Helping Parents Help Each Other
Introducing Extra Hands and Pods in The Troop®
Over the past few weeks, it’s become clear we’re going to be here for awhile. I think we all knew it, but as we approach a new school year (minus the going back to school) we’ve had to face it.
That reality has prompted an overwhelming demand for support. Parents are taking action and finding ways to create pods for learning and socialization as well as shared care to get through the work day.
To help this mission, we’re launching Pods and Extra Hands — two new categories of signals that help parents get support from the community whenever they need it.
“Homeschool pods” or “micro-schools” are small groupings of families (usually no more than 5 kids) that have kids the same age and a similar COVID risk tolerance who agree to teach and care for their children as a group outside of a formal school setting.
Sometimes it’s the parents taking turns guiding the kids in a homeschool or distance learning curriculum, and in other cases a teacher or tutor is hired for several hours a day.
For help finding or creating a pod using The Troop, simply choose “Pod” from the list of signal categories. Enter your address to find families near you, the date the pod should start and the approximate times you’re hoping for daily. Then, choose the ages of your kids and enter any additional details in the description (information about COVID risk behavior, whether you’re looking for families to join an existing pod etc).
This will show up as a yellow dot on the map (different from other meet-ups which are green) for other parents in The Troop to see and respond to if there’s a match.
We’ve also added a field to profiles to add the school or daycare that your children attend. This allows parents to search by school and find families from that school to add to their “pods.”
While a scheduled pod is great, there are a lot of moments these days where you just have a meeting pop up and could use help with the kids for an hour or two. That’s what Extra Hands is for.
When you need a pair of Extra Hands to get something done or because you’ve been called away somewhere, just choose “Extra Hands” from the list of categories and enter the date and time. Send the signal to connections you know and trust (within your “bubble”) and they’ll get an alert. Whoever is able to help out can check-in and message you to figure out details (Will you come to them? Will they come pick them up? Or stay at your house?)
The goal is to make it easier to ask for help when we need it. To encourage parents to help each other out in a bind and to return the favor later.
Because we all need some goodwill right now.
As the parenting in a pandemic situation continues to evolve, we’ll continue to try to adapt The Troop to be as helpful possible.
Please send ideas, feedback and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Email email@example.com to request an invite code.