Parenting

Stressed About Your Kids Being Home This Fall? Check Out These Distance Learning Services

5 local companies are helping establish pods, running gym classes, and even hosting a pseudo-schoolroom.

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Coronavirus 2020

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So the kids are officially going to be home this fall and you’re officially freaking out. Full-time job + moonlighting as a teacher-PE instructor-principal-school nurse = SOMEBODY, HELP ME! From $20 a session to $5,000 a month, here are a few DC-area groups that might be able to take some work off your hands:

Polite Piggies

The before- and after-school group is hosting a series of virtual tutoring sessions and reading groups for kids ages preschool to fifth grade. You can also sign your child up for a socially distant PE session, where they’ll play with an instructor outside your home or at Lincoln Park. Depending on the activity, the cost is $20 to $65 per session.

Beyond the Basics

This group has launched a program called the FIRE Pods program (Facilitated In-home Remote Education). Families can form pods of up to five children, who will meet five times a week with an instructor to lead them through their virtual lessons. The pods will meet in one of the family’s homes, and both students and the instructors will wear masks. The fee is $5,000 a month per pod. (The company can assist with forming pods if needed.)

The St. James

Twice a week, you can drop off the kids at the St. James for its Ultimate School Day Camp. The athletic center will host either half- or full-day sessions for kids ages 6 to 15, during which they’ll play sports like soccer, basketball, volleyball, and squash. To ensure safety, counselor-led groups will not exceed 10 campers, and the St. James will implement daily temperature checks. Pricing ranges from $1,200 per eight weeks (for members) to $2,400 (non-members).

The Lane

The Ivy City play space is teaming up with Flex Academies to form a series of academic pods for kids virtually learning this semester. The pods will be limited to nine children total, and parents can either put together their own or have the Lane do it for them. Pods meet either at the Lane or at various third-party locations such as closed restaurants, rather than at family homes. The program costs $330 a week for full-day sessions, and there is a GoFundMe to raise money for scholarships.

Badlands

This Rockville play space will host an on-site program for kids who are attending school virtually this fall. While instructors help students with their lessons (first grade through eighth grade), the children will be seated at desks spaced six feet apart with acrylic partitions, and everyone will wear masks. The group will meet for full days five times a week, and it’s $585 weekly.

DC Adventure Camp

This Capitol Hill-based summer camp group, led by Beauvoir librarian Tony Hurst, is pivoting this summer and fall to Outdoor Play Pods. Parents will assemble a group of up to nine children they’d like to include in their pod, and a counselor will meet them at a DC park of their choice throughout the week for structured play time and nature discovery. The groups will only meet outdoors and are open to children ages 3 and up. Fees are billed per pod: For a five-day week, it’s $900 per pod for the morning session (8 AM to 12 PM) and $1,000 for the afternoon session (1 to 5 PM). For a three-day week, it’s $600 for the morning session and $650 for the afternoon session. For a two-day week, it’s $400 for the morning session and $450 for the afternoon session.

This post will be updated as we get more information. Please email mmontgomery@washingtonian.com with any other DC-area virtual learning groups. 

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She previously was the editorial assistant at Walter Magazine in Raleigh, North Carolina, and her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Adams Morgan.

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