Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
I recently had the opportunity to review a bundle of MathArt and Science courses from NatureGlo’s eScience. This NatureGlo’s eScience MathArt & Science Course Bundle contained a variety of online courses on different MathArt and science topics. The courses were created by Gloria Brooks and are video based with additional links and activities to help the students go deeper into each topic. The courses are presented from a neutral worldview.
Topics included rockhounding (which I want to try), herps, invertebrates, mammals, sharks, marine biology, MathArt, polygons, snowflakes, Leonardo da Vinci, botany, and bubbleology (my son’s favorite). I know that I am not the only one who wondered what the term ‘MathArt ‘ meant. The description that Gloria Brooks shared was “MathArt introduction is a unique journey exploring the mathematical connections there are with math, nature, science, art, and architecture.” The courses covered common patterns and geometric shapes in nature, concentric rings, hexagons, etc.
As we looked at the variety of courses offered, I allowed my children to choose which courses they wanted to try. We did three different courses (as well as looking at parts of some others) during our time reviewing this program. The three programs we focused on were the Tide Pool Communities, Bubbleology, and Exploring he Giant Redwood Trees. We look forward to continuing to use some of the other programs this year as time allows.
Each NatureGlo’s eScience includes a main video lesson, a slideshow which is used in the main lesson, a study guide the students can complete, and additional information and activities. For example, there may be several shorter videos with more information, suggested experiments, and web links to other related resources.
They started with bubbleology because my six-year-old son thought it sounded like a lot of fun. He loves bubbles and was excited to get to spend his science time that week studying them. They enjoyed the lesson and were excited to learn some new tricks about creating stronger and better bubbles. There was even a section on how to make shaped bubbles.
Next, they decided on Exploring the Giant Redwood Trees. We had learned a little about the Redwood trees in our geography program last semester and a visit to the Redwood Forest is on our family bucket list. They enjoyed this course and particularly liked the extra videos which included a video of people climbing the trees.
They chose Tide Pool Communities because our family really enjoys spending time at the beach and playing in the tide pools. One of the things that my twelve-year-old daughter noticed and appreciated about this course was that the creatures found in the tide pools in the course were different than those we normally find locally.
Once we were logged in with our courses purchased the website and courses were easy to navigate. However, when we clicked on the link before logging in, I noticed that the website was a bit confusing to navigate. I would have expected the courses to be a challenge to navigate based on the website, but in reality my twelve-year-old did not have any problem navigating through the courses and completed the required activities. The membership portion of the website was much more user friendly than the main site.
My son and daughter both enjoyed the courses. They liked the variety of information and being able to choose topics that were of interest to them. They did learn that the beginning of each main video went over the same ‘housekeeping’ type of information that explained each course. After the first couple of videos, I told them that they could skip to where the lesson actually started. This saved us about ten to fifteen minutes for each lesson. However, we understood the need to include it since it could be the first course for other people.
Overall, while I found the initial website to be a bit of a challenge to navigate, the e-courses were lots of fun and very educational. For our family, they work well as a supplemental program that helps my children learn more about areas of interest. For homeschoolers that take a more child directed or relaxed approach they could easily be your entire science curriculum. Be sure to check out all of the other Crew Reviews to see which courses they tried and how the program worked for their families.