How to Regain Better Stewardship of the Earth Through Math & Science Learning

Jul 02, 2022

Yes, that's my mug below.

It was the summer of 2010. I was feeling wild, free, and very close to nature. I had spent a week living off-grid with a small group of amazing people at Wild Roots intentional community in North Carolina.

What's an intentional community?

It's a community where people gather together around a common interest. Mainly today's intentional communities focus on sustainable earth practices such as growing your own food, building with natural materials, and collectively practicing personal growth skills. It was a transformative experience. I wished I could have stayed, but, I needed to plug in again and build my online teaching business.

Top image - I was helping saw some carefully selected trees for creating bark roofing (lower left). Lower middle image - learning to use a HUGE primitive wooden hammer. Lower right - my off-grid cozy shack home for the week.

What Was I Doing At Wild Roots and How Does it Relate to My Online Classes

Since 2009, I had decided that I wanted to live closer and more in harmony with the natural world. I wanted to learn to grow my own food, build with natural materials and live with other people that wanted to do the same. I went on my search for utopia, I guess. I never found Utopia, but, I had some amazing and transformative experiences that have led me to build the online teaching platform I now run, NatureGlo's eScience. NatureGlo's eScience is an online math enrichment (MathArt) and nature sciences eLearning center geared for homeschool students ages 10 and up.

NatureGlo's eScience (NeS) is a culmination of experiences I've had over the years that have given birth to what I believe is a life-long dream of running my own school.

NeS isn't actually a school, but, rather an online eLearning or resource center to help homeschoolers get closer to the natural world by seeing nature's connections in mathematics, history, science, literature, writing, poetry, art, music and more.

I aim to continually build upon a foundation of rich and fully integrated academic curriculum bringing open-minded families closer to the earth in a life transformative way, similar to the transformation I've undergone when I bravely left mainstream society and became immersed in a more sustainable lifestyle.

What is sustainable living?

Sustainable living is a lifestyle that reduces an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources, and one's personal resources. Where am I now in my sustainable living journey? I've really gone pretty radical. I live full-time in an extended campervan. All of my possessions are stored in the van with me. It's not much, but it's all I need.

Here I am (green van) traveling for the summer up in the Eastern Sierra Nevada with my friend, Curtis (nice big RV). Notice our solar panels. We have everything we need.

Whether we want to admit it or not, the science can't be denied. Planet Earth needs more and better sustainable stewardship.

I designed NatureGlo's eScience with the thought that K - 12 education can stand to spend much more time studying the natural world. Today's K12 doesn't give nearly enough time dedicated to immersing children in the natural world or studying it long enough to fall in love with it. Global education MUST dedicate more time focusing on the natural world throughout a child's education, everyday, MOST of the day. Not just learning about animals in Kindergarten and 1st grade, but, hyper focus on learning about the animals, their numbers, natural history, ways for us to master throughout grade school.

That's my strong and firm belief. Do you agree? Hit me up in the comments below! I'd adore hearing from you.

We study nature, not only because it's beautiful, mysterious and fun, but, because it needs more knowledgeable protection and care.

We all protect what we love, right?

My students, Andreas (left) and his sister, Magdalena (right), from my nature-based homeschool program (fall 2010 - Spring 2011), HASC (Heathcote Art & Science Center) enjoying an aquatic hike. They demonstrated being great stewards of the earth when they hauled out an old mold covered plastic slide from the stream.

Andreas and Magdalena hauled the plastic slide from the stream without any prompting from me.

As children learn about the wonders of the natural world and how it works, they too will fall in love with it and protect it. Education within the realms of learning about and protecting the natural world takes time. It takes dirt time. I know. I know. I should have an in-person outdoor school for this. But, I don't. This is what I can offer now. An online platform where students can come and learn about the natural world with nature connecting activities getting them out from behind the computer and out the door for the dirt time. Why not use our current plugged-in addiction for the good of also getting the kiddos from behind the devices? I'm addicted to screen time too, after all, I'm sitting here behind this laptop now writing this for you.

Children need more dirt time. I don't mean just an hour a day. HOURS per day. More like at least 3 hours per day.

Below is Magdalena getting some dirt time overseen by our head organic gardener, Matt. Matt had us start the onions in February, 2011.

We are part of the natural world. Whatever worldview you come from, we can all stand to learn more about our planet and how to live more in harmony with it. By spending more time learning about the plants, animals, rocks and minerals, and seasons across the curriculum, your learner can become equipped with better knowledge, wisdom and understanding for helping become a better steward of our planet, its well-being, our own and the rest of the species we share it with. Thus, I present to you, NatureGlo's MathArt and science online classes membership.

Below is one of my MathArt students from the spring 2018 Review Crew.

Is NatureGlo's eScience Qualified to Teach Your Child? is me, Gloria Brooks and my MathArt and science online courses I’ve been writing, developing and teaching since 2011. I am a 20+ year veteran teacher, with a BA in K - 12 ed and certificates of completion from the Wilderness Awareness School.

Why I Teach Independently?

I became weary and disillusioned by my private school’s bureaucratic decision making which continually excluded teacher creativity, expertise and the learner’s needs. In my private school experience, there was never enough time to study the natural world in great depth, which is typical of so many school agendas and boxed curriculums.

Our planet is being over-harvested of its natural resources at detrimental rates. We are less and less in harmony with the earth with each new sunrise. Globally, on average, humanity is out of touch with the planet’s natural cycles, how to sustainably use its resources, and give back. Spending more time in K - 12 education learning more about the natural world (plants, animals, geology etc.), how it works and how we can better relate to it, will help us live in more harmony with our planet.

Noah painting his Fibonacci Pine Cone.

Above is my HASC student, Noah, carefully painting his Fibonacci pine cone during a MathArt study day.

I have transitioned from being a traditional private school educator to a progressive alternative online homeschool math and science teacher. I’ve fine-tuned the unit study style of learning for math and science. Online unit study learning is rare and currently non-existent for math and science. I make creative cross-curricular connections including math, history, literature, science, writing, music, and art. I’m always seeking to add more academic connections.

What Homeschool Problems or Struggles can NatureGlo's eScience Help You With?

1). MathArt will inspire whatever current math curriculum you're using. If your child is struggling or bored with math, MathArt will show them fascinating connections with math they’re learning now and help them connect it with the real world around them, starting in your backyard!

2). You have little to no science prep if you let me do the teaching.

3). Several academic subjects or unit studies are covered in many of my courses for MathArt, reptiles and amphibians and Marine Biology. More unit studies are coming soon!

4). One affordable price for your whole family for the entire year!

5). Online socialization with a NEW math and science parent/student/teacher forum!! I'll be in there daily, Monday - Friday.

6). Activities getting your family outdoors for more nature connection including outdoor journaling, rockhounding, plant observations, photographing nature and more!

In 2011, when I left Heathcote Community, I ceremoniously gave my student Magdalena (another residential community member; she and her family, good friends of mine), my "secret" sit spot. A sit spot is the Wilderness Awareness School's backyard nature connecting teaching method. She took it over like the champ she is.

I'd LOVE to hear your comments below about this topic. What are you and your families views about sustainable living? How do you aim to live more in harmony with the earth. If you don't feel you live in harmony with the earth, what steps are you willing to take to do so? Scroll down and share your thoughts! AWESOMENESS!

I hope to see you on the inside.

Until next time,

Gloria aka NatureGlo

Meet NatureGlo Founder of NatureGlo's eScience