What Are Micro-Schools & Homeschool Pods?

Innovative ideas are the backbone of a healthy education system, but when the system fails you and your family, what are your options? Parents around the country are choosing to innovate on their own! With micro-schooling and homeschool pods spreading in popularity since the pandemic, these alternatives to both private and public school provide your children with individual learning opportunities as well as plenty of time for critical thinking and peer interaction.


Micro-schooling is an alternative to traditional schooling (both private and public) as well as homeschooling. In micro-schools, students have personalized learning plans and individual learning experiences, so they often complete their core learning online at the micro-school’s location; however, they also work together to develop group projects under the supervision of a generalist learning coach. Usually, multiple ages blend to brainstorm, organize, and complete hands-on learning projects together. The multi-age groups also participate in small group discussions to further help their critical thinking skills, but part of their coursework is done individually.

Micro-schools have popped up around the country and, rather than being run by parents, are usually initiated and organized by official networks, similar to the way charter schools are formed. In other words, most micro-schools, although the idea and execution gives off the feel of a one-room schoolhouse, are run by private companies. As a result, micro-schools are considered private schools, so although they charge tuition that can be pretty steep in some locations, families who live in states that offer voucher programs can use that money toward the tuition. 

Homeschool Pods

Homeschool pods are pretty unique, and although the temptation is to think that micro-schooling and homeschool pods are similar, they actually have some major differences. Homeschool pods are formed by groups of families who come together and either take turns supervising students on different days or pool their resources and hire someone to come supervise. Just as you can’t say definitively “This is what a homeschool family looks like,” the same is true for homeschool pods. Each homeschool pod can be organized differently, and that’s what makes these such an interesting and innovative idea. 

Students can be working on individual assignments and then come together for group discussions and projects as with micro-schools. However, because homeschooling provides families with freedom, how each homeschool learning pod is organized really depends on the families organizing the experience. In one homeschool pod, each individual family might provide their students’ core curriculum with the family groups working together to determine the group projects. In another homeschool pod, the group might decide to use an online platform to make a sort of online learning pod for core classes while the group projects are determined by the students themselves and only guided by the supervising adult. 

How Can Northgate Academy Help?

Northgate Academy can help current micro-schools or homeschool pods looking for a way to include a faith-based curriculum in their innovative school program. However, we’re also available for families dissatisfied with their current options and wishing to work together to create their own faith-based micro-online schools or to facilitate online learning through homeschool pods. As an accredited online Christian high school, families can use our curriculum for either full-time or part-time enrollment.

If you’re interested in using our faith-based online high school program as an accredited choice for your Christian student or as a resource for homeschool coursework, you can check out our programs online. Every full time student at NGA is assigned an Academic Success Coach, can email their instructors with questions, reach out to staff through online chat and text, and has access to one-on-one tutoring through Train The Brain.

Still have questions? Feel free to send us a text at 763-412-4701 or call us at 800-339-7132. Our academic support team will be happy to answer your questions or help guide you to the best program for you or your child.

Northgate Academy Welcomes Everyone

We have a unique community of online learners from all over the world. We have students that chose to attend high school online due to social problems, large classroom size, conflicting beliefs concerning the educational process, and bullying. Maybe you just don’t share the values taught at the public schools. We have athletes, performers, military and ex-pats students; as well as international students that have chosen to earn an American, accredited high school diploma online. Students love the ability to attend a Christian school online according to their schedule and pace.

If you are ready to get started, why not Enroll Now?