute the lesson plan," said Holman.

Parents will take turns, each taking a day with one group of kids to make sure they stay on track, offering one-on-one help. The micro-schools will be held outside, in back yards and parks. Canopies owned by the families will help with the sun.

"Trying to keep it safe. Promote social distancing," said Holman.

Each student will be given their own box of supplies. Handwashing and hand sanitizing will be emphasized. The outdoor setting will offer options for socializing. Holman hopes her pods will give her and the other parents a break while giving her kids a little normalcy.

"I hope they are able to get the same experience in the classroom, as far as their academics. I also want them to smile when they think of their school year," said Holman.