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There have been several times in the past few years where we needed to have school on the go. We might not have been on the road, but we have needed to juggle locations without dragging tons of books with us. This is when online learning is so beneficial.
For this review, we focused on MathArt in Ancient Cultures, just one of the courses in the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle.
About NatureGlo’s eScience MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle
Gloria Brooks is the founder and director of NatureGlo’s eScience (NeS), an eLearning platform which is completely neutral in worldview (non-faith in approach.) She has been teaching since 1997 and developing electronic curriculum since 2011. Ms. Brooks is passionate about sharing the natural world with others and all of her courses include aspects of it. She is now a full-time RVer and many of her experiences are incorporated into the curriculum through photos.
NatureGlo’s eScience offers a variety of learning opportunities including math enrichment (MathArt) and science courses. The curriculum is for middle/high homeschool and school students (ages 12 and up) although a younger sibling can join in and learn as well. For this review, we worked on the 6-week MathArt in Ancient Cultures course.
Video of How NatureGlo’s eScience Courses Began
Inside the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle:
Math Connections with the Real World
MathArt in Ancient Cultures
Mathematics in the Arts & Sciences
MathArt – Patterns in Nature
This bundle is still in process for a few of the classes. As her live classes are completed, the associated materials are being uploaded to the self-paced courses.
Once you have the bundle purchased, you can access each class from the student dashboard.
How Lessons are Set Up for MathArt Online Courses
Lessons are broken down into segments which include video components, PowerPoint presentations, study guides, and a going beyond component which includes supplemental learning opportunities. As one might expect from the name, there are multiple opportunities to create art that ties with the math concept being studied.
Within the study guides, you will find pages to help your student take notes on what they are learning as they work through the different components.
As you progress through the material, there is the option to mark each segment complete.
Lesson videos which are made for each MathArt course include a pre-lesson activity as well as the slideshows. There are supplemental videos with questions to help guide the student to think about the material presented.
Our Thoughts on MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle
As a homeschool mom who has taught science in the home, I appreciate the amount of time needed to pull together a class. Lesson planning and pulling together your resources to make it all happen takes time.
MathArt Online seeks to connect math to other disciplines (e.g. art, history, nature, and science) in education to help kids comprehend the how’s and why’s of the subject they are studying. With my 9th grader deep into world history this year, I was eager for him to connect math to aspects of ancient history.
Lessons for MathArt in Ancient Cultures
Ancient Babylonians & the Plimpton 322
Ancient Greek Math & the Platonic Solids
Pythagoras & the Music of the Spheres
Ancient India’s MathArt: Rangoli, Mandalas & the Story of 1 – 9 & 0
Zellige Moroccan Tiles & Other Tessellations
As someone who has studied math and science at the collegiate level, I am always up for digging deeper than the regular texts. Going across subject lines is something I do not recall ever happening during my school years with the exception of my Honors College Colloquium course.
Yet, things seem to stick SO much better when you can connect the dots and see the bigger picture. And that is what I see these courses seeking to do.
Beyond seeing the big picture, looking at math played out in ancient cultures solidifies the notion that individuals years ago were seeing amazing concepts at work in their world.
My Family’s Thoughts on MathArt in Ancient Cultures
Sadly, my boys don’t think the same way and were not really impressed with the material in the MathArt in Ancient Cultures we were focused upon for this review. I could not get them past the first lesson which meant spending my time to walk through other lessons for the review.
The PowerPoint on its own was fine. Rather, they feel that the video components, e.g. the pre-lesson activity, are rambling and do not grab their interest at all. These are raw recordings of a live class that is now placed into the self-paced course. The students who were in the live class do interact in the videos which I believe is part of what distracted my boys.
Other resources drawn from outside sources for the lesson did not get quite the same negative reception. I’ll admit that my older boys are what I call ‘media snobs’ who expect videos to be edited and ‘shiny’ before publication. I can surmise that my high schoolers also felt that the target audience of the class was much younger than them as the students participating in the live class are younger.
A Homeschool Mom’s Opinion
Homeschool parents have a full plate. With a full-time job out of the home right now, I feel that my plate is beyond overflowing. This means needing work for my high school students to be well laid out so they self-direct themselves through the material. I also need to know exactly what they are supposed to do without having to hold their hand through the process.
I do not feel that at this time the courses are to that point. Maybe as things are finished and polished it will reach the point where I could turn things over to them. But, for now, I need to be present the entire time to ensure work is being completed, especially given their resistance to it. (And I do plan to have my 9th grader do more of the work when I am done at my current job.)
That being said, I see a LOT of great information compiled into the lessons. Taking what is often taught as abstract concepts and bringing into the real world is a wonderful approach to education. I also like the different resources she incorporates into the program (e.g. DK books and Mathigon pictured below.)
Final Takeaway for MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle
I see a lot of potential for this curriculum IF you have the time to be fully present with your student OR have an incredibly self-motivated child. The material has been in production during this review period so there is the possibility things will be polished up a bit more to have greater appeal for more students. Being a part of a live class may have had a different response from my boys as there is interaction.
I highly suggest utilizing one of her FREE pre-recorded lessons to see if this will work for your family. All 3 options are science courses, but should give you a flavor of her approach.
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit NatureGlo’s eScience post on the Homeschool Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this resource.