Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Doctor Aviation {Review}

Nicholas has always been interested in "anything that flies".  Last summer, he attended a Youth Fire Academy camp for middle schoolers at our local fire department.  They had a CareFlite helicopter land on-site and the pilot and technicians talked to the students about CareFlite and how they help people in an life-threatening emergency.  Right then and there Nicholas decided that he wants to be a CareFlite helicopter pilot when he grows up.  Since then I have been seeking out more books for him on aviation and trying to get him as much exposure to the field as possible.  I learned about Doctor Aviation through the Home School Review Crew and eagerly signed up to review the aviation video training course.  What a perfect fit it has been!
Doctor Aviation
This aviation video training course is taught by Daryl Smith (aka Doctor Aviation).  Mr. Smith has 24 years of experience in the Air Force where he was an instructor and research pilot.  He has taught at the United States Air Force Academy and has also authored a book on aviation. 

Nicholas has been working through the Doctor Aviation lessons over the summer.  It consists of 15 lessons of about 45-60 minutes each.  Each lesson is comprised of three parts.  First, Technical Trivia includes learning about important points like radar, how to maneuver an airplane, and the different types of jet engines.  Second, the lesson introduces a Notable Innovator like Chuck Yeager or Amelia Earhart.  Lastly, the lesson covers a Legendary Event like Breaking the Sound Barrier or a Legendary Aircraft such as the F-14 Tomcat.

The video lessons are taught Daryl Smith.  He is very knowledgeable and his lessons are straight forwards and easy to understand.  It is helpful that throughout the videos he also includes slides and demonstrations to help explain the concepts.

Included with each lesson are Guided Notes.  These contain several pages and they serve as an outline of the presentation with gaps for the student to fill in as they learn.  

Each lesson also includes a To Learn More section that includes recommended books, websites, writing assignments and hands-on activities to bring the newly learned concepts to life.  Nicholas enjoyed reading The Bishop's Boys by Tom Crouch which was one of the recommended books about Orville and Wilbur Wright.  He has added a few of the other book recommendations to his summer reading list.

You can view the lessons on a computer or table but we have internet connected to our television in the living room so we watch the lessons there so the whole family can learn together.  I have enjoyed watching the course as much as Nicholas.  You will want to connect to a printer to make a hard copy of the Guided Notes.  Before Nicholas began the course, I printed out all of the Guided Notes and the To Learn More pages and put them in a 3-ring binder so he could use them while he watched each lesson.

Doctor Aviation costs $99 for six months of access to the course.  It is intended for ages 16 and up but Nicholas is 13 and has done great in the course but he already had a good understanding of aviation concepts.  The course is thorough and could definitely count as a half credit for high school but if the student completed all of the additional activities it would probably take a full year and could count as a full high school credit.

For more information about Doctor Aviation, please check them out online:
If you are interested in reading additional reviews from other Home School Review Crew members to see what they thought of the Doctor Aviation online aviation course, please click on the banner below:
Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fascinating Chemistry {Review}

The Home School Review Crew has been reviewing several different online courses from Fascinating Education.  The courses are intended for high school but middle school students who are strong in math skills can do well in these courses too.  They offered us three courses to choose from: Fascinating Chemistry, Fascinating Biology, and Fascinating Physics.  They recommend taking their courses in that specific order so I chose Fascinating Chemistry.  

Fascinating Chemistry

The course was created by Dr. Sheldon Margulies, a retired neurologist and professor at several impressive medical schools.  He has also published three educational textbooks.  As you look through the Fascinating Education website, you will see that Dr. Margulies has a passion for science that he is excited to share with others.  He has created these courses with moving slides and audio presentations together to help ignite "right brain" learning, making the educational experience more complete than simple reading a text book.

The Fascinating Chemistry course is taught over 18 lessons.  During the lesson, Dr. Margulies stops and asks questions for the student to think about and there is always a review of the material that has already been covered.  There is also a printable transcript of the lesson if your student wanted to just print it and read it.  However, those are simply not as interesting as watching the presentations.

You can view the complete course outline for Fascinating Chemistry and even try a sample lesson HERE.

There are chemistry labs in most of the lessons.  They typically use basic household items but there are some chemicals and other supplies that you will probably need to purchase.  As with any science experiment, students are encouraged to use safety gear like eye protection and adult supervision is required.  

Each lesson has an online test which is automatically graded and the student can review his results to see what he missed.  There are also printable tests and answer keys if you want to administer the test to your student on your own.

Fascinating Chemistry does not retain the test scores so if you want to keep a copy for your records then be sure to review the quiz results and print them right away.  It does mention this on the website but I did not remember that until I went back later and couldn't find Nicholas' earlier test results that I had not recorded.

Other members of the Home School Review Crew have tried Fascinating Chemistry as well as other products such as Fascinating Biology and Fascinating Physics.  If you would like to read reviews from crew members on any of these products, please click on the banner below:

Biology, Chemistry & Physics {Fascinating Education Reviews}

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