Wednesday, October 7, 2009

TOS Homeschool Crew - Nature Friend Magazine

We were given 2 issues of Nature Friend Magazine to review for the TOS Homeschool Crew. Christopher really enjoyed this magazine. Nature Friend Magazine is a Christian, Creation based magazine. The magazine is in its 27th year (began January 1983). They acknowledge God as Creator and give great information about lots of different topics in nature.

I love this quote from their website.
 "Since the doctrine of Divine Creation is the first and foundational one of Scripture, our children must be able to stand on it securely to withstand the undermining influences from our culture. Nature FriendNature Friend recognizes that God has planned for man to be wise stewards over His creation, and that He alone is to be worshiped, not His creation." has chosen not to be controversial or militantly confrontational about creation vs. evolution. Our policy has been to simply stand on the truth of God's Word and to present it as enjoyable fact while learning about the creatures God has created.
That says it all. We have always taught, advocated and emphasized creation and I agree it is a foundation all Christian students need.

Christopher is the one that used this magazine the most. I put it in one of his workboxes and gave him portions to read each day and an activity or two. He often read and did more than I assigned him. Quote from Christopher,
"I like the crossword puzzles and the information about animals, especially the turtles."
One of the feature articles in the Study Guide each month, The Photo Critique,  gives you tips for photographing nature. Christopher was so cute. He read an article in the study guide about how they took the pictures of the owls, he asked if it was cheating for them to set up the camera to automatically take a picture of the owl grabbing the mouse when the owl broke though the electric eye beam. I asked him how else they were going to get a picture like that? I told him that photographer's do all kinds of things to take pictures for magazines, tv and the Internet. Setting up a camera like this is not cheating. We discussed other special photography things we have seen. It was a good conversation.

The information in the magazine is accurate, wonderful and the articles are well written. The photographs are top notch and they really catch your eye and make you want to read the articles.

One of my favorite parts of the magazine is the You Can Draw... challenge. I love that they include these kinds of art lessons.They have the kids submit their drawings and they publish small 1 1/2 inch copies of some of the drawings. I could not get Christopher to try the art, maybe his sister Jessica can get him to do it later, but he loved looking at the kids drawings from the month before. Besides the art done by the students, they also accept nature related poems, photographs, and stories for submission by their readers.

Things to know about the Study Guide:
  • A reader gave them the suggestion to offer a Study Guide for the Nature Friend magazine. The April 2009 issue was the first issue that had a Study Guide.
  • The Study Guide has exercises that may include crossword puzzle, acrostic, fill-in-the-blank, true and false, etc. They also include several “For You to Research,” challenges to encourage students to go even deeper into the topics being discussed. 
  • Exercises may be photocopied for classroom use, or for the various children in the homeschool. This is a nice feature if you have multiple children who want to do the puzzles.
  • They publish two bonus features in the Study Guides
    • “A Study in Nature; a Lesson in Writing” teaches creative writing using a nature study as a springboard. They invite readers to send in the stories they have been inspired to write because of these lessons.
    • “The Photo Critique” teaches nature photography tips. They also invite readers to send photos, tips, and questions for inclusion in this feature. (this is the section I told you about above with the owls).
Out of 5 stars we give the Nature Friend Magazine ...

A years subscription to the magazine is $36, you can also get a two year subscription. There are 12 issues a year making it only $3 an issue. The Study Guide is purchased separately at $2 per month, or $24 a year, and is only available with a current magazine subscription.

On the Homeschooler’s guide to Nature Friend page you will find a discount for $3 off an order of Nature Friend Magazine, as well as some other interesting things you may enjoy looking at.

Other things they have on the website:
  • Each year they bind a year’s-worth of magazines together in hardbound volumes.  This is a valuable way to keep a year’s-worth of Nature Friend magazine information for many, many years.  See what they look like here. 
  • They sell back issues. 
  • They also have a store with a number of books in different categories. You may want to check them out here
Christopher really enjoyed the Nature Friend Magazine and we hope to be able to afford a subscription soon. This magazine is a children's magazine the whole family, including the grandparents, can enjoy. I hope you enjoyed this review. Nature Friend Magazine provided me with two free copies of the magazine to test and use in order to write this review. I have tried to give an honest review of this product. I hope you will check it out and consider adding it to your homeschooling purchases in the future.


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