Vinayak Graves7th Grade
An interactive experience is what you can expect from Laurel Springs online school. If “interactive” isn’t a word you associate with an online schooling experience, it should be – just ask Laurel Springs sixth grader Vinayak Graves! During his time at Laurel Springs, Vinayak has learned that being a student and a member of several clubs in an online environment provides a level of interaction that takes his online schooling experience to the next level.
Vinayak and his brother, Laurel Springs seventh grader Ravi, both participate in a variety of clubs that meet their interests and enable them make new friends. They are both members of the book club, while Vinayak is also involved in the photography club, and Ravi enjoys his involvement with the Model UN club. According to Vinayak, just because the clubs are conducted in an online environment doesn’t diminish the social aspects of participation.
“People might think that it’s not really interactive, but you’re still talking to all your fellow students about books you read and photos you take, and you’re still learning a lot and getting to socialize with your fellow students,” he explained. “I find they’re very creative clubs to take part in … it’s something extra and you can have fun in school, too.”
Vinayak and Ravi’s mother, Maureen, says that her sons’ involvement in Laurel Springs’ “enriching” clubs has facilitated their personal growth by leaps and bounds.
“I’ve seen a lot of growth, even in terms of their self-confidence, just to be involved with other kids who have similar interests – there’s no competitiveness or anything like that,” she said. “They really are interacting as a group and I’ve seen a lot of personal growth in both of them in that regard.”
Vinayak and Ravi aren’t only growing through their involvement in extracurricular clubs, but also in their academics through the personalized approach they receive from their Laurel Springs teachers. According to Vinayak, this wasn’t something he expected when he switched to Laurel Springs from his local elementary school.
“Before I started online school, I thought you had your courses, and the computer would automatically give you a grade,” he said. “I thought there weren’t actual teachers involved, and I think a lot of parents feel that way too.”
However, he quickly learned that being a student at Laurel Springs means having personalized attention from his teachers – an aspect he felt was lacking at his former brick and mortar elementary school. Vinayak also enjoys the flexibility that Laurel Springs offers, allowing him to work at his own pace.
“I find it easier in an online environment to work at your own pace and have one-on-one attention from your teacher to discuss the assignments and ask for help,” Vinayak explained. “All my teachers are very helpful and give quick feedback to our assignments, and if I need help they’ll always try to discuss everything with me.”
Being students at Laurel Springs also allows Vinayak and Ravi to spend time enjoying real-world engineering experience with their dad, Hans, who is a project engineer and enjoys completing hands-on projects with his sons.
According to Maureen, there’s been a visible and positive difference in how her sons feel about school after they started attending Laurel Springs.
“I see them both finishing up their school year on such a positive note, and it’s a great feeling,” she said. “I know last year in the public school setting it was pretty rough for both of them, so this is like a complete turnaround. It’s been a positive experience for all of us.”
Vinayak and his brother Ravi currently reside in Nashua, N.H. with their parents, and the whole family is looking forward to next school year at Laurel Springs.