Small 'learning centers' becoming popular back-to-school option among parents

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With the new school year starting with virtual learning in many Houston-area school districts, parents are seeking alternatives, such as smaller home schools and tutoring centers.

READ ALSO: Houston teachers exploring 'learning pods' as back-to-school option

When Kiley and Chad Fisher decided to homeschool their two children, Kiley decided she could help others as well.

That's how Pathways Private School in Pinehurst, Texas, was created.

INTERACTIVE: WHAT LEARNING COULD BE LIKE DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC


So far, she has six children enrolled in grades 2-6, but said she can take as many as 10. She can take those in Pre-K, too.

The school room is a separate room in their house. The couple also plans on utilizing their big backyard.

When it comes to COVID-19 safety, Kiley said they will follow all CDC guidelines.

The Fishers believe, like them, parents want consistency and learning online was not good enough.

"I thought I had to do something, and what's best for my family is face-to-face learning," said Kiley.

Meanwhile, in Fort Bend ISD, where interest in the district's "learning centers" is so great that hundreds of students have been placed on waiting lists, Study Dorm Tutoring and Test Prep in Stafford is an affordable option for parents when school starts next week.

"This is a support system," owner Shahin Nanji told ABC13. "If the parents are working, they can drop off their kids in these centers and not worry if they are logging in correctly or doing their work. We're making sure students are doing what they're supposed to do."

Nanji said they have been trained by the district on the technology the students will be using and said she has staff who will help with the concepts.

Class sizes are small and students will be required to wear masks, sanitize and practice social distancing.

For parents who do not have access to alternatives, Nanji suggests organizing their children's work environments to include schedules and reminders.

She advises parents to provide their children with resources to help them understand the material, instead of teaching them.

If they fall behind, get them help before it is too late.

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