Thursday, July 20, 2017

Take Your Mind to Flight! Doctor Aviation Review

It is no secret that this family loves aviation.  Dad is a pilot after all and attended the United States Air Force Academy for college.  My kids have grown up in hangers, have a love for all flying things, and WILL interrupt a conversation to identify a plane or helicopter in the air.  When we heard that Doctor Aviation was offering the Homeschool Review Crew a 6 month subscription to review his Aviation Course we did a happy dance.

Who is Doctor Aviation?
Doctor Aviation is actually retired Air Force officer Darryl Smith, with over 24 years in the Air Force.  He has been an instructor pilot and test pilot and has over 2,000 flying hours.  He is currently a college professor who has a continued love of flying and wants to pass on that love and knowledge to others.

What is Doctor Aviation?
Doctor Aviation is a 6 Section, 15 lesson online course to help people learn the basics of flight, it's history, and the important people in the field.  Sections include the Course Intro, The Aircraft, Air Traffic Control, Aircraft Maintenance, Airfield Operations, and The Aircraft II.  Each lesson within the sections averages about 60 minutes and can be broken into three parts. 

The first section- Technical Trivia- presents the basic information for that particular lesson.  Lessons include subjects like the parts of an airplane and airports, airplane systems and such.

The second section, Notable Innovators, presents a person or persons of interest in the aviation world.  Some people included are Amelia Earhart and Nate Saint.

The final section of each lesson is called Legendary Aircraft/Events.  This part of the lesson highlights an event in history in the aviation world or a specific aircraft.  Examples of events that are covered are the Wright brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk and planes such as the F-117 and the Wright Flyer.

The Technical Trivia section is primarily a facts sections.  Both the Notable Innovators and Legendary Events sections include not only basic facts about the person or event, but also what we can or have learned from those mentioned.

Available to you to print are fill in the blank Guided Notes that can be filled in while your student is watching the lecture.  These note guides are several pages long and cover all three parts of the lecture.  Also included to download is a To Learn More feature. Here you will find additional books, websites, movies, and more pertaining to the studied topic. To make your life easier, links are included!  The last part of those notes is a For Further Study section. This has additional areas for study for your student to explore, with ideas for projects, research, or field trip ideas.

For ease, you will also find a dashboard on the site that will show you what your next lesson is about.  It also will show you your course progress, from how many days you have been on the course to what percentage of the course your student has completed.

While the target age for this course is a high school level, it can be done by younger kids with parental involvement, as well as enjoyed by adults who want to learn.

How we used this and what we think?
Our oldest son, Salem, age 15 and a high school freshman, has been the one using this course. Like his dad, he has a love of planes and a fascination with history.  He has watched the lessons, usually about two a week, independently, although I admit to watching a few along side of him because it sparked my interest.  (I loved the section on Nate Saint.) Salem has watched each lesson in one sitting because it is summer and we have the time.  That being said, if I were scheduling this for a child during the school year, I would schedule one section each for three days a week to break it up a little and assign the To Learn More sections for a fourth day.

So what do we think?  Well, we really do like this program!  Not only has Salem reviewed a lot of information about airplanes, he has learned a lot from the history portions of the class as well.  My kids are admittedly all history buffs, so learning about people and things from the past naturally interests them.  I think Darryl did a great job of choosing whom and what he would cover in the last two sections of each lesson, covering the past up to more recent events and people.

A few other things I appreciated-
  • The video lessons with Doctor Aviation teaching!  As homeschooled children, it is not super often my children get to learn from another human being other than me.  I love that they can have that experience from Doctor Aviation.
  • The maps and pictures.  Throughout the video, lessons, charts, maps, and vocabulary will pop up on the screen to look at.
  • Videos.  Let's face it, an aviation class is just more fun when you get to see planes flying.
  • The hanger.  Yes, most of the videos are filmed in a hanger!  That's the aviation geek side of my family showing through.
  • Test are also included.  Take note, this is what I appreciated, not necessarily Salem. ;) 
  • Full subject coverage!  Yes, you will learn about aircraft, but there is also information about history, the science behind things, geography, and even a little math with the Lift Equation!
The only thing Salem struggled with was the pace of the course.  There were times he voiced that he wished the instructor would move a bit faster.  I would mostly chalk this up to the fact that he is not used to sitting in a lecture-type setting, and he has a fast talking Southern momma!

While watching all of the videos will only take a little over 13 hours total, I most certainly will count this as a half a credit high school course in Aviation!  By the time you do additional research and exploration with all of the links provided as well as the For Further Study suggestions, there is no doubt you will have taken enough hours to cover a 1/2 credit course load.  Love that!  What a better way to get an elective in that is not only informative, but also fun!

Your subscription is for a half year- plenty of time to complete the course and all the extras you would want to do!

You can find Doctor Aviation on Facebook!  Be sure to follow him- he posts lots of fun articles and videos your aviation loving family will enjoy!

Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}

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