Tuesday, March 13, 2018

NatureGlo's eScience MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle Review

My family had the privilege of trying the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle from NatureGlo's eScience for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

NatureGlo's eScience is a neutral worldview (non-faith based viewpoint) math enrichment (MathArt) and science live and self-paced online courses and curriculum for home and school educators and students. It is founded and directed by Gloria Brooks; a nature lover, longtime RVer, and curriculum writer. She has been teaching since 1997 and holds a BA in k-12 education.

All NatureGlo's eScience online learning courses are live and then recorded for you to be able to view them when ever your schedule permits. Class content is available for up to a year after subscription enrollment. The live classes meet at a specific time and date and uses the Zoom Live classroom platform. Students can access the live classes by Zoom live links and can access these classes by computer, phone, or other mobile device. If you are doing the live classes it is recommended to have access to a microphone and web cam so communication can go both ways. All self-paced classes are pre-recorded and include Slideshows, study guides, lesson enhancing YouTube videos and web resources. The 1-3 week short courses are recommended for ages 8 and up and the 1-6 week courses are recommended for ages 10 and up. Content is appropriate for upper elementary, middle and high schoolers. Each course can be used with multiple students in the same household. These courses could be applied towards middle school and high school credits depending upon your state homeschool requirements. Each class has a study guide and sometimes quizzes (using Quizlet) you can base grades off of also and participation and completion of activities can be recorded by parents. Additionally, each 6-week course has a certificate of completion at the end.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

We received the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle to review. This is a set of four online 6-week courses bundled together. These courses specifically take mathematics to the next level by linking it with science, nature, art, history, culture, music, archeology, language arts/literature, etc. These cross-curricular connections are beneficial to learning and make the curriculum more well-rounded in a more hands-on unit study type fashion. This course helps students realize that math is so much more than just numbers on a page. It is intertwined with all that the world has to offer.

The MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle Includes Four 6-week Courses in:
  • Math Connections with the Real World (Live Classes January-February 2018 Tuesdays)
  • MathArt in Ancient Cultures (Live Classes January-February 2018 Wednesdays)
  • Mathematics in the Arts & Sciences (Live Classes March-April 2018 Tuesdays)
  • MathArt - Patterns in Nature (Live Classes March-April 2018 Wednesdays)

NatureGlo's eScience MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle

We were told to choose one of the courses in the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle to focus on for this review. We chose the MathArt in Ancient Cultures. It is a 6-week class that focuses on learning about the incredible connections there are between mathematics, art, and architecture in ancient cultures.

When we logged in we had access to our classes under the "My Courses" tab in the member dashboard. Then we clicked on the MathArt in Ancient Cultures picture. This took us to the course.

On the main page it tells you how to access the course when it is live. We did not do this, we only did the course after it was recorded. This I felt made it easier for me and my family to work around our schedules and do it when we could instead of a set time and date. The main page has all the lessons in the course listed along the right side of the page and so we clicked those in sequential order. This gave us access to downloads, videos, slideshows, interactive pages, activities, projects, etc. and once the lessons were done we were able to check them off. Once marked done the check mark beside each turns green from gray, the lesson is crossed out with a line through it, and the words turn gray from red. If we had been to the lessons, but hadn't finished them the words turned yellow from red to indicate you had been there that day.

