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AZVA student Mona Schwickert beams in her synchronized swimming suit.

As a mother of five active and curious children, Birgit Schwickert leads an extremely exciting – and hectic – life. With the help of Arizona Virtual Academy (AZVA), Birgit is able to juggle all the unique needs and interests of Max, Mona, Mikolas, Maya and Marvin, including synchronized swimming.

The Switch to AZVA

Three of the five Schwickert children attend Arizona Virtual Academy. Birgit decided to switch her youngest three children – Max, a rising 4th grader, and twins Mona and Mikolas, rising 2nd graders – to AZVA last year. Max needed more advanced mathematical instruction, and Birgit needed to relieve some of the chaos of getting five kids to a brick-and-mortar school in the morning.

“People think I’m crazy – I have three homeschooled kids,” Birgit said. “K12 makes it really easy, though, because they supply all the materials. We are really excited.”

Now, Max doesn’t have to repeat material in mathematics that he already knows and is performing to his full potential at a high academic level. Mona and Mikolas are able to perform at their own high levels, as well – they learned 3rd grade math and 2nd grade language arts while in 1st grade at AZVA.

Extracurricular Activities

AZVA also gives 7-year-old Mona and Mikolas the freedom they need for their extensive swimming practices. Mikolas, a member of the Clavadistas Del Sol diving team, swims or dives every day, while Mona is a talented synchronized swimmer and often swims with a group of 10- and 11-year-olds, despite her young age.

Maya Schwickert, a rising 5th grader, has benefitted from virtual schooling as well, as she spent one year online. Maya used this time to enhance her math skills for her future schooling and to simultaneously swim. Maya and Mona swim for Scottsdale Synchro, and both competed at the 2016 Junior Olympic Synchronized Swimming Championships in Long Island in June.

While Max is an avid swimmer like his siblings, he is also extremely passionate about robotics. Last year, Max was on the Vex IQ Robotics team organized by AZVA teacher Marsha Segard, and he is excited to participate again in the upcoming school year.

“We are happy with all the extras K12 offers, like robotics!” Birgit exclaimed.

Computer Skills

While Max is often the go-to guy to solve technology problems, online education has greatly enhanced each child’s typing ability, a skill Birgit says not many young brick-and-mortar students have.

“They know their way around the computer – my kids can actually type,” Birgit said. “That’s important, especially with more technology coming at them in the future.”


Mikolas, Mona, and Max by the pool. 

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