Sunday, October 4, 2009

TOS Crew Review -- Nature Friend

Our home contains at least two serious animal lovers, and many others with a slightly more passive interest in nature and God's creation. When Nature Friend magazine arrived at our door it found a quick, captive audience.

Nature Friend

Product: Nature Friend Magazine
Details: Monthly magazine (12 times a year) that focuses on helping children, and adults, appreciate God's creation through dramatic photography, informative articles, and fun activities.
Cost: $36 a year and you can add a study guide tailor made for each issue for $2 per issue.

What we loved . . .

Biblically founded study of creation

Amazing pictures!

Activities to correspond to the learning

Cross-curriculum activities (science, art, English, photography, cooking, and others)

Multi-age interest (all my kids enjoyed the stories and articles to varying degrees, from pre-school to middle school)

Hidden pictures, and hunting for objects throughout the magazine

The Study Guide adds a greater dimension of intentional learning to the reading of the magazine. This really turns it from a cute, nature magazine into a homeschool resource. The study guide contains word games, writing prompts, behind the scenes insights, and various other activities on top of what the magazine already offers.

What we tweaked . . .

If used a couple times a week, you could pretty easily stretch the content of this magazine for a month until the next one arrives, integrating with or using it as your science studies.

Every activity and article did not capture our interest, so some we moved through more quickly than others, but we easily filled more than a few afternoons with the information and pictures contained within.

Every month they have a picture to learn to draw, and send in your finished product for publishing in a few months. It was fun to attempt these together and learn through a more formal drawing lesson than we have had in the past. We still have a lot to learn in the drawing arena, but it was a great start.

My younger kids (through third grade) did enjoy this magazine a bit more than the older kids, so I did spend more time on it with them.

If you have a nature lover, or are looking for something fresh for your science discoveries, Nature Friend Magazine may provide that. Of course, you can check out a few more reviews if you are interested as well, at the TOS Crew blog.

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