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Hi Gina. You’re asking the right questions it seems. I’m far from an expert but I’ve spent a lot of time reading about aviation. Have over 100 hours but never got my private certificate. Long story. I think studying the ground stuff while flying is the best way to go. The important part is to try to stay ahead of the game. If you know what you’ll be doing at the next lesson, spend some time studying it. Yes, the Sportys course is great. As far as ATC communications, listen to ATC whenever you get a chance every day. I have an app called Live ATC.  I think it’s free. Dial in a busy GA airport and listen as long as you can. After getting a hang of it , try to anticipate what you would say after hearing ATC instructions. Then say it out load. Try to use the correct phraseology and standard read backs. 
Hi Gina. Welcome to the club. You are a student pilot? How far along are you? What has been your biggest challenge so far? Need any help with knowledge or flying tips?
Hey Chris! Yes student pilot here working on my PPL. New to the game with less than ~25 hours of flight time. No major challenges but for someone starting out, would you recommend doing both ground and flight lessons at once? What about Sporty's online classes? Are those helpful?I'm also nervous about comms with ATC - being able to precisely, accurately and clearly communicate to ATC is what I'm worried about. Also, I'm beginning to shop for aviation gears so trying to cut back on costs. Feel free to DM!