Knowledge is the cornerstone to being the best aviator you can be. Without reasonable knowledge about your flying education, your ability to operate successfully is compromised.
So how do you get educated? Transport Canada with the Private Pilot and the Commercial Pilot Flight Training programs require particular lengths of ground training outlined in each section of the requirements for Pilot Training.
In School Training
Often, the school you are affiliated with will host a formal in house ground training course. These are well run, comprehensive and the live instructor is to your benefit. This is the traditional method. As you complete the in house course you are tested in sections and complete a practice exam that is endorsed by that school. This allows for a recommendation by the schools Chief Flight Instructor for the required letter of recommend that you need at the time you write your final Transport Canada Exam. In house ground school allows for immediate access to your current flight instructor or the current ground school instructor for answers to questions that you are having trouble with. Some of these schools grant access to the course ware materiel for you to study while you are on course. While these situations are reasonable, these courses take time to complete, sometimes lasting months when classes only happen 2 evenings a week.
This is only part of the problem. While one will spend plenty of time with the books, this study will only supplement the formal training that you require by Transport Canada. The Self Study that you do, you should track. How do you do that? By making a Journal of the time spent in your self study. This hourly record of self study is important to use with your formal ground training to demonstrate to your training establishment what self study you can get credit for.
CAR101.01 has a definition of ground school
Ground school instruction means classroom-type instruction generally given to one or more persons and covering an organized program of lectures, homework or ‘self-paced study’ that adheres to an approved training program.
That being said I don’t recommend that one try to self study it in isolation. There are Online Training Programs
In this day and age, the rise of flight training programs that can be done remotely are beginning to surface. These are Approved Training Programs for Pilot Ground School. One such Online training program is a company called Level Flight and can be found in any search. It offers Private and Commercial self paced study programs that you can complete on your own. It has all that you need to achieve the knowledge needed to be credited with the experience requirements in order to write the Transport Canada Written Exams.
This is one of the online ground training institutions that offers online ground training and comes with the needed support group and structured ground training programs that allows you to study at your own pace. If done diligently, one will acquire the necessary education that will serve to account for the required training time and deliver the needed recommendations that are necessary for completing the Transport Canada PPL and CPL written exams.
Both methods work
In House or Online, many people do both, and many flight schools will honor online ground school work from approved online educational institutions. But flight schools may also ask you to complete their practice exam schedules in order for you to receive their recommendations to write exams in lieu of doing their in house ground school programs.
Before you begin Ground Training
Contact the Training Institution and see how they handle the credit for ground training. Some schools have their own opinions about online ground training and how they credit this activity. Regardless, with the advent and expansion of all educational institutions, and their move to online or remote training, it is little surprise that resources like levelflight.ca are available.