Student Spotlight: Aranza Charles

Meet Aranza Charles, an imaginative, enthusiastic, brilliant, cat-loving Grade 2 student at Virtual Elementary School! Aranza first came to VES in Grade 1 last year, and we’ve been honoured to get to continue to be a part of her education again this year. Let’s find out why Aranza and her mom, Ingrid, think VES is the perfect fit for their lifestyle!

Born and raised in Mexico, Aranza is lucky to have all of her closest relatives living near her in Mexico City. With such beautiful weather to grow up with, it’s no wonder that Aranza is an outdoor enthusiast, with most of her favourite hobbies taking place outside. She loves to explore, so she spends her days visiting places like bookstores, libraries, the zoo, farms, orchards, and amusement parks. Living in Mexico also gives Aranza the opportunity to go to the beach to swim, which she LOVES. When she does find her way inside, she enjoys her lessons in acrobatics in fabrics (aerial silks), cooking, and music. Aranza also likes to go along with her mom to volunteer among the homeless community, which we think is an amazing trait to find in someone so young.

Since Aranza loves to be on the go and Ingrid’s work schedule is adaptable, they decided to start looking for online learning alternatives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ingrid stumbled upon the Ontario curriculum in her research and has never looked back since finding Virtual Elementary School.

“During this time of online learning, we have had the chance to be more flexible in terms of the places we like to visit, as well as living with family and friends.”

They have both loved getting to engage with the interactive content in Aranza’s VES courses in language, mathematics, science and technology, and social studies. Aranza loves connecting with her teachers and has quickly become a straight-A student. However, Ingrid and Aranza agree that their favourite element of online learning is getting to learn about all kinds of different cultures in the lessons and our student community activities.

“We love being surrounded by so much cultural diversity and so many spectacular people around the world. Above all, the warmth, respect, love, tenacity, perseverance, and openness of the Canadian people is what we have liked the most and helped us to keep growing until now.”

Aranza has become a mainstay in every primary community activity, and her fellow students thoroughly enjoy her positivity and energy. If you follow along with the VES Facebook page, you’ll even be able to see some of Aranza’s amazing artwork from our Crafty Tales Club! Aranza always has a kind word for everyone around her and is an excellent role model in our student community, something we are certain her mother is proud of.

“It’s very satisfying to realize that she continues to grow in this free and independent way as my daughter is a very responsible girl, and she really loves this flexible and dynamic learning. Even on weekends, she wants to join the platform.”

So how exactly has Ingrid managed to motivate Aranza to become such a great learner? Here’s what she recommends for active kids like Aranza:

  1. Complement their lessons with additional activities that allow the child to satisfy their curiosity.
  2. Connect them to the world with the activities they are passionate about.
  3. Be aware of their daily schedule so that their learning is continuous but they’re not getting too tired or bored.
  4. Spend free time outdoors with other local kids so they can share new experiences.

We love the reminder to make sure that you’re disconnecting from technology at regular intervals to let kids be kids. That’s why we incorporate lots of offline activities in VES courses to get our students up and moving around! Students like Aranza who love to be outside exploring have the opportunity to succeed with VES by creating the ideal schedule for their interests that maximizes the amount of time they get to spend doing what they love.

“If you [want] your child [to] grow and learn about not only the academic tasks but also the entire world at their own pace, either faster or slower rather than in a traditional way, this is precisely the option that fits.”

Published On: December 7, 2023