Embracing a Healthy Family: NatureGlo's eScience: MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle Review

NatureGlo's eScience: MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle Review

natureGlo's eScience

I'm always searching for a new curriculum or program that might trigger a new interest in my children. My history and art loving daughter liked the idea of reviewing the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle from NatureGlo's eScience. We focused this review on MathArt in Ancient Cultures 6-week Class from the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle. The NatureGlo's eScience: MathArt in Ancient Cultures 6-week Class can be a real time course or viewed via a recorded link. Upon starting the first lesson, I definitely see a benefit from being able to participate real time especially since there are optional projects that can be presented to the live class to foster and encourage speaking in front of others. As a benefit, even if the student is taking the course via a recorded session, they can still complete a project and leave it under the comments section for that particular lesson. 

MathArt Online

Starting the Course:

To start, the website provides the information necessary for participating in the live class which includes the available access points one can participate:

  • PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android
  • iPhone via telephone number
  • Standard telephone via telephone number

Once the student logs in, there are green glass blocks breaking up each lesson's contents. The student cannot jump ahead and can only proceed on the course's schedule so green boxes open up each week.

As each week's assignments are completed, the student is provided with a digital award that accumulates (see screenshot below). The student can check their progress easily online via the My Achievements tab.

There are six lessons that are broken down into different activities for each topic:

  • 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

Each lesson, has a variety of activities for the student to complete. For example:

Pre-Lesson Activity

Lessons two through six have a pre-lesson activity to kick off each math art topic. The directions are plainly listed up front so the student knows what is expected and it encourages feedback by leaving comments in the comment section if viewing via recorded link. The various videos are colorful, full of great information that reinforces what is being taught and are not too long. The maps and other graphic tools utilized allows an interactive experience for the student as well as periodic quizzes to test their knowledge.

Main Lesson Slideshow and Study Guide Downloads

All lessons have a main lesson slideshow and study guide downloads that provide an introduction to that particular topic as well as a study guide that compliments the slideshow. The questions are just difficult enough to challenge the student while not being frustrating. It makes them think and recall what they just learned. Incorporating math into art is something that many students don't think about until they are taught so this made for a fun learning experience.

Main Lesson Videos

I was mixed on the recordings and so was my student, age 15. Whereas I do like the idea of encouraging participation, I don't think mine would. I prefer homeschooling so I can move forward with my lessons without distractions whereas each lesson that is taught by the instructor has the other students that participated in the call reading passages, answering questions or interjecting their thoughts. Some of the students had trouble reading certain words understandably or were hard to understand when responding or reading passages as well as background distractions. My student noted that as the only dislike of the course. I think it might be better to have a recording without the participants for those that prefer or need to view the recording versus participating in the live class. The live classes do provide the homeschooled student the chance to see what a school classroom would be like with other students participating which would be beneficial based on a person's preference. The instructor encourages open positive interaction for any questions or comments to encourage participation by all.

On some videos, the instructor demonstrated an annotation tool which allowed further participation for those participating in the live class. The map was informative and the instructor covered the major cities then and in modern times. She covered the background to Babylonian Mathematics which was interesting and information. Even after going to a couple of colleges, I had never heard of it so it was interesting to myself as well.

There are cute stories, interesting poems, music and much more to accompany each topic providing an interesting way to learn how math can be found in ancient cultures.

The student always knows where they are within the course as the right menu will list all the activities for each lesson. As the student completes an activity, it is lined through so they always know where they are, what they completed and how much more they need to complete. This was nice to avoid retaking a portion of the course or possibly skipping one.

Once the student completes the six-week, course, they receive a digital certificate of completion:

Since we finished our first course, we moved on to the Math Connections with Real World 6-Week Online Class learning about the Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Numbers which I had never heard of! I asked my eldest, who is 29, and she was taught this in school so I must have fallen asleep (shhh...). However, I learned a lot from the little bit we started. For example, patterns in nature are found everywhere such as the head of a sunflower or five points of a starfish. Those are examples of Fibonacci Numbers. The Golden Number is an infinite number 1.618033989 or shortened to 1.618. We just started this one and I think it will take a little more time to convince my student to finish this as it seemed confusing to her only because it was new and different material. However, I found it interesting and have an interest in learning more. I feel I need to fully understand it first to bring her on board with excitement. Given the benefits of learning about Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Ration, it's definitely not a bad thing to learn more as I'm a firm believer in knowledge is power and to achieve that, one should read, read, read!

There are also two other classes offered that I didn't review or start to review: MathArt in the Arts & Sciences 6-Week Online Class and MathArt Patterns in Nature 6-Week Online Class.

Overall, this is a good class to expand beyond traditional math and see how math is involved in many facets of life. It doesn't stop with only learning math as the student will learn about ancient culture, art and architecture thus providing a possible new interest along the way. It was the first type of class such as this my student participated in and I believe she would prefer recorded versions as she's a bit shy. It's full of various resources that added to the content and complimented the portions being taught. It truly opens one's eyes to how math is broad and timeless. I would utilize this as a supplemental course with my students and continue with a traditional math curriculum.

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