Often, when we teach our children in school, we look for curriculum that individually covers each subject. The thing that is so interesting with that is there is not one subject we teach our child that works independently. Everything intersects somewhere and connects somehow. NatureGlo’s eScience shows children those intersections and connections. Everything really does work together.
Science is not just science. Math is not just math. It is science and math, science and math and history, science and math and literature . . . NatureGlo’s eScience shows us how science and math connect with everything.
NatureGlo’s eScience (NeS) is not only the name of the eLearning program, but also the self-proclaimed nickname of Gloria Banks (NatureGlo) who created the math enrichment and science live online courses. Gloria, who has a deep appreciation for nature and has been teaching homeschoolers about her passion for almost 10 years. Her experiences have evolved into the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle, which we had the opportunity to review.
The four-class bundle includes:
Math Connections with the Real World
MathArt in Ancient Cultures
MathArt in the Arts & Sciences
MarthArt- Patterns in Nature
Each course is six weeks long and is geared towards upper elementary through high school students. They may choose to participate in the live, online classes or to self-pace through the classes. I wanted to attend the live classes, but we were not able to fit them into our schedule. Well, that was all right, because the self-paced option still worked well for us.
Even as a family on the go, we were able to “attend” the classes and work through the lessons using an iPad. We spent much of our time working through the MathArt in Ancient Cultures 6-week Class. The class covers:
Lesson #1 – Ancient Babylonians & the Plimpton 322
Lesson #2 – Ancient Greek Math & the Platonic Solids
Lesson #3 – Pythagoras & the Music of the Spheres
Lesson #4 – Ancient India’s MathArt: Rangoli, Mandalas & the Story of 1-9 & 0
Lesson #5 – Zellige Moroccan Tiles & Other Tessellations
Lesson #6 – Maya MathArt
There are daily lessons students complete and there is a whole lot of learning going on. The NatureGlo’s eScience classes are well laid out and are user-friendly.
This is from Lesson #2 – Pre-lesson Activity – History Connection – DK Find Out: Ancient Greece. When you click on the red dot, descriptive information about the pointed location pops up. Although this is a static page here, on the website it is interactive. Students are also able to take a fun quiz to test their knowledge.
Each week begins with a Pre-lesson Activity when Gloria includes student participation. If your child is able to attend the live class, they will be included in the recorded version that is available to students who are unable to attend. Gloria is a personable and patient teacher, which is evident throughout the recorded lessons we watched. She encourages students to participate and directs them through the material with engaging conversation. Gloria leads in discussion, questions about the material and gives the students time as she listens to their responses. I like the interactive learning experience she has created in the pre-lessons. It is a great way to get the students active and interested in the daily lessons.
This is a recorded video from one of Gloria’s previous classes of the Math Lesson – Celtic MathArt Pre-lesson.
The weekly lessons are enhanced by a number of activities. There are PDF study guides and Power Point lesson slides to help the student follow along with the lessons. The study guide has call and response and also drawing and sketching sections for students to complete. If your child is not much for writing (or drawing), just watching all of the videos included in the lessons will give them a complete study. We looked through the study guides and did verbal responses for many of the questions. Gloria includes a number of resources to access as well as material to cover, where you may not complete it all.
A couple of things we learned:
Rangoli is “a form of folk Indian decorative geometric sand painting”. It was traditionally done by women, but is done by both men and women, today. One would see the decorative art on living room floors and courtyards deemed sacred welcoming areas during Hindu festivals. It is thought the art brings good luck. – Lesson #4
Complex geometry in art is incredible. River loved learning about the tessellation process. He already knew some about it, but seeing how the patterns come together was neat. Using just a compass and a ruler can create so many intricate and beautiful patterns using four, five or six equal sections. – Lesson #5
Once a lesson is completed, you may “Mark Complete”, so you will be able to easily return to the class and start right where you stopped. I had more than one child watching the lessons, so we stopped checking them off. If you do mark a lesson complete, you are still able to return and repeat the lesson.
You can tell Gloria has taken great time to create the classes that are included in the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle. All of the resources she has gathered – videos, links to additional sites, etc. took time to collect. They add great educational detail to the class topic. Because there are a number of links that lead to other sites (ex: YouTube), I would suggest you walk through the lessons before sharing them with your children. One, it will help you be prepared with any needed supplies for the lesson before they begin. Two, you will be able to screen the material and ensure the content is suitable and does not lead to other locations in case the links have changed.
Each class works well individually, but the bundle would also be a nice addition to your homeschool. Since so many subjects are covered – art, history, literature, math, science – it could add more variety to a routine school experience. If you have a high school student, they could complete all of the class material and use the class experience towards a high school elective credit. Since I now have a high school student, I look at all learning as a opportunity towards high school credit. Because of the possible high school credit, it would be nice if a class was geared just towards high school students, so the conversation in the pre-lessons could be at that level too.
NatureGlo’s eScience classes have given us new perspective on how to view the natural world. Even though the instruction is taught from a neutral worldview/non-faith base, I still see so much of God active in nature and creativity throughout history. I see more than just the surface when looking at anything around me. NatureGlo’s eScience classes are a wonderful way to take advantage of an online learning experience.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle is available for $536.40, which gives you one-year access to the lessons. You may use the class with multiple children and they may work through at their own pace. There is also an option to purchase the classes individually.
Social Media Links
Twitter: https://twitter.com/natureglo1 Tag: @natureglo1