MathArt in Ancient Cultures 6-week Class Lessons:
  • Lesson #1 – Ancient Babylonians & the Plimpton 322
    • Main Lesson Slideshow and Study Guide Downloads
    • Main Lesson Videos with NatureGlo
    • DK Find Out! – Ancient Babylonian History Interactive
    • Ancient History Connection – Video (2:07): Ancient Babylonian tablet – world’s first trig table
    • Music Connection – Videos: Ancient Mesopotamia and Sumerian Music
    • Going Beyond – Additional Web Resources, Projects, Activities & Videos
  • Lesson #2 – Ancient Greek Math & the Platonic Solids
    • Pre-lesson Activity – History Connection – DK Find Out: Ancient Greece
    • Pre-lesson Interactive Activity – Polygons
    • Main Downloads & Lesson Videos with NatureGlo
    • Lesson Interactive Activity – Platonic Solids
    • History Connection Video (7:18) – Plato: Biography of a Great Thinker
    • MathArt Connection: Making the Platonic Solids & Others
    • Literature Connection: Plato’s Allegory of a Cave
  • Lesson #3 – Pythagoras & the Music of the Spheres
    • Pre-lesson Activity – History Connection – DK Find Out: Ancient Greece
    • Main Lesson Downloads & Videos with NatureGlo
    • Activity – Pythagorean Theorem Interactive
    • Video (5:45): Mini Biography: Pythagoras
    • Going Beyond – Web Resources, Projects & Videos
  • Lesson #4 – Ancient India’s MathArt: Rangoli, Mandalas & the Story of 1 – 9 & 0
    • Pre-lesson Activity – Ancient India & Arts & Crafts
    • Main Lesson Slideshow with Study Guide Downloads
    • Theater Connection – Ancient India Shadow Puppetry: The Gazelle
    • Art Connection – Video (4:48) How to Make Rangoli Using Kitchen Utensils
    • Literature Connection – Video (10:27) Ancient Indian Folk Tale: Presence of Mind
    • Going Beyond – Web Resources, Projects & Videos
  • Lesson #5 – Zellige Moroccan Tiles & Other Tessellations
    • Pre-lesson Activity – History of Moroccan Zellige
    • Main Lesson Downloads and Videos with NatureGlo
    • Math, History & Art Connections – Videos
    • Art Connection – eHow: How to Draw Islamic Art Video (2:31)
    • Literature Connection – The Lion, the Hedgehog and the Donkey (Moroccan Fable)
  • Lesson #6 – Maya MathArt
    • Pre-lesson Activity – The Maya Calendar
    • Main Lesson Downloads and Video with NatureGlo
    • Literature Connection – Gift to the Hummingbird
    • History Connection – Mayan Cities
    • Going Beyond – Web Resources, Projects & Videos
    • Art Connection – Video (3:59)
    • Student Certificate of Completion

We were learning about: Babylonians, Plimpton 322, Cuneiform script, Ancient Mesopotamia and Sumerian Music, Ancient Greece, Polygons, Plato, Platonic Solids, Pythagorean Theorem, Pythagoras, Ancient India, Indus Valley, Rangoli, Moroccan Zellige, Islamic Design, drawing Islamic Art, Mayan Calendar, Mayan Cities, etc. As you can see MathArt in Ancient Cultures covers a lot of ground and we could go into these even deeper with the extra resources they also add to the curriculum in the Going Beyond sections of the lessons. We loved the interactive websites, stories to read, educational videos, and hands-on art projects the course had to offer.

Lesson #2 - Interactive Activity - Polygons

My boys are ages 15 and 17. I had them do the study guides provided besides all the other stuff in the curriculum. This gave me good feedback on what information they were retaining. Some information like the Pythagorean Theorem and polygons we had already covered in previous math lessons, but it was good review for them. My girls who are 7 and 9 (almost 10) also sat in on most of the learning and did the fun art projects with us. All my kids are very hands-on so the projects like building Platonic Solids or creating a Rangoli are very satisfying. This offers them opportunities to do projects offline as well. I do wish though that a supply list for the art projects were provided ahead of time because I did not have colored sand or mirrored jewels for the Rangoli art.

Make Rangoli Design Video Stills

I did like that they gave us the option to watch the pre-recorded version or look at the slides ourselves and just read and discuss the information with each other. We liked doing the later because we found that the pre-recorded version didn't add anything more to the learning experience. I felt that the slides in the pre-recorded video lecture should have been expounded upon by the teacher and not just read word for word by the teacher or the student. We also were not able to watch these lectures live because of previous engagements and so we couldn't interact or ask questions to the presenter.

Most of the curriculum information had been curated from a number of different websites by Gloria Brooks and most, if not all, were outside sources not of her own creation. I noticed stuff from YouTube, DK Find Out!, Brainingcamp, blogs, and other websites. This is both a good and a bad thing in my opinion. On the one hand, the curriculum has been gathered from all over the web for you, the parent, to help teach the lessons so you don't have to take the time to gather all the information together yourself. On the other hand, even though I received the course for free to facilitate this review, I feel that the exorbitant price of this course for other homeschooling families really should reflect more on the content created by the presenter and/or curriculum writer and involve high quality content from them also...unfortunately, I am not seeing this.

This course, in my opinion, would be best used as a supplementary course. While this course did keep my younger kids engaged my older kids did not like the way it was presented to them. They said it was a little juvenile. I felt instead of 10-18 years of age these were more aimed for 8-13. I don't know that I would pay the steep cost to purchase this myself even though this is a 4 course bundle, you do get it for a whole year, and you can use it for the whole family. However; I will have to look at the rest of the content in more depth to really know what this whole bundle has to offer. I am excited to see the Math Connections with the Real World course next because there is stuff about Golden Ratio, Fibonacci, and the Egyptians!

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Purchase it HERE.

All FOUR classes - Single Payment of $597 $536.40, 10% off
All FOUR classes - 3 monthly Payments of $199.00

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for NatureGlo's eScience MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle...
MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle {NatureGlo's eScience Reviews}

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