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Tuesday, July 18

Doctor Aviation - Family Review

Doctor Aviation
If you’ve followed our journey for any length of time, then you know that aviation is celebrated in a big way around here!  We have multiple aviation-themed field trips each year, and find as many ways to work it into our school day as possible. 

When we first discovered Doctor Aviation, my son began salivating right at the keyboard!  Although it’s a high school level course, I acquiesced, and we are spending a semester doing in-depth studies on multiple facets of aviation.  Some are things we’ve studied in the past, but many of them are far deeper than we’ve taken it before, and there are also off-the-beaten-track topics, too! 

This go-around, we’re primarily using it as a summer unit study, and for the vast majority of his Boy Scouts Aviation Merit Badge.  However, we give this program an A+ and plan to re-subscribe when he gets to high school – as an elective!

The Program
There are fifteen lessons included in the entire semester.  Each one has a video, downloading PDFs, and suggestions for extra learning.

Lessons include :

  • PDF of “To Learn More” suggestions (books, videos, hands-on activities, research, writing assignments, etc)
  • PDF of “Guided Notes” (fill in the blanks / questions about the video)
  • 45-60 minute video
  • Exam Notes / Exams (not included in every lesson)
Each of the videos includes three twenty-minute long sections :
  1. Technical Trivia (about the mechanics of flying itself and being a pilot)
  2. Notable Innovator (about a famous aviator)
  3. Legendary Aircraft (about a specific plane)
I like how the videos cover all three topics, with limited review from previous lessons included as well.  When it became clear that they were a little long for my 10 year old’s attention (even with his interest in flying), we were able to easily break them into three shorter segments to watch separately.  The course combines raw footage and graphics with the lecture format.  ‘Doctor Aviation’ incorporates anecdotes from his actual experiences into the lectures, bringing the concepts to life!

The course covers history, science, vocabulary, and technology, but it also has fun trivia, too – like how the P-51 Mustang got its name!  The lecture format is where my little one got lost, but it is very appropriate for the intended grade level.  As an adult or high school course, this is fabulously done!  It is a very appropriate level of coursework for an elective, and I look forward to having my son take it again when he reaches that level.

Our Experience
If we were going to spread this course out over an entire semester, we would do one lesson per week, and then spend the rest of the week doing written activities and projects pertaining to that lesson.  When we re-subscribe in a few years, this will be how I have him go through the course, as it will be counting for an elective credit then.  Right now, however, my airplane-minded son is only ten years old, and this was his in-depth summer learning project. 

He watched one lesson every other day, completing the accompanying worksheets as he watched it, and then we talked about the program together.  (I also watched and listened, but from the kitchen – usually while doing chores.  This gave him the grown-up experience of taking the course alone.)  On the ‘off’ day, he did research to further explore topics that had peaked his interest from the previous day’s lecture.  Although some of the material was over his head (after all, it is intended for high school students and adults), it was not so much so that he could not enjoy it and learn quite a bit from it.

Completing this course gave him all of the background knowledge required for the Aviation Merit Badge for Boy Scouts.  We then took a trip to a local airport for the hands-on component.  I’m all about combining school with badges, as y’all well know!  

Just the Facts

  • $99 / semester
  • Online-streaming
  • Downloadable / printable components
  • Exams offered
  • Counts as a semester of high school elective credit


See what others are saying about DoctorAviation at the Homeschool Review Crew!

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