For parents without the space or financial means for elaborate setups, the challenge can be even greater. Shauna Causey, founder and chief executive of Weekdays Micro-Schools, a website that helps organize schooling pods, says some families are retrofitting their dining rooms or basements, or taking over local parks.

Holding school outside comes with its own set of issues: What about Wi-Fi and bathroom access? Is there enough space for students to sit 6 feet apart? What happens when it rains?

Parents are devising workarounds. In Davis, Calif., Liam Honigsberg rolled out several Ikea benches and chairs, and erected a shade canopy at the end of a small side street for his 6-year-old son and his friends for the coming school year. Mr. Honigsberg said he suspects that setting up in the street is probably illegal.

If it gets too cold in the winter, the class might end up in down jackets in his open garage.