I've never been a huge fan of nature, science or the "great outdoors". When I was a kid, I'd often pout whenever my Mother made my sister and I go outside and play. I would much rather stay inside where it's warm 'n toasty, reading a book, playing with my dolls, or writing something in a journal. (Or pretending I was a rock star, but that was another phase...)
Climbing trees? Didn't happen. Camping? Yuck. Bugs? Don't go there. I like various furry animals (who can resist a bunny rabbit?) but not enough to actually seek them out.
But of course, God has a real snappy sense of humor and enjoys tossing a few pranks my way. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I gave birth to three nature lovin' kids. (I also cast partial blame upon my husband. He's a tree-hugging hippie.)
As part of my participation in the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received both the August and September issues (and supplemental Study Guides) of Nature Friend Magazine for review.
I'd heard of Nature Friend from my fellow homeschooling mommies but never actually read a copy. When the August issue arrived in my mailbox, I opened it up, found some very articulate photos of locusts, shrieked like a little girl, and handed it over to the kids. (Ahem)
But then I remembered that I'm a professional (nudge, nudge) reviewer, and therefore I had to give the magazine a fair shake. Once I "screwed my courage to the sticking place" (Thank you, Shakespeare), I sat down and began to read....
Nature Friend Magazine is a wholesome, Christian publication designed to teach children (about 8 years and up) all about the beauty of Creation in a simple, lovely manner.
Each monthly issue is free of advertising and filled with some of the most lush photography I've ever seen! Everything from locusts (ahem) to bunny rabbits (so cute!) to the solar system is covered in exquisite, rich detail. I found myself literally staring at some of the photos for several moments, pondering their beauty. Even my husband, an amateur photographer, commented on how extraordinary the photographs were. (Check out samples from their Photo Gallery here.)
Additional highlights include:
Short stories, hidden pictures, crossword puzzles and word finds,
Reader-submitted artwork, poetry, letters and "nature" experiences
Articles about a variety of animals
and a neat "You Can Draw" art lesson, Science lesson/experiment and of course, plenty of Scripture. Sample issues can be downloaded here
For an additional cost of only $2 per issue, you can receive their amazing Study Guide supplement. Perfect for homeschoolers, this excellent resource comes packed with additional puzzles, fill-in-the-blanks, photo critique, research questions, and a detailed writing lesson, designed to reinforce the topics covered in that month's issue. The Study Guide is reproducible, making it a supremely economical and mom-friendly!
A one year subscription to Nature Friend costs $36 (for 12 issues). The Study Guide costs an additional $24/year, bumping your subscription price up to an even $60. While this may be a bit steep for a lot of us (including myself!), I do feel that the benefit of this superior publication is well-worth the price.
To sweeten the deal a bit, Nature Friend is currently offering $3 off the subscription price from now until November 30th. Simply enter coupon code: BLOG93. (New subscribers only.)
I'm honestly very impressed with the quality of Nature Friend Magazine. Although it did little to curb my distaste of nature hikes or camping trips, I do find myself appreciating all that the Lord created just a bit more. My children have enjoyed reading it, filling in the puzzles, and studying the photography immensely. It is without a doubt, one of the best items review items we've received so far!
We proudly award Nature Friend Magazine with the highly coveted two thumbs up! :)
~Check out what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about Nature Friend by clicking here~