As part of the TOS Review Crew, I was sent the August & September 2009 Nature Friend magazine to review. As a newbie to the homeschooling world of products, I of course did not know of this one, so I did not recognize it when it came in the mail. My first glance at the cover led me to believe it was one of my husbands photography catalogues. After I took a second and read the title, I realized what it was and was immediately intrigued!
The photographs used throughout the magazine are breathtaking! There is something special about Nature Friend, it is different than other commercial publications. For example, on the cover is a beautiful photograph of Gods creation. The cover is uncluttered, there are no featured stories plastered all over the cover to detract from the beautiful picture. The Nature Friend title is at the top of the cover and under that is this statement: "Helping Families Explore the Wonders of God's Creation". SOLD! How refreshing to read those words in today's world. The magazine lived up to it's promises. Every article, picture, letter and educational tool, lived up to that description.
Nature Friend magazine publishes 12 issues/ year, 6 of which are "gently nudged" towards the older family members. Even non readers can enjoy looking at the photographs contained in Nature Friend. Nature Friend began in 1983 by the Stanley Brubaker Family. Their desire was to encourage children to believe in God as their creator and to seek out, recognize, and appreciate His handiwork. Nature Friend is now Published by kevin and Bethany Shank.
My children enjoyed the 'invisibles' section of Nature Friend. This is where you try to find the small objects hidden in the big picture (IE: I Spy). Also another monthly feature is the "Wondernose" article. A "Wondernose" is a Pennsylvania Dutch phrase to describe someone is curious about everything around them. Each issue contains a new topic that "Wondernose" is curious about.
Nature Friend also offers a Study Guide subscription in addition to the Nature Friend subscription. The Study Guide, in my opinion, is a must for home schoolers. It meshes with the Nature Friend magazine and once ordered, can be found in the center of the magazine. It is a great way to round out and reinforce the information contained in the magazine. The exercises in the study guide may be photocopied for multiple children to use. Each study guide contains crossword puzzles, True/False questions, an acrostic, fill in the blanks etc... all covering and reviewing the information contained in the magazine.
You can order from the Nature Friend website at http://www.naturefriendmagazine.com/ or toll free at 877-434-0765. The cost of the magazine is as follows:
1yr subscription- USA- $36.00
2yr subscription-USA- $68.00
add the study guide for $2.00/ issue
Nature Friend is currently offering a promotion, BLOG93 can be used to save $3.00 off of any new subscriptions and this promotion is valid until November 30, 2009.
At first the price seemed a little much, but I think, you get what you pay for. I used to pay $70/ month for cable to watch TV. We cancelled it because we felt it wasn't worth the money. I can get a two year subscription to a magazine that teaches science based on Biblical truths and is way more edifying than anything on TV, for what I would have paid for one month of cable. Worth the money, or add it to the Christmas wish list and ask family members to order a subscription for your children as a gift. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!