Friday, October 9, 2020

NatureGlo's eScience (A REVIEW)

 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.  


One of my goals this school year is to get outside and discover nature more with the kids but putting together nature studies seems like such a daunting task lately. With NatureGlo's eScience unit studies the work is already done! In her NatureGlo's eScience MathArt & Science Course Bundle, Gloria, the founder of NatureGlo's eScience, has many courses to choose from that directly relate to nature, the outdoors, and include many subjects like math, science, history, botany, marine biology, art, art history, and so much more. For this review we chose to focus on one of the unit studies titled: MathArt: Polygons and Patterns in nature. It took us outside and we discovered what we can create with nature!

NatureGlo science

NatureGlo's eScience unit studies are all available online with access from any computer or device that can login to the website. The courses consist of videos (some pre-recorded), documentaries, slides, interactive websites, printables, YouTube videos, nature/outdoor time, fun projects, and many other hands on activities. The courses all have a progression and "mark complete" boxes so there's no confusion as to where the student is at, and they can move through each section at their own pace.

A sample of some of the unit studies offered at NatureGlo's eScience

To start up our MathArt course I first printed up the printable study guide to go with the first section that we worked on which was Polyhedra in History, Art, & Nature. This isn't something you have to do, but it's nice for the students to have this as they watch the videos and work through the course.


Even if it's just to doodle! But, it's also good and challenging for them to find the answers to what is being talked about in the videos/slides. There is also a quiz for when we complete this section.


To begin our MathArt unit study we watched several videos made by Gloria that consisted of slides full of information about the subject (this has been the case for all the courses we've done). These videos were pre-recorded for a live class so there are questions that she asks and they are very interactive. My kids were able to answer the questions and loved getting them right before the other kids that were part of the live recording, so it worked well, and my kids enjoyed it. She speaks clearly, and uses all the real scientific/mathematical terms even if they are challenging to say or understand. I love that she doesn't dumb down anything, and she speaks directly to the children as if they will absolutely understand everything very clearly. The kids pick up more than we know!

Screenshot of one of the slideshow videos we watched for lesson 1.

After the lesson videos that talk all about Polygons and Polyhedra in nature Gloria takes us outside in another video to show us the outdoor challenge. She shows the kids exactly what to look for and an example of something to create, and then how to make a nature journal entry. I loved this! I had never thought to do that! The kids are free to find any shapes and create anything they can imagine. After we watched that video, it was time to get outside.


Our challenge for this outdoor time was to find polygons and polyhedra in nature. In other words, shapes and solids. This was a great activity, and one that I would never think to connect with nature, but here it is! Such a great lesson and fun outdoor time!


My 4th grader decided to find cylinders, or as he loves to call them: sticks. The other part of this challenge of finding the shapes in nature was that the student was also supposed to create a piece of artwork from those shapes in nature, so he collected sticks because he decided he wanted to make his artwork out of mostly cylinders.


We brought our nature journals, colored pencils, and some reference pages for creating our nature study page and artwork. Part of the assignment was to create sketches of the shapes and write mathematical descriptions of the shapes in the journal as well. This is usually my boys' least favorite part, but they each created something, and did really well recording it in their journal. We discovered a lot of shapes in nature!


After my son got all of his shapes down, he created this art masterpiece. He titled it: nature symbol.


He sketched it in his journal and labeled all the shapes he used.


 His completed journal page.

Alex's (4th grdae) completed nature page for Lesson 1 Polygons and Polyhedra in nature.

These unit studies are geared toward ages 10 and up. My 4th grader is 9, and he really liked this. Some things were harder for him to understand in the videos, but he still loved it all. My 7th grader also participated. Here is his work.


He went for more of a 3D, solid shape art piece. He wanted to create a prism using pine cones and sticks, or spheres and cylinders. He worked hard at getting to stand, but he just couldn't quite get it to stand for long enough for a picture, so he held it together for this picture.


Then when he let go it fell and made kind of a cool flat shape!


 His journal page. He did not want to do this part, but it encouraged him to get out of his comfort zone.

As we were working we found and made other shapes. This Pyramid was created by the 4th grader.


We all noticed many "cone" shapes in the pine trees.


 And I presented this challenge to the boys, what shape(s) would you find in this branch?


This is the second time we've reviewed NatureGlo's eScience, and both times I've been impressed with the quality of the learning and educational value of her videos and projects. The kids are so drawn to the lessons in the natural world and patterns and truths, and she presents them in a very easy to understand, kid friendly way, but at the same time keeping the integrity and beauty of nature as the focus. If you want some great math and science that include a lot of nature study I highly recommend checking out Gloria's NatureGlo's eScience unit studies. If you'd like to see what other crew members have to say about this review click on the banner below!


NatureGlo's eScience MathArt & Science Course Bundle { NatureGlo's eScience Reviews}

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