be out of the house, too. Because their work is learning alongside each other without you there, in harmony and conflict. Not necessarily paying attention... making messes, cleaning them up, hoping you don’t find out about it... passing notes, hurting each other’s feelings, and finding ways to recover without their parents around. School had never seemed so essential... You need your kids out of the house if you’re working from home – but your kids need to be out of the house, too. Because their work is learning alongside each other without you there, in harmony and conflict. For those who can afford to safely recreate the most important – the definitional – qualities of school for their kids, it’s worth the cost even during a protracted economic downturn. The part of schooling that you really can’t put a price on is the unquantifiable aspect of it. A healthy society needs free and open schools, back to the way they were, as soon as possible. Alice Lloyd is a writer and reporter in Washington, D.C., covering culture, politics, and the weirdness in between. Her work has been featured in the New York Times , the Washington Post , the Boston Globe , and the Weekly Standard .
Some are formally organized and seeking foundation funding, asking a set cost that decreases with every student admitted to the pod. The Hudson Lab School in Hastings- on-Hudson, New York markets its pods – starting at $13,000 per child per semester – to parents who’ve seen their children’s academic progress flagging since the spring and are now watching school districts fail at the task of a safe and organized reopening. Others, meanwhile, are more informal: Just klatches of concerned parents pitching in to hire tutors and hoping for the best, banking on backyard micro-school being better than no school at all. The appeal of a cozy, convenient, and hyper- controlled small-group pod school may well outlast the pandemic. But so will the long- term effects of a widening education gap: It’s only those families who can afford to who are banding together to build boutique in-person schools for their kids – or who are making the leap to prep school. With mandatory masks indoors and added precautions in the dorms and dining halls, boarding schools are back in session – with their business model looking more secure than it has since the sixties. Meanwhile, at the largest urban school districts in the country, it’s all cobwebs in the classrooms and tumbleweeds rolling down the dusty halls. As with every collective crisis our country faces, affluent families are managing fairly well all things considered – and poor families, whose children have the most to gain from an education outside the home, fall further behind. School had never seemed so essential... You need your kids out of the house if you’re working from home – but your kids need to
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