Pandemic Pods, Micro-Schools and Life without In-Person Education

Despite a new statement by the CDC supporting the reopening of schools, public school districts continue to announce delayed starts and distance-only plans for the fall. (And despite the considerable pressure he's putting on schools to reopen, President Trump has apparently failed to convince even his own kid's school to reopen.)

And no, the economic inequities of all this have not gone unnoticed.

So, as parents, it's finally become clear that it will be up to us to come up with viable solutions for making sure our kids' educational needs (not to mention child care needs) are met this fall. Enter "pandemic pods" a/k/a "microschools", a phenomenon whereby parents are leveraging what technology they have (email, Facebook groups, NextDoor) to rebuild educational environments on a private level.

You may be wondering what we at Nanno are doing to help. Well, as of last Friday, we've made our new StayCare platform free to use. So if you're looking to form a pandemic pod or microschool and need a caregiver/tutor to lead your pod, we can help.

We're also working on a resource guide for all things distance learning, from online learning tools to where to find an appropriate desk for your kids' new classroom -- in your living room. So stay tuned for that later this week.

Hang in there, families. And if you have ideas for other things we can do to help, please let me know.

Overheard on the Playground

"We have broadband, we have excellent teachers who can teach over Zoom - that is one-in-a-million possibility in this world - and yet, it's also a depressing one. What is this year full of transitions gonna look like for kids, for my family? How can I keep joy in learning for them or help them just continue to find their resilience? That's where I am today.”  -- Jennifer Garner


  • The 2020 Back-to-School-But-Stay-at-Home Tech Shopping List :: With more students learning online this fall, here’s the teacher-approved tech you need for your at-home classroom, starting with a good router, an affordable laptop or tablet and over-ear headphones. (WSJ)


  • How to Talk to Kids About Schools Reopening (or Not) :: Even if you still don’t know how your child’s school year will be structured, it is time to talk with them about it. (Offspring)
  • Can Toddlers Teach Us Altruism? :: Research has found that toddlers are helpful... and it looks like they're wired to be. (Romper)


  • Bring Constellations to Life with Pipe Cleaner Constellation Maps :: Take that innate curiosity about the stars and constellations and turn it into a fun learning STEM activity. (STEAM Powered Family)
  • Crushing Cans Science Experiment :: Make soda cans collapse in an instant under the power of air pressure due to rapidly changing temperature. (Frugal Fun)


  • Reduce Stress With Yoga :: These 10 yoga poses can give your mind and body the ability to reduce stress, if practiced consistently. (Kidz World)
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About Liz Oertle
Denver, CO
Liz Oertle is the CEO and co-founder of Nanno. A recovering attorney and mother of two, she is passionate about helping parents connect with high quality childcare on demand.