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.
Are you hoping to help your kids develop a natural curiosity towards math and science? With NatureGlo’s eScience you can do just that. For the past several weeks, we’ve been reviewing the NatureGlo’s eScience MathArt & Science Course Bundle.
What Is This Product?
NatureGlo’s eScience courses are housed online. They’re designed for learners in the middle school and high school grade range. The goal is to encourage students to take a seat at the helm of their education and get engaged in the learning process. They help to spark interest in math, science, and art.
In the bundle I reviewed, my son was able to access 25 different courses. There were a wide variety to choose from, covering many different branches of science and math. Some of the courses were about:
- Giant Redwoods
- Math Art
- Deep Sea Creatures
- Marine Zoology
- Leonardo da Vinci
- And much, much more
Each course was set up in a similar format. Once logged in, your child navigated to the course dashboard. From there, they could click on the course they wanted to take. This screenshot shows some of them.
Once in the class, they scrolled down past the intro and could access the lessons. Many of the courses are only one lesson. However, there are various components in each lesson, helping your student to really explore the topic.
First, there’s a Pre-Lesson activity. This was typically a quick intro to help students get ready to learn. Students were directed to leave a comment on the page with an answer. However, I opted to not have my child do this. Instead, we orally discussed his answer.
Here’s a quick peek at the pre-lesson for the Rockhounding course, so you can get a better idea of how it’s arranged.
In other courses, there was a short video to watch. Or a quiz to take. None of these activities took a lot of time, but they were very useful for activating prior knowledge. And when your kids go into a lesson ready to learn, they’ll understand the material much more quickly.
The Main Lesson
In the main part of the lesson, you’d find links to videos on the topic that your child could watch. There was also a main video lesson, that included the instructor going through a PowerPoint. There were also resources to download, the PowerPoint slides from the lesson, and a PDF for notes. The PDFs were designed to make the lesson more interactive, as they asked questions that your child could fill in while learning.
Many lessons had art and literature connections built in as well. This multi-disciplinary approach can be helpful for students, encouraging them to dive deeper into the topic.
Activities and Projects
Following the lesson, there was another section dedicated to enrichment. These were optional, but a good hands-on way for your child to reinforce the lesson from the material.
There were suggestions for websites to visit, videos to watch, books to read, and projects to complete. If you dove into each one, you could easily make each course last a few weeks. I opted to have my child select just one or two things that he thought sounded the most interesting. This way he stayed engaged, and didn’t get burned out.
The activities were varied and fun. Throughout the different courses, here are some of the options:
- Draw a seahorse (after watching a how to draw video)
- Create your own Ancient Chinese dice from paper (by folding)
- Making rock slime
- Learning about fictional crocodiles in literature
- Studying the history of the right whale
Nearly any student, with any learning style, would be able to find an activity they enjoyed.
How We Used This Product
I had my almost 12-year-old son work through some courses with me. While they are designed to be done independently, he’s still working hard on getting up to grade level in reading, so we worked though them together to help prevent discouragement.
We opted to freely go into the courses that were of interest to him. Rockhounding was the first we completed, followed by MathArt: Patterns & Shapes in Nature. These were both shorter, 1-lesson courses. We’re now working our way through a longer, 3-week study called The Geometric Beauty of Snowflakes. There’s an activity coming up where you get to make pop up snowflakes, and some of my other kids are really looking forward to trying that.
Being able to integrate the others is important to me, so it was nice that they could all gather around and watch the videos and see the PowerPoint slides. The older kids obviously got more out of the experience, but the little kids enjoyed themselves.
If you prefer a more structured approach, you also have the option to follow a roadmap through the courses, instead of freestyling. However, we like flexibility so we opted not to do this.
What We Thought
I appreciated the variety and interest based activities included in these courses. The instructor was very knowledgeable and personable. The lesson videos weren’t always the most professional (many are pre-recorded live classes), but they were easy to hear.
The website itself is easy to navigate, but the courses were confusing at first. When you opened one, it had directions for you to go log in again. Then it took you back to the same page. We finally figured out we just had to scroll down past that to get to the actual lesson parts.
Those were arranged nicely, and easy to follow. You could move from one to the next by clicking the “Mark Complete” button at the end. It also kept track of your progress so you could easily find your spot again.
My son wasn’t thrilled with the achievements and awards it presents after you complete each lesson. That’s not really his style, but they were cute to see. It’s something some of my other children would have gotten more into, so it can be motivating to the right child.
All in all, I recommend these courses for supplements for middle school aged kids. They also say they’re good for high-schoolers, but you may need to supplement additional pieces for each since they’re shorter than many high school courses. However, they’re a great option for unschoolers and those who enjoy unit studies.
To learn more about these online courses in math and science, please click the banner below. You’ll be able to read more reviews.