Next up, 7th grader Avery Grant!
Q: You joined the Bangor Township Virtual School because you needed something that would fit your lifestyle. Could you describe why you chose to become an online learner?
A: I started online school because I do gymnastics. I spend 25-30 hours per week participating in practices. During season I travel most weekends and am gone from Friday through Sunday most of them. Sometimes I am gone Thursdays and Mondays also. My practice is from 2:30 pm-8:45 pm most days and two days of the week I have practice from 12:30 pm-7:30 pm. I found that I was missing a lot of traditional school and was very tired all the time. Online school has allowed me to work on weekends and when I am out of town. I can not do school on meet days and on the days I practice at 12:30 pm and I can do more school on days that I have more time.
Q: Tell us a little about your gymnastics life. What is it like?
A: I attend Bay Valley Academy in Bay City. I practice 25-30 hours per week – doing gymnastics and dance classes.
Q: What events do you do?
A: I train and compete on Vault, Bars, Beam and Floor.
Q: Are you on a team or have sponsors?
A: I am part of the Bay Valley Academy Level 10 team.
Q: What are you going to do in the future?
A: My current goal is to do gymnastics in college. Specifically I want to go to an SEC school like Alabama.
Q: What is it like traveling around during the school year training and competing?
A: Training and competing during the school year is just part of my normal life. It is not weird for me to be gone a lot. I like to travel and have new experiences.
Q: Where do you train?
A: I train at Bay Valley Academy in Bay City MI.
Q: What is your schedule like?
A: My schedule is Monday gymnastics 2:30 – 7:30 pm, Tuesday gymnastics 12:30-7:30 pm, Wednesday – off, Thursday 2:30-8:45 pm, Friday 12:30-7:30 pm and Saturday 7:30 am-12:30 pm.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I like to watch TV and sleep! I like to go shopping, see movies and play disc golf with my family. My friends are mostly gymnastics friends and we hang out sometimes.
Q: In which cities and states have you visited for gymnastics?
A: I have competed in the following states: Florida, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan. These are some of the cities I have competed in: Chicago, Orlando, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Bourbonnais.
Q: Where do you want to go (train or compete) that you haven’t been to yet?
A; I want to compete at J.O. Nationals. This is a national competition that you have to qualify into. It is in a different location every year.
Q: Describe the most funny, interesting, scary, or crazy thing that has happened while on your adventures. Give us the: who, what, where, when, why, and how of the event.
A: When we go to compete in Chicago every year, my mom and dad always try to do something fun. We have been in the John Hancock building and this year we decided to go up into the Willis Tower. We were lucky to get a sunny day and we went up to the 127th floor to the observation deck. You can go out on a glass ledge and see all the way to the ground right under you. You also can see all of the city of Chicago. It is really amazing.
Q: When you are training or competing, do you miss your friends or family? How do you keep in contact with them? What do you miss about a traditional school if anything?
A: I am lucky that my mom goes to all my meets and is also a gymnastics coach. I see her every day and I like spending time with her even though she is not my coach. My grandparents on my moms side come to almost all of my competitions and my mom videos my routines and sends them to my grandma on my dads side. When my dad is not able to come with us my mom will use the app periscope so he can watch live. I really do not miss traditional school at all.
Q: What is some advice you would give to someone thinking about becoming an online learner? What would you say to convince them to do it? What do you like most about it?
A: I would tell someone who wants to become an online learner to manage their time well. I like that I can do school whenever it fits my school. If I need a day off I can take it and it won't count against me. I can make it up on another day. I liked that I finished my classes before the end of the semester and was able to take a longer vacation than kids in traditional school.