Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Doctor Aviation: A TOS Crew Review

Doctor Aviation
Doctor Aviation

For homechool high school electives... the sky's the limit!  Bentz Test Laboratory has been exploring the world of aviation with Doctor Aviation , a six-month online aviation course.  

This easy-to-use, online program offers 15 lessons that cover a wide range of topics involving aviation - airplanes, aviation history and even airport management.  It is suitable for a wide variety of ages - from teens to adults.

Dr. Aviation Intro Video from Daryl Smith on Vimeo.

Each lesson contains a 45-60 minute video with three sections:

  • Technical Trivia - the way airplanes and airports work.  
  • Notable Innovators  - famous pilots and aircraft designers - i.e Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Yeager, Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart just to name a few. 
  •  Legendary Events/Aircraft - a famous event or aircraft in aviation history  - i.e the Boeing 747 or the First  Solo Transatlantic Flight

The videos include diagrams, and slides as well as,  Dr. Aviation -a former Air Force pilot and instructor with over 20 years of experience, speaking directly to the student.  The videos are very well done, and highly interesting! Once logged in, the student can access any lesson (going back to review if they wish) - however, the program will keep track of your progress.

In addition to the video lessons, each lesson includes Guided Notes and To Learn More PDF downloads.  

The Guided Notes are straight forward, filling in the blanks style.  It's a great way to interact with what they are hearing, and practice note taking skills.  The only comment my tester had is he wishes that spelling of names would appear on screen, to help with completing the form.
We printed out the notes and kept them in a binder for future review.

The "To Learn More" is included for each lesson with additional resources the student can use to dive deeper.  Books, articles (with internet links), videos and further study ideas are included with every lesson.

My tester is a Senior in highschool ( did that happen?)  He is fascinated with aviation, and is potentially considering a career.  This program arrived at just the right time!

He is completing all the lessons, and will be incorporating activities and reading from the To Learn More resources to earn a 1/2 credit for his transcript. He has really enjoyed the material - it's a great introduction to all areas of aviation.  He likes it so much, he's spending much of his summer studying it on his own!   It's the highest endorsement a high school student can give...

Here's a preview of what the course covers - you can watch the first lesson for free here:

I. The Aircraft

2. The Major Components of an Airplane
3. Axes and Forces
4. Why an Aircraft Flies: The Secret of Airfoils and Lift
5. Why an Aircraft Turns, Pitches, and Flies: The Flight Controls

II. Air Traffic Control

6. How We See an Aircraft Miles Away: The Secrets of Radar
7. The Air Traffic Cops: How Air Traffic Control Works

III. Maintenance

8. Keep 'Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance - Propeller Engines
9. Keep 'Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance - Jet Engines

IV. Airfield Operations

10. The City in and of Itself: Running a Large Airport
11. The Small Airport and Running an FBO

V: The Aircraft II

12.  Flying in the Clear and Not so Clear Air: VMC and IMC
13. Important Pilot Instruments – Attitude Indicator
14.  Important Pilot Instruments – Airspeed Indicator
15.  Other Aviation Ships: Gliders, Helicopters, Airships

This is not only a very well done program, but Dr. Aviation actually donates 70% of his revenues to "Young Life, Cru, Campus Outreach and other organizations working to restore wholeness to America's youth; the future of our country"  I love supporting organizations with this mission!  Thank you Dr. Aviation!!

Find Doctor Aviation on Social Media:

Facebook: Tag: @doctoraviation
Twitter: Tag: @draviationguy

Hashtags: #hsreviews #Aviation, #AviationHistory, #DoctorAviation

Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trust Fund & Love Was Near from Mapelle Films: A TOS Crew Review

Mapelle Films
Trust Fund Movie

Trust Fund & Love Was Near from Mapelle Films

I have four daughters, and one of our favorite things is to snuggle up together and watch a good "chick flick" together.  But, it's tricky to find something we can all watch, that's also appropriate with a good message.  We were delighted to get the chance to preview - Trust Fund - a movie with the coordinating book Love Was Near from Mapelle Films.

A exciting bonus, is that the producer - Isaac Alongi, was homeschooled!  It's wonderful to see the fruits of homeschooling showing in adults. He credits the freedom to explore his passions while being homeschooled one of his favorite parts.  I hope ALL our children will thrive from their years spent homeschooling like he has.

This film is a contemporary telling of the Prodigal Son story from the Bible.  Although the film never mentions God directly, it uses the story to illustrate the point, much like Jesus did. The main character is Reese Donahue- played by Jessica Rothe.  She is the younger daughter of the story. She is a free-thinking, expressive young writer who is ready to enjoy life.  

Without giving away too much of the plot, she leaves home and makes poor choices along the way.  Her father welcomes her back home, throws the party, and the older sister objects (I'm not giving away the's already in the Bible!) 

The film does offer a Study Guide, which you can download. It offers Scripture and some great questions for encouraging discussion with your children, after watching the movie.

Love Was Near Book We also got the chance to look at Love Was Near, 225 page, softcover book that gives more insight to the story of the film.  It's like a peek into Reese's thoughts and journal, with places for the reader to journal along.  My 14 year old read it.  She liked seeing the pictures from the movie included.  Many of the questions pertained to experiences she hasn't had "Have you been in a relationship, or are you thinking of someone now, that you aren't sure you're seeing or thinking about clearly?"  A very good family discussion question... "If you inherited 5 million dollars, what would you do?"  The book is a great way to intentionally discuss the themes of the movie.

Which brings me to our opinion of the movie.  We enjoyed our time together watching it, but it left us with lots of questions.  There are numerous sub-plots and we got lost every now and then (could be us!).  My testers are 13 and 14, on the young side, and found it hard to relate to the main character. She's extremely rich - and her world is so very different.  She has an inappropriate relationship with the Italian boyfriend (never shown explicitly on screen, but suggested heavily), but comes back to get  the  American boyfriend in the end. We never see the "why" behind what the father does.  We wish it had explained how his faith motivated him to forgiveness. 

All in all - it was an entertaining movie.  I would recommend it for OLDER teens/young adults.  Check out the trailer here.   I fully support more movies with a Christian message, produced by homeschoolers!

Find  Mapelle Films on Social Media:

Facebook: Tag: @TrustFundMovie
Twitter: Tag: @TrustFundMovie
Pinterest: Tag: @trustfundmovie
Instagram: Tag: @trustfundmovie

Hashtags: #hsreviews , #trustfundmovie. #family. #movienight, #moviereview, #familynight, #familyfun

Trust Fund Movie {Mapelle Films Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

First Friday Friends - Finale!

We have had a wonderful year together!  This group of moms and daughters have become precious friends.

We ended with a big splash!  A pool party!!

Our craft was very simple, I got paper mache picture frames the girls could decorate or sign as a memento of our time together.

LOVE this group!  

 We're asking... what do we do next?!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Fairy Birthday Party

I have to confess... neither of these children of mine have EVER had a birthday party.   So, we decided to have a joint birthday party (since they have many of the same friends).

I am so happy with our theme... "Fairies"   I had a blast putting it all together, and so did they!  And, best of all - it was easy and inexpensive.

We did cupcakes instead of cake.  I had these adorable flower liners in the cabinet, and found the fairy picks on Amazon.  I loved how they turned out.  We used the fairy crowns (also from Amazon) for our centerpiece, and each girl took one home.

 Our activity for the party was making Fairy Gardens.  So simple!  A plastic bowl, a wooden bird house, some potting soil, a plant and rocks, moss, or fairy stuff, the fairies were from our cupcakes.

My big girls had an excellent time helping with the prep and making their own!

 The Birthday Girls!

We had cupcakes and an ice cream sundae bar.  The waffle bowls made it very fun, and the fairy plates were just the right touch. (Amazon again!)

 We even had entertainment   -  Our very own...Fairy Magician!

 The girls loved him!

Everyone's gardens turned out beautiful - and unique!

This was so much fun... I may have to get back into birthday parties every year!