The goal of this checklist is to help organize the considerations and decisions you need to make when creating an in-home learning pod for your own family or collection of households with a private teacher. We are actively maintaining this list, so please contact us if you there are things you have considered that are not on this list. Finally, please sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on this article and others we publish.
- Number of children - Grade range of children at start of engagement (from lowest to highest)
Beneficial to cluster children in the same or relatively adjacent grade levels (e.g., a 2nd grader and an 8th grader in the same pod is less ideal than a 2nd and 3rd grader)
- Are you a single household or “pod” of multiple households - Desired format (in-person, hybrid, virtual) - Are children staying enrolled in a school?
Our data show that majority of families interested in pods are keeping their child enrolled in the same school in the Fall as they were enrolled in the Spring.
Entire academic year? 3 or 6 months?
Our data show that majority of families interested in pods want a duration of at least the first semester, if not the whole academic year.
- Weekly schedule - Part-time or full-time
In other words, are you looking for a part-time (or potentially, full-time) supplement to an existing school experience or full-time school replacement
- Hours needed per week
Expect to include teacher preparation or break time
To make it easier to recruit teachers, we suggest offering a retainer for at least 10 hours / week. Consistency and a guarantee of hours matter to teachers and will make your recruitment process easier.
Child's Needs and Curriculum
- What is primary and secondary priority of teacher
Some options to choose from: academic progress, enrichment activities, socialization, social-emotional support, executive function, childcare
- Will curriculum be school-provided or teacher-designed? - Preferred content expertise or language requirements?
Some examples: hobbies, specific pedagogical skills or fluency (e.g., Montessori, Reggio-Emilia, Singapore Math)
- Special education or learning disability needs? - Non-academic supports or needs?
Social-emotional, cross-cultural diversity, multi-lingual support
- Child(ren)’s strengths? - Child(ren)’s areas of growth? - Other considerations
- Will the location of the learning environment rotate among host families? - If not all households will be hosting, will the ones who do get a discount? - Location of primary learning environment - Is teaching outdoors an option (and/or encouraged)? - Will parent/guardian be present in the “classroom”? - Will parent/guardian be in the home? - Will every child have access to a computer or tablet? - What, if any, resources will be provided for the teacher? (e.g., whiteboard, projector, etc.) - Is there a budget for necessary instructional resources?
- Background and sex offender checks for your teacher
Any public school employee needs to undergo background checks and fingerprinting. So if the teacher is certified and has recently worked at a public school, they have cleared checks
However, most background checks are point-in-time checks (it depends on the state), meaning they cover the time period up to but not after the time of the background check. So, you may elect to do another background check at a reasonable interval
- On-premises / umbrella insurance for your home or premises where the learning takes place
You may be liable if other children or the teacher gets injured in your home
- Consult with an accountant in regards to the employee classification of the teacher