Homeschooling     Hot Topics     Home and Family     Family Fun    

In pod we trust



It's not to late to form a pod of friends and family

Tips for forming your “winter pod” of friends and family


The issue of creating a pod always comes up when  coronavirus numbers spike. Develop protocols with a small group of family and friends, like Camp Quarantine, for keeping safe while staying social.

We all know humans are social animals, but with Covid-19, it’s become clearer than ever. While some people do fine with isolation, these folks are atypical. The vast majority of people need to be around other people. We need to socialize, hug, chat, gossip, care for one another, be cared for, etc. If we don’t, we are not well, mentally and, it turns out, physically. Whereas we knew that intellectually prior to Covid-19, many more of us now know it through experience. Have you hugged someone recently? It’s striking how emotional that can be these days.

So how do we maintain our sanity while staying safe? How do we set up our lives so we, and our kids, can have a semblance of physical normalcy, of contact? 

Behold the rise of the pod. How to do it? What to bear in mind? In “Camp Quarantine: 6 tips for forming your COVID-19 winter pod,” Britta Greene of the Duluth News-Tribune has some helpful tips. 

READ MORE: Helping children understand the pandemic

Unless you are an oceanographer who studies dolphins, you’ve probably heard the word “pod” – as both a noun and a verb – more in the last nine months than in your entire life. (Dolphin groupings are called “pods.”) I know I have. Several friends of mine regularly refer to their pods, meaning friends they can touch, and spend quality time together maskless. They’ve figured out protocols so they can stay safe. And they have.

Put together a well-defined group and identify your comfort level 

Greene says, “The idea is to get together with a set group of friends and mutually agree to limit outside interaction, to a level that everyone is comfortable with. Then: Only hang out inside with each other. That way, everyone can let their guard down together safely as a group.”

Develop a joint schedule

She cites a co-worker’s tactics: “They have a detailed schedule, a miles-long list of activities, matching T-shirts, and a name: Camp Quarantine.”

Smaller is better; but no defined size 

She notes there no perfect pod size, but of course smaller is better. Be honest with your comfort level. Set standards and stick to them. External relationships are ok, but all in the pod should know about them and be kept abreast of contact.

Be generous about sharing especially among kids 

With specific regard to children, Greene notes the paramount need to share. Kids need to be generous about sharing toys and space. Of course the same could, and should, be said of adults. 



More Homeschooling


  • How to be funny, and how not to be

    Famous comedian Roy Wood Jr. offers tips

    Being funny can be a kid’s superpower, but it can also become a weapon to wound. Comedian Roy Wood Jr. helps fellow parents guide children accordingly. read more »
  • How and when to teach kids about homophobia

    A two-mom couple offer tips on having this crucial conversation

    Social media influencers Ebony and Denise, moms of three kids, have some helpful guidance on how and when to broach the topic of homophobia with your family. read more »
  • s-NO-w Day

    The world won't come to a halt if you spend the snow day with your kids

    Peter Shankman offers some great advice on what to do with that surprise snow day read more »
  • Three books to encourage healthy outdoor play

    Great ideas to help kids get outside

    A fun journey with a grandma and granddaughter, nature play and how to create areas to connect children with the natural world read more »
  • Words to soothe the angry child

    The right phrase can make all the difference

    Pandemic or no, children can get really mad, really fast. The folks at motherly offer some strategic phrases that can help de-escalate any number of situations, from toddler-hood to the teen years. It’s never too early to teach anger management. read more »
  • Time outs reframed as “safe space”

    Constructive ways to help your child cool down

    In decades past, “standing in the corner” was a punishment norm. It morphed into “time out,” which is changing yet again. Here are some helpful views on this evolving form of discipline. read more »
  • Tips for teaching kids mindfulness

    It’s never too early or too late to start

    The prospect of teaching mindfulness techniques to children can be daunting. Meggie Seaver at Real Simple offers tips to help make it easy. read more »
  • Tips for balancing working from home with remote learning

    A few tweaks in your routine will do wonders

    Some experts – including parents – offer some helpful “hacks” to help you achieve work/parenting balance read more »
  • Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday and Read Across America Day

    These books have been loved by kids and parents for decades

    Dr. Seuss has helped parents teach tolerance, respect and more with his beautiful stories. Read Across America Day is celebrated on his birthday. Here are some of our favorites from this beloved author for you to read to your kids. read more »
  • Teach your kid to meditate

    Tips for toddlers, preschoolers, elementary-age, tweens, and teens

    Care for the mind is as important as care for the body, especially for kids. Mediation is a great way to help them help themselves. read more »