Thursday, March 15, 2018

NatureGlo's eScience REVIEW

MathArt Online

Have you ever heard of the Fibonacci number sequence?  I had heard of it but didn't remember what it was.  I was excited to be able to participate in our next review for the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle from NatureGlo's eScience.  Gloria Brooks is the creator and teacher of her online, partly Charlotte Mason-based, curriculum.  She incorporates several subjects into her teachings (unit study approach) with lots of hands-on and interactive activities.  She holds a bachelor's degree in K-12 education and has a real passion for the subject matter in her teaching.  The basis of the classes are general and there is no Creation or Evolution specific teachings (just not mentioned at all in her lessons).

Sample page from Intro Lesson

Another sample page from Intro Lesson

I was given access to her online 4-Class Bundle for one year.  Each class is divided into 6 weeks (one lesson per week).  They all follow pretty much the same schedule.  Basically, you have links to a copy of the PDF slideshow of the lesson, the study guide, lap book pages (for some, not all lessons), and any other necessary supplements needed for the class.

Slideshow PDF printable of lesson
PDF printable study guide with answer key
Each class has access to the video lessons (usually broken down into 2 or more short, 3-12 minute--sometimes longer, videos per lesson).  The lessons are recorded versions of the live class.  I did not participate in any live classes.  We liked that we could go at our own pace if necessary.  On the right side of each lesson page is the overview of what comes next in the class.  As you progress through the lesson the individual tasks are crossed off as you mark them as completed (you can always go back and unmark them as completed if necessary).  Each lesson can be simple or very complex.  She has offered links to SO MANY extra research and activity topics you could easily spend 2 weeks on a lesson if you really dug deep.  I also like that you can't skip ahead but have to complete the lessons in order to progress (I have one that likes to jump around a lot).

Dashboard showing your courses
Sample of completed lessons

Sample of lesson page with downloadable files and lesson progress on the right

I can't stress enough that there are SO MANY things to learn, follow and research while going through this study.  She has links to other resources, online activities (I like the quizlet games that test your knowledge on what was just covered) and other videos. Like I mentioned before, you could easily spend 2 weeks on a lesson if you really wanted to dig in deep.  We have kept it light and just cover one a week.  The extra activities really give the kids a good hands-on real-life experience with the subject matter.

Cookie activity from Lesson 3 (screenshot from lesson)

We chose to first study Math Connections with the Real World. The six lessons included in this study are:
  • Introduction & History of the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Numbers
  • The Golden Number & Fibonacci in Art, Architecture, and Nature
  • The Fibonacci Numbers in Nature
  • The History & the Golden Ratio of the Great Pyramid
  • Phi & Quasicrystals
  • The Mathematics of Music
We are currently in the last lesson.  I have so enjoyed that we have covered art, math, history, language arts and science in these lessons.  I have really enjoyed the history part.  I keep saying I.  What about the kiddos.  Well, they have not enjoyed this so much.  We got into the first lesson and I lost them.  I have artsy kids and they just don't get into this math/history stuff (even with the extra activities--bad attitude).  They REALLY don't like language arts.  Well, ya still gotta learn!  I agree with them that the videos can be a little annoying since they incorporate the live class which has a lot of delays due to dialogue and kids trying to mark up the pages as asked.  No problem though, just use the printable PDF slide show and you are good to go.

The course is recommended for ages 10 and up.  I feel that unless a child is really math oriented and a go-getter they might not find a lot of interest in this material.  If you can get them going on the activities I think that would peak their interest.  For my 8th grader, I think he would do much better on this in a year or two and use as high school credit and go deeper into each lesson.

This wasn't a good fit for my kiddos but as I stated, I have really enjoyed the subject and all the research that went into creating this study.  I peeked at the other classes and I will definitely be at least going over them with my bundles of joy, LOL.  There is just a lot of good information that gives them a practical life application on how math and science work in our world.

The other three classes are as follows with their included lessons:

MathArt in Ancient Cultures
  • Ancient Babylonians & the Plimpton 322
  • Ancient Greek Math & the Platonic Solids
  • Pythagoras & the Music of the Spheres
  • Ancient India's MathArt: Rangoli, Mandalas, & the Story of 1-9 & 0
  • Zellige Moroccan Tiles & Other Tessellations
  • Maya MathArt
MathArt in the Arts & Sciences
  • Main Lesson Downloads & Videos with NatureGlo (Great Artists, History/Literature Connection Dante, How to do One-Point Perspective)
  • Australian Aboriginal MathArt
  • Celtic MathArt
  • Introduction to Patterns in Nature
  • Fractals in Nature & Technology Part I
  • Fractals in Nature & Technology Part II
 MathArt Patterns in Nature
  • Patterns in Nature: Circular Patterns
  • Patterns in Nature: Animal Coat Patterns
  • The Geometrics of the Universe
  • Patterns in Nature: The Hexagon
  • Logarithmic Beauty of the Chambered Nautilus Part I
  • Logarithmic Beauty of the Chambered Nautilus Part II
All in all, I would still recommend the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle.  If money is an issue then you have the option for payments or to just purchase one or more of the units individually (you, of course, get a discount for the whole bundle plus if paid in one lump sum).  She does have a refund policy so check it out and decide what is best for you.  I think you would really enjoy this fascinating subject and how math and science are just woven into the world around us.  She also has other classes available in addition to what is available in the bundle.

You can connect with NatureGlo's eScience on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, GOOGLE+, and YOUTUBE.

Please also take the time to check out the reviews from my fellow Crew members including some of the other classes.

MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle {NatureGlo's eScience Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Parenting Made Practical REVIEW

Dating and Courtship can be a controversial topic, but I was more than happy to be able to take a peek at Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate . . . What Works? by Parenting Made Practical.  I was so happy that it was biblically based and really what I needed at this time in my child's life.  I received the DVD teaching and the accompanying workbook.

There are always so many questions surrounding dating and courtship.  I was introduced to the courtship model many years ago and have wished it for my children.  However, like the DVD teaching states, what exactly does that mean?  What exactly is courting and what should it look like?  The DVD has two sessions on it. Session 1 is Developing Your Dating Philosophy and it runs 50 minutes.  Session 2 is How to Make It Work and it runs 58 minutes.  I was unable to watch the DVD on my laptop (mine's pretty old) but it ran just fine in the DVD player.

parenting made practical

The DVD is recommended for parents of children ages 9 and up.  Joey and Carla believe that parents should be prepared to train their children as early as 4th and 5th grade to navigate the field of relationships.  I know we often don't want to think about it that early, but our kids do.  At that age they are hardly mature enough to make sound decisions in the area of relationships.

In Session 1 the Links have some very interesting, and I feel sound, advice in the area of relationships.  They define what they feel the courtship model is and why it is flawed.  I have heard many versions of courtship so I think the way they define it is one way and based on that they suggest an interesting model of dating based on biblical principles that take into account 4 areas.  The 4 areas they discuss include mental, physical, spiritual, and social aspects of relationships.  They define and compare the difference between Cultural and Courtship Dating.  Their model shows how they are both out of balance and show a new perspective of balance in Friendship Dating.

Joey and Carla also discuss the 4 levels of relationships that lead to marriage.  These 4 levels include Potential, Possible, Probable, and Proposal. Each level includes each of the 4 areas of relationship and the depth of the relationship increases as your child and potential mate move through the 4 levels.  Of course, if things seem incompatible in the beginning it never progresses past the first level.  I also like how they stress that the plan is initiated by the couple rather than being dictated by the parents.  They explain very well that if you have an open, trusting relationship with your child that they will have the skills you trained them with (possibly with the teachings from this DVD) to make wise, God-honoring decisions in their relationship plan.  Another plus is that they stress that each "plan" is unique and customized to the couple and their personalities.  No plans will really ever look alike since there are so many variables within each relationship.

In Session 2 they go into MUCH more detail on how the model works.  They look at each of the four areas (mental, physical, spiritual, and  social) and discuss:
  • Goals
  • What Can Parents Do?
  • Suggestions for each of the four levels
    • Potential
    • Possible
    • Probable
    • Proposal
There is a lot of information in this session. They also discuss:
  • How Teens/Young Adults Know They are Attracted to Someone Enough to Date Him/Her
  • How Far Is Too Far?
  • How do you know when your young adult is ready to start a Friendship Dating Relationship?
  • How to Implement This Teaching
  • Why Do We Call this Friendship Dating?
The accompanying workbook follows both sessions of the DVD and has fill-in-the-blanks as you follow along.  There were a couple of discrepancies where the workbook did not match the DVD (omissions and a couple of typos) but all in all, it was very helpful and nice to have in writing to refer to and study.  There are also suggested books in each area for further research and reading.  Testimonies are also included at the end of the workbook.

I personally would recommend Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate . . . What Works?  Especially if you are already sold on the courtship model.  I really appreciate the scripture references throughout the teaching.  If you are even questioning how you are going to navigate dating and relationships with your children this is a very sound and informative option to consider.

I really like Joey and Carla's philosophy and I am interested in checking out more of their products.  Two others I would like to check out that the Crew is also reviewing are Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think and Why Can't I Get My Kids to Behave?

You can connect with Parenting Made Practical on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and PINTEREST.

Be sure to stop by and check out the other reviews on this product and several of their other products that the Crew had the opportunity to review.

Parenting Made Practical {Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Garden Time

It seemed like winter would never end, but then, all of a sudden, here it is. . . spring is just around the corner!  The daffodils are blooming and the rhubarb is up.  The garden is still not ready for planting because we once again failed to prep it last fall.  Someday.  Someday it will get done in the fall the way it's supposed to.  But for now, we have prep to do.

Also, it doesn't help that our beds are falling apart and need to be redone.  We bought a new composite bed kit that is shaping up to be pretty nice.  It will take care of replacing about 7 beds once we buy a couple of extra boards and fittings.  It looks really nice so far.  We decided to join more beds together to limit aisle space that just seems to get weeded over no matter what we do.  We now have a 4' X 16' bed instead of three 4' X 5' beds.

Our garden has progressed and morphed from just tilled ground to mounded rows to square foot garden beds.  I think our most successful garden was when we did the mounds with ditches in between for rows, but I really do like the square foot gardens best and they have proven to be the most weed free.  It's so nice that when the beds are properly prepped that you get nice naturally tilled ground that is ready to plant in the spring.

Should already have some plants in the ground, but hopefully soon.  How's your garden prep and planting coming along?
